Some years years ago, I removed an above ground pool (approximatelly
30'x18')from my backyard and planted a lawn instead. I used a Pacific
Northwest mix from Scotts (we live in OR).
As the years passed, I noticed that the grass planted in that area
would grow drier and thinner. In very warm summers, it would basically
go dormant, despite regular watering, while the surrounding areas
(which were planted at the same time) would be looking just fine. Two
years ago, I covered the area with a thin layer of top soil and
reseeded it. The results were good and it lasted for a year.
Nevertheless, the grass went dormat again this year.
The problem might be related to the fact that there was a layer of
sand underneath the pool. We brough good soil and rototilled the area
but we might have underestimated the thickness of the layer of sand.
I would appreciate your comments and suggestions to ammend the
How deep was the pool? If we're talking about a typical swimming pool
with depths of 4' to 10', the sand that was under the pool would be a
non-issue. (I'm assuming that when you say "removed" you mean you took
out the concrete, and didn't just fill in the pool.)
And what was used to fill in the remaining hole after the pool was
removed? Certainly you couldn't afford good quality soil for the entire
depth. Assuming that you have some fill, and then some good soil on top
of it, how deep is the good fill? Was organic material added? Or are you
totally depending on chemical fertilizers?
BTW... It's entirely normal for a Northwest lawn to go dormant in the
summer. The only part of my lawn that doesn't is part of my front lawn
that's under a big tree. There's a part of my front lawn, a small
8'x8'x5' triangle, that falls outside of this shade, and just keeping it
somewhat green takes as much water as my parents used to keep their
whole 1000 sq. ft. lawn in Wisconsin green. And it still doesn't look as
nice. Could it be the surrounding areas that aren't going dormant have
The pool was above ground, not inground. However, It was sitting on a
1-2 ft deep bed of sand. I did not remove the sand, just brought more
good soil and rototilled it. I thought it was enough but it sure
wasn't because that is the only spot that is dry and dormant despite
watering. The problem area is about 600 sq. ft. The rest of my approx.
4000 sq. ft lawn is doing all right.
I'm wondering if there is a way to amend the problem without having to
dig the area, remove the sandy soil and put good soil....
With the sand mixed in the soil, the drainage is much faster over this
patch than the rest of the yard.
Removal might not work, either. The soil you replace it with would
probably still be different than the rest of the yard. Time, as in
multiple years, may take care of that. Or not.
Rather than removing, and then trucking it away, spreading it around the
whole yard may help create more similar conditions, but you'd have to
work hard to get an even distribution, and there still is going to be a
difference in that spot for a few years to come. Either way, adding
organic material over the whole yard each year will help speed the
number of years until you can't tell the difference.
You'd be a year ahead of the game if you had trucked away the sand last
year, but even if you had, you'd still notice a difference this year.
And we're probably talking a half a decade or more before other people
won't be able to see the difference in the peak of summer, and a decade
before you can't see the difference.
You sure you want that big of a lawn? Do you need a play area for
yourself or the kids? Will it be serving a function? If not, considering
the amount of time and work it'll take to get an even looking lawn, this
might be a good time to consider some island beds. 4000 sq. ft. would
make one great garden with islands, and paths, and water features, and
other little surprises.
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