This week was a strenuous week with having to work on the rain barrel system. If you recall, I added a whole second part to the rain barrel system that allowed the system to double in size – going from six barrels to 12 barrels.
When I put up the first part of the system, the posts were dug in and concrete was then used to backfill the holes.
Unfortunately with the second part of the system, I was cheap and filled the holes back in with dirt. That bit me pretty good. Early in the spring, I came home from work one day and saw this:
While that picture doesn’t look too great, the whole top part of the barrel system shifted to the left and was on the verge of collapse. Back then, I emptied the barrels and got a few bags of fast-setting concrete mix to try to back-fill the areas around the posts. Unfortunately, this just didn’t work well and over the summer, the system slowly began shifting again.
Just a few days ago – on Thursday – I then started work on the barrels. I had to empty all of the barrels, take down the boards that held the barrels up, chip away all of the concrete I had put around the posts, then remove all of the posts. Believe it or not, gettin the posts out of the ground was fairly simple because they had moved around so much.
In the below picture, you can see where I’ve removed everything except the posts. See just how far those posts are leaning to the left? Even with the concrete I put down, it wasn’t enough.
Now, I have all of the posts pulled out – and this is where I stopped for Thursday.
On Friday, I then dug out the post holes again and made them fairly large sized so there would be plenty of concrete to hold the posts in place. I didn’t take any photos on Friday – but did take a few on Saturday.
On Saturday, I had the intentions of getting the posts in place and all level – then put the concrete in. But, the weather wouldn’t cooperate. It is said that you shouldn’t pour concrete or let it sit in temperatures lower than 42 degrees if it is not cured. Well, Saturday night into Sunday morning was going to get down to about 34 degrees. Yes, 34 degrees already! Heck, the tomatoes and peppers are still outside trying to ripen fruit and it is almost freezing already!
So – Saturday just saw me getting all of the posts all leveled and straight – then adding the braces across the top and bottom.
Amazing. Look how much straighter those posts are now – and the barrels are snugly hugging against the side of the garage. That is how it should be!
Below – I got a close-up of the holes that were dug. Not only did I dig the holes, I also made a trench between the two holes that can also be filled with concrete. By basically allowing the concrete for the two holes to be connected through that trench, that will give even more strength. I think I’m over-building this a bit – but I certainly do not want to do this again!
Bright and early on Sunday I got outside and starting putting in the concrete. Well – the first hole/trench area (very left of the picture above) took 5 bags of concrete – all by itself! I only bought 6 bags from the store. Made my commute up to the store to pick up another 10 bags of concrete (luckily it was on sale for 4 bags for $9). Upon arriving home, the other two holes (middle one and right one in the picture above) took about 4 bags of concrete each. So I have two extra bags left over now.
But, I don’t think this is going to be moving anywhere from now on! Weather man says we won’t have any rain until next weekend – so that gives the concrete a good week to cure and harden up before weight will begin being applied to the barrel system.
Well, the only thing left to do will be to put the compost tea making barrels on the boards running along the bottom of the posts. I most likely will get that done later today.