Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-09-2013, 06:59 PM
OakNut's Avatar
OakNut OakNut is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,270
Ghosts of Sidewalks Past - What Causes It?

About 15 years ago, we had a sidewalk that went across the lawn to the front corner out at the end of the driveway. For convenience, we had the sidewalk removed and had a walk installed that ran directly to the driveway to the side instead of all the way out near the street.
We watched the walkway being broken up and removed. A load of topsoil was delivered and the whole front (only about 35' square) was covered to smooth it out and new seed was planted.

All is well - grass is green. UNTIL we get a dry spell.
Any time we get a dry spell you will note that the area where the original sidewalk was will begin to turn brown and the "ghost" of the old sidewalk can be seen.

I assume it has something to do with whatever leeches out of concrete that stays in the ground is causing this, but I don't know exactly what.

Anyone know?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-09-2013, 07:07 PM
macgyver_GA macgyver_GA is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Canton, GA
Posts: 815
Could also buy that the new topsoil drains better than the surrounding soil causing the turf to dry out faster which would in turn show drought stress sooner.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-09-2013, 07:19 PM
weeze's Avatar
weeze weeze is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: weezertonfieldville, AL
Posts: 5,222
we have that problem where the septic tank is and fill lines or something during the hot/dry months like july and august. it's like there will be a brown rectangle and then these shapes in the yard like this ))). it's really weird.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-09-2013, 07:50 PM
herler herler is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,225
It's going to take extensive work to solve it, not so much money but I am thinking you first wait until fall, then bring in another cubic yard of dirt and AFTER YOU CALL MISS UTILITY because it is the law, what you do once they are done marking the lines, with a tiller you work the entire sidewalk area and about 6-8 feet to either side you want to till up all of that and go deep and blend in old soil and sidewalk soil and the dirt you just brought in, thoroughly work all of that in and through and back and forth and up and down and left to right too, old, existing, and new maybe even go diagonals for all I care but make sure it is thorough.

Probably take a few hours, I think you can get away with renting a rear-tine tiller for half a day cost you $25 to $40 or so but maybe check out the whole day's rental then you have time...

Once that is done, seed heavily and do what you normally do.

Oh yeah...
And if you find a power main and shock yourself to death because you were sure or someone else was sure there was absolutely nothing in ways of power lines or gas or water or cable in that area?
That's your fault, good luck dealing with that.
So call Miss Utility before you dig, it is the law.
Yes, it really is.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:26 PM
OakNut's Avatar
OakNut OakNut is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by herler View Post
It's going to take extensive work to solve it, not so much money but I am thinking you first wait until fall, then bring in another cubic yard of dirt and AFTER YOU CALL MISS UTILITY because it is the law, what you do once they are done marking the lines, with a tiller you work the entire sidewalk area and about 6-8 feet to either side you want to till up all of that and go deep and blend in old soil and sidewalk soil and the dirt you just brought in, thoroughly work all of that in and through and back and forth and up and down and left to right too, old, existing, and new maybe even go diagonals for all I care but make sure it is thorough.

Probably take a few hours, I think you can get away with renting a rear-tine tiller for half a day cost you $25 to $40 or so but maybe check out the whole day's rental then you have time...

Once that is done, seed heavily and do what you normally do.

Oh yeah...
And if you find a power main and shock yourself to death because you were sure or someone else was sure there was absolutely nothing in ways of power lines or gas or water or cable in that area?
That's your fault, good luck dealing with that.
So call Miss Utility before you dig, it is the law.
Yes, it really is.

Sounds like having a facelift to get rid of a pimple.


Meh. It looks good more than it looks bad. It's not worth that much trouble.
The ghost can stay.

I wonder if one of those paranormal shows would want to do a show on this phenomenon?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-10-2013, 05:32 AM
Richard Martin's Avatar
Richard Martin Richard Martin is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 14,466
Concrete leeches alkalines. If you check the pH you'll probably find the soil is well above 7.0. The easiest way to lower the pH is to water the area with Miracid.
__________________
Serving Greenville, Winterville and Ayden NC


Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-10-2013, 05:46 AM
Richard Martin's Avatar
Richard Martin Richard Martin is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 14,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by weeze View Post
we have that problem where the septic tank is and fill lines or something during the hot/dry months like july and august. it's like there will be a brown rectangle and then these shapes in the yard like this ))). it's really weird.
This is a completely different problem. Actually 2.

The brown rectangle is from the tank top or the distribution box. The soil on top of them is simply not thick enough to retain water for very long.

The other lines are probably related to the leech field and lines. The leech field is designed to get rid of fluids into the surrounding soil as fast as possible. Some of those fluids come out of the tank and distribution box and some of the fluids fall out of clouds. Those areas where the grass dries up is actually a good thing. It means your expensive drain field is still working.
__________________
Serving Greenville, Winterville and Ayden NC


Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-10-2013, 08:46 AM
kawakx125 kawakx125 is online now
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: lees summit, mo
Posts: 851
limestone is a key ingredient in concrete, as stated above take 2 soil samples one from good part and one from ghost and compare
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-10-2013, 08:52 AM
TriCityLawnCareLLC's Avatar
TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 975
I was told that the grass isn't able to get enough root zone. I see this with drain lines that run parallel with the street. An expert i ran into said that when they bury the drain they backfill but it isn't enough to allow the grass to get good roots.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-10-2013, 03:37 PM
OakNut's Avatar
OakNut OakNut is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,270
I wonder if changing the PH where the walk used to be would change the appearance of the grass there when it's not dry.

Would the area THEN look different (greener?) when we are having normal weather, now giving a "ghost" when it's NOT dry? LOL
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:51 PM.

Page generated in 0.08131 seconds with 7 queries