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With the winter coming swiftly people think that working in the garden is done but there is a crucial step you should complete before the growing season ends. Mulching your garden beds in the fall is one of the best overlooked practices you can do for the health of your perennial plants and your soil.
You’ll need to take special care of perennials with shallow root systems or recently planted perennials and trees. These plants will be especially susceptible to frost and could heave damaging root systems.
When mulching in the fall clear all annual plant debris out of your garden. Mulch should be spread to a depth of 4 inches. Excess mulch can lead to soggy ground. Avoid burying the plant’s crown as the mulch is put down.
Ensure your garden beds have proper drainage. Overly wet garden beds can also lead to frost heaving and damage to root systems.
Winter months can be long and cold. Your gardens roots will benefit from the added protection of an insulating layer, and your soil will be much richer thanks to your efforts.
An outdoor fire pit can extend the use of your outdoor space into cold evenings providing a beautiful spot to gather and keep warm.
Plane your design
Always start with a plan. Are you making a round, or square pit? Is it raised or sunken? Make a quick plan so you know how much material you will need. Plan how your seating will work with your firepit and where it will be placed. All these factors will determine how much material you need.
Purchase your stone and supplies
Stop by your nearest Ferrell Builders’ Supply with your plan and we’ll outfit you with all the materials you need. Have measurements so we can help determine your needs.
You’ll likely need (depending on your plan):
Black stove paint
Prepare your base
Excavate where you’re putting your firepit and compact the soil. Plan to be 1.5” to 2” below grade. Mark your exterior and interior walls with your desired size.
Using pre-mixed concrete pour footings for the stone/brick walls. Cover the area between the interior and exterior wall marks you made. Leave the interior circle (pit) free of concrete for drainage. Level the concrete 1-1/2 inches below grade.Submerge 2’ (depending on size of pit) pieces of rebar into the wet cement at various points around the footer for strength. Allow to dry completely.
Lay the first course of fire brick
You’ll be laying a row of face stone on the exterior of the wall and a row of firebrick on the interior. Lay your exterior row of stone first then trowel mortar along the inside wall of the stone and lay your firebrick. Remove excess mortar and level as you go until the first row is complete.
Build the Walls
Place a bead of mortar along the top of the stone and firebrick. Lay the exterior stone first like previous step and continue to mortar the interior wall. Fill in irregular gaps between the firebrick and face stone(if any) with scrap stone. Lay your next row. Alternate rows of firebrick and face stone staggering joints for strength until you reach desired height.
Lay Cap Stone
Place a layer of mortar on the top of the wall and begin placing the cap stones leveling as you go. Fill joints between capstones with mortar. Remove excess mortar and smooth joints when complete.
Once all the mortar is dry spray the interior wall of the pit with black stove paint.
Now you’re ready to move onto the seating and enjoying a beautiful new focal point in your outdoor space.
For a more comprehensive guide, please visit https://www.boulderhomesource.com/fire-pit-guide/
Need help planning your firepit? Contact our landscape design team!