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Old 12-29-2013, 03:10 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is online now
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Topdressing for poor drainage- maybe 1"+

I have an area in my lawn that is the low spot. It drains poorly( core aerate twice last year). Must be a layer of clay under the topsoil layer. It collect rain and run off from the house. It isn't a big area but might be 1500-2000 sq ft.

I have celebration Bermuda.

I thought about top dressing the area a little at the time to raise the low spot up? I thought I might be able to use the bagged playground sand found at home improvement stores in a push spreader??

How would you solve this?

Top dress a little at the time? Let the grass get tall and put a very thick layer down and rake it to pull runners to top?
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:21 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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Replace the rootzone with sand. Bermuda can be topdressed with with so much sand that you only see green shoots out of the top of the sand. Witness what happens to people that think they can bury bermuda and plant something else over the top. Bermuda always comes back.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:51 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is online now
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I think an underground drainage tube is the best solution. Collect the roof runoff and send it downhill somewhere. Surface drainage swales or slight valleys that you can still mow over without problems yet direct the water to a lower outlet might work. You need a level, or surveyors transit (or laser leveler) to be sure the grade is correct. One percent grade (one inch drop over a hundred inches might work. Three percent is better.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:01 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is online now
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Originally Posted by greendoctor View Post
Replace the rootzone with sand. Bermuda can be topdressed with with so much sand that you only see green shoots out of the top of the sand. Witness what happens to people that think they can bury bermuda and plant something else over the top. Bermuda always comes back.
I figured Bermuda would come back in no time. I've seen it done on golf courses a ton.

I'm assuming it is best to wait til it is back actively growing and hit it with a high nitrogen fertilizer before top dressing that heavy?
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:59 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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Yes. Biggest mistake is to perform these potentially traumatic operations on bermuda that is not actively growing. I do not scalp and dethach any lawns at this time of the year. I even raise my height of cut by 1/4". I also have nothing to do with lawns I have not been fertilizing and are not watered correctly. Reason; when the grass fails to grow back, all of my warnings concerning touching grass when it is not growing well are forgotten. Its now my fault that that the weeds are now growing better than the grass is.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:18 PM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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I would add: find out if you do have clay below. If so, even aggressive top dressing may just move the wet spot a few feet. It's best to have a destination in mind when trying to redirect drainage water. Ideally, any drain tile you install should run to daylight. In your case, I would be inclined to mark the deepest spot next time it is wet, then dig a hole a couple feet in diameter 3-4' deep, back fill with stone, and replace the sod. This will give you some idea of the volume of water causing your problem - it could even take care of it (despite not running to daylight). If the stone filled hole does not improve things significantly then you probably need more work than topdressing.

All that said, it is quite possible that adding as much sand and you will need to cover 1,500-2,000 square feet an inch or more deep (eventually) will be enough to mask your drainage problem, meaning that even if you are not able to establish positive surface drainage the volume of sand you put down may keep the surface dry enough for mowing purposes. Good luck with it.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:58 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is online now
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Originally Posted by foreplease View Post
I would add: find out if you do have clay below. If so, even aggressive top dressing may just move the wet spot a few feet. It's best to have a destination in mind when trying to redirect drainage water. Ideally, any drain tile you install should run to daylight. In your case, I would be inclined to mark the deepest spot next time it is wet, then dig a hole a couple feet in diameter 3-4' deep, back fill with stone, and replace the sod. This will give you some idea of the volume of water causing your problem - it could even take care of it (despite not running to daylight). If the stone filled hole does not improve things significantly then you probably need more work than topdressing.

All that said, it is quite possible that adding as much sand and you will need to cover 1,500-2,000 square feet an inch or more deep (eventually) will be enough to mask your drainage problem, meaning that even if you are not able to establish positive surface drainage the volume of sand you put down may keep the surface dry enough for mowing purposes. Good luck with it.
I like your idea of digging the hole and filling with stone. I'm assuming if I dig it deep enough and cover the stone with 3-4" of soil and then the sod it would hold up good.

Maybe 2-4 holes with a post hole digger will solve my problem. Might even help break through the clay

I do have some clay below a few inches of topsoil. It's the grey sticky type with a little orange mixed in. I found it last year while planting some shrubs.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:17 AM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Yes, your sod should be fine. I've done what we're talking about and inserted a rigid piece of drain tile vertically, then pumped out of it when necessary as a temporary fix on baseball fields. Whatever it takes to gets games in sometimes.

Gravity is going to take over either way you go. If you can accomplish by taking it straight down it will be less work and less impact on other areas.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:29 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassmasterswilson View Post
I like your idea of digging the hole and filling with stone. I'm assuming if I dig it deep enough and cover the stone with 3-4" of soil and then the sod it would hold up good.

Maybe 2-4 holes with a post hole digger will solve my problem. Might even help break through the clay

I do have some clay below a few inches of topsoil. It's the grey sticky type with a little orange mixed in. I found it last year while planting some shrubs.
Before you go the stone route, you might just dig some holes with your post hole digger as deep as you can and backfill with sand-compost.

No good just dumping a bunch of rock in a hole (i.e. a dry well) without properly constructing it to ensure long term functionality.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:35 AM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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I don't disagree. As far as that goes, not backfilling at all for a few days - if you can keep it safe - would be even better. How those columns perform will tell you a lot. A photo would help here.
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