I'm after some advice on the best way to prepare heavy clay soil fo
The back garden is approx 36ft wide (level in this direction), and 30f
long - sloping downhill away from the house (overall approx 2ft drop)
Over the last 4-5 weekends I've been levelling it into terraces, an
now it looks like this (starting nearest the house):-
- First 6ft will eventually be paved
- then 1ft drop onto lawn area (will eventually have a retaining wall)
- Approx 15ft of lawn
- further 1ft drop onto barked area
I've got the lawn area level, but in the process I've dug out most o
the topsoil from the "high part" nearest the house, and used it to fil
up the "low part" of the lawn area to get it level. Where I've remove
this topsoil I've hit red/brown clay, which runs in a strip the ful
width of the garden - approx 1-2ft wide at one end, but more like 4 f
once you reach the other end. As you move away from the house the cla
layer slopes down, so the topsoil therefore gets deeper and is probabl
a foot deep at the far end of the lawn area.
I've spread 2-3 inches of topsoil back over the clay, but after an
rain we see a lot of small puddles on this area of the ground, an
walking on it feels like quicksand in places.
I've read various articles on what's best, these include:
- rotavating in grit sand, but needs huge amounts to make a differenc
- create soakaways, but I've read that they silt up and aren't wort
- just turf it, then aerate and topdress with sand each year
- spread 2 inches of "turfing sand" on the ground then lay turf ont
that (never found out what turfing sand is!)
I also read an article on this site about putting drainage along th
top edge of the lawn to stop water from higher ground ever reaching i
in the first place. This makes sense, but will it help in my situation
The highest terrace (nearest the house) is only 6ft wide, so I can't se
there being that much water coming from up there? If I do go with thi
drainage idea, what sort of drain is best?
After the jubilation of finishing the garden levelling (by hand!), I'
starting to get disheartened after seeing it turn into mush with th
recent rain! Or am I worrying unnecessarily - we wouldn't go out int
the garden at this time of year? We've only been in the house a fe
months so what would we expect in the summer - will we have th
opposite problem of having the ground turn to concrete instead?
So many questions! Thanks in advance