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Can this job be done anytime soon?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by turfsolutions, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    I haven't posted an install question for quite some time, but I never have dealt with this situation. I installed a lawn across the street from the property in question about 3 weeks ago using a skidsteer and harley rake. Prepared a beutiful seedbed and now they have a young but nice tall fescue lawn.

    The property across the street is another customer of mine. They just had a pool installed and the pool company left a pile of topsoil. They spread the subsoil around the pool. They didn't even spread the topsoil pile they made. No grading either. The subsoil is almost pure clay. Here in southeast Pa. it has been cool and there has been rain at least once a week for the last 2-3 weeks.

    The problem is that the subsoil spread around the pool will not drain. There is puddles even though it hasn't rained here for a week and no other property around has standing water. I don't forsee this property drying for quite awhile, maybe even next season. The harley rake is out of the question, I don't even know if a skidsteer would be possible with these heavy clay conditions.

  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    A good rule of thumb to follow is to always stay off wet soil, especially with heavy equipment. If you can put it off until it dries, even if it means next year, you'll be doing the soil a favor.
  3. little green guy

    little green guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 955

    I did a similair job back in May when it was REALY wet. I had a customer who had a pool put in and we had to do all the grading around the pool. The area around it was also all clay and would not drian and I had to bring in about 180 tons of fill dirt and 40 yards of topsoil to get the area graded right. The customer wanted it done and didn't care too much that I told him it was too wet, he paid for whatever it took to get the job done so we did it.

    I started with a skid steer and about 10 minuts into the job it was buried about 2 feet deep in the mud. So I brought the 4wd backhoe to the job, pulled the skid steer 30' to solid ground and moved all the dirt with the backhoe. I ended up having to dig down about 2' to solid ground and build a road for the backhoe. Then when all the dirt was moved I had a guy come in with an excavator and get it pretty close to finish grade. I then waited for it to dry out and brought the skid steer back, got a final grade with that and then spread all the topsoil and seeded it.

    So what i'm saying is that if it absolutly has to be done it can be, but if you can wait I would.
  4. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073


    I agree with everyone else and say that the best solution at this point is to wait it out.

    If the site really is as wet as you say it is, then perhaps there is a drainage issue, and maybe, a drainage system shoud be implemented to help move some of the water out now, and to keep the area dry later.

    If the job really, really has to be done, then I would go along with little green and suggest the use of a excavator. you can grade muddle soil much easier using a excavator than with a skidsteer or tractor. The only problem is, it will be very hard to get final grade exact(or to add topsoil), and will take more time.

    Money talks at this point.....if they want to spend it, then it can be done. Just a matter of how much they are willing to part with and how bad they really want the job done.


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