Help!

Ok guys,here`s my problem. Ive moved into a brand new house whic
unfortunately has had nothing done to the back area. Its just a mess o earth and bricks at the moment. I want to turn it into a lawn but it not as simple as just removing all the rubble. The earth is clay Heavily clay and really retains the water badly. Having viewed some o my neighbours back gardens its obvious all some of them have done i turfed on top of the clay and what rain we have had has really messe up their (once) pristine lawns. Ive got a few ideas around removin some clay, and adding topsoil but would be interested to hear wha other ideas people have particularly considering any drainage issues
-- Sigster
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How much time/money can you invest? Seriously???
The obvious answer would be to remove the debris, till the soil deeply, add several inches of amendments (topsoil, compost, etc), and till that in.
Since a cubic yard only covers 108 square feet at 3" deep, it would take quite a few cubic yards of amendments to "fix" even a modest sized area...
If you're in it for the long haul and have the resources to undertake a major project, you'd probably be happy over the long term.
If not, cover the area with mulch and forget it. Halfway measures (like adding a 1/2" amendment layer) really don't help much. The good thing about mulch is that if you're still there in 10 years, all the repeat mulchings will have turned the soil into good material...
KB

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On Wed, 01 Feb 2006 13:29:13 +0000, Sigster wrote:

Good day Sigster. We deal with this issue alot where I'm at. We call them a "rape and scrape" development. Developers come in, rip all the trees down and sell the lumber and scrape away all the soil and sell it to the soil re-sellers. The new home owner is left with a barren lot that has very poor landscaping and an ever worse out-look for furture plantings.
Kyle offered good advice on the soil ammending. I would suggest that before any landscaping is done, make sure your drainage issues are settled. Very few things in this world costs as much as moving dirt. No need to move it twice.
Do all your gutters drain on to the ground or into hard pipes? If you live in a wet area (like western washington}, you will want to pipe that water away from your foundation. Hard piping isn't very expensive, just alot of digging.
Do you have surface water on your property during or after a rain? Is this water near your foundation or pooling in your lawn/yard areas? Then you may want to look into a curtain drain, dry well, rain garden or some other way of moving or locally dealing with the water. If this isn't dealt with, no matter how much soil you add, you'll never get a successful landscape and the over all lifespan of your house may be shorten.
After you deal with your under lying drainage issues, then you can start to wrap your head around soil/planting issues. It may not be practial to plant your shrubs and trees into the ammended clay soil. I find it best, many times, to ammend the soil then lay a berm of bought soil to plant into. This will healp greatly with root rot issues that you may find.
If you have more questions, feel free to give us a shout, we'll be here.
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