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Hard ground = no tombstones!

2295 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  darkmaster
Hey guys,

I have a dilemma. My yard's dirt is hard, like rock hard, and I can't seem to sink those plastic tombstone sticks that come with the styrofoam tombstones. I have tried metal, but that doesn't work, because I can get it into the ground, but it rips through the styrofoam and isn't sturdy enough.

I have also tried gluing stuff to the back, but the ground is still too hard to hammer something in while it is glued to the tombstone.

Also, I live in California and Oct. is the rainy/windy month.

Any suggestions on how I can keep my graveyard afloat would be much appreciated.

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I too live in hard, compacted, clay soil CA. The developers really pack it down too. Anchoring anything into our ground in the fall/winter after a dry summer is next to impossible. Bent many anchoring stakes trying. Even bought a rubber hammer to pound with more force. Pointless. Maybe a sledgehammer would be more useful. For my lit trees (halloween and xmas) I do my best to anchoring them to the nearby fence with tether wires, pulling it from different directions. The last two years I have had better success adding additional leftover large limestone floor tiles to the bottom of the tree stand area to help weigh down the base. But yes, for me too it's always been a problem since moving here.

Last year I tried making a wooden square base for one of my props but the base wasn't large enough and the whole thing still tipped over. Even with bricks added to the top. Plus covering the base is always kind of an issue. Here in CA we don't get a lot of fall leaves on the ground to throw over stuff. I was thinking maybe a large "L" bracket attached to back of prop and then run along the ground and weighed down would be useful. Haven't given much thought to it since last year but guess it's time to do so. For some of my trees I thought I'd give my outdoor umbrella stands a chance to anchor the trunk. I also bought some tiki pole ground anchors this past winter during a clearance and thought I could try inserting them before the ground turned to cement. Obviously knowing where to place them ahead of time is an issue.

I've used masonry drill bits before on projects and was tempted to try it on my ground. Maybe I'll look into a planting auger. I know that earthquake augers will work but they're more than I would want to invest in. Possibily a local tool rental place would have them. I hate to spend a lot of money for this sort of stuff and instead save the money for props.

BTW Otaku, looked through your current projects album and I love the new witch you're working on. Great face. Is that one of the talking Boris' underneath? Also wanted to mention that you make the best use of a driveway that I've seen yet.
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