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Posted by nathana on April 11, 2003 at 08:27:35:
In Reply to: Re: Blandings posted by NewTurtleGuy on April 11, 2003 at 06:32:15:
I would say your wall plans are good if your soil is substantial. I live on hard red clay and could only manage to scrape and pickaxe away enough space for a wall like you mentioned (the gap between the lower course and the upper is important to allow water to escape in heavy rains). If you have very soft soil, I'd consider more depth for the lower in-ground course. I use how much I'm cursing while I'm digging as a gauge for depth. I figure if I can't get any deeper with a pickaxe and a prybar I am probably okay. Backfilling with regular large gravel is a technique I've heard that will not only deter digging near the wall, but will help drainage, and will let toxins from pressure treated wood sink down without sitting in the pen or running into the pond. My plans for my next set of pens is just like what you mention. I am planning a set of four 16' by 16' pens in a grid in a corner of my fenced yard. My yard fence is one foot below ground and five above, solid privacy fence, so I will use that for two sides of the overall grid. My walls will be 2x4 or 2x6 depending on how deep I can dig for the first course, then a 2x12 on top. I will join seams (using 8' lengths, walls being 16') with a section of 2x4 positioned as a stake on inside and out, which will then serve as additional support for a 2x6 ledge around the top, even overhang on inside and out. At all T intersections of walls on the grid, and in the center, I will use more lumber to make triangular deck style corner covers that go quite deep, making deep shady locations in all corners for them to hide in. On these I will place large barrel planters or other similar things.
I've been keeping two sub-adult/juvenile woods and two spotteds in an 8'x8' pen for a while now. I think it is too small. One of the 16'x16' pens I'm working on will be for them, half of which will be the pond. The 8x16 pond will allow me to have an easy to maintain environment for them, and plenty of land area besides. Large ponds are easier to maintain than small ponds, since biological filtration and an equilibrium can be achieved more easily, and the pond can take more shock to it (heavy rains, droughts, etc). I also have come to view the 8x8 as just plain old too small.