clay soil

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,548

    I've got a house that has one area that stays wet all the time. It might be only a couple hundred square feet. I've pull soil cores and it appears to be thick grey and orange clay. From the core the first few inches are good brown soil and then you hit the clay. Some cores are only 6 inches deep, but some I can "punch" through the clay and get a good 18-20" core.

    They just had some landscaping done and around the new bushes it is very soupy. It has been wet and cool here so things stay damp a lot longer. I'm figuring the clay was so hard that when digging the holes for the plants it may have created a "bowl" that holds the water. I do know that this area stays damp all year long even in the summer.

    What can I do to aid in the drainage and loosen the clay? I was thinking that I could just take a few deep core pulls everytime I'm there and over time it would loosen everything up. Didn't know if there was a better approach. Should I fill the holes with sand or peat? I don't have much clay in my area so I'm clueless. Ideas?
  2. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,899

    First off...clay is crap. We have clay loam here in MN and I dislike it (being from loam rich Iowa). Dries out like a brick when hot and no rainfall, and if too much, water ponds up and waterlogs plantings.

    I assume you are speaking of the lawn and not landscaping, right? If so, core aerate the living dickens out of that area and topdress with compost (or peat if it is right for your area). Then repeat this again and again and again to improve the soil structure gradually. Thats my 2 cents.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,230

    The only cure for bad drainage is good drainage. If you cannot recontour to achieve good surface runoff and no puddles,...then you have to get a company to dig a trench and install drainage tubing. Or do the same yourself.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I'm with Riggle on this one... I would personally take a shovel to the lowest spot of the indent and dig a drain hole under the sod, removing all the clay thats there and replacing it with sandy compost mixture... then put the rest of the area on a long term aeration strategy...

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