Looking for advice on a lawn that has poor drainage.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by sandman512, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    What I meant is to do this in the side wall of your pit. A 10 on resistance is not being able to push the screw driver in at all without a hammer.
     
  2. sandman512

    sandman512 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Gotcha. I have to dig another hole. FWIW, the hole was a little less then 2 feet. The top several inches were compact and getting the rest out was fairly easy, not compact at all. I scooped out some by hand and it was fairly loose.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Now you have the answer to your question. From the pictures it all looks like the same weird colored dirt, but from your description it is evidently clay put down on top of a sandier and stoney soil...

    At least it is 'assumed' that the reason it was looser under the first couple of inches...

    Personally, I would try a multiple pass, plug pulling aeration then topdress with compost... If its only the first couple of inches creating the problem it would be the cheapest way to go...
     
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Dig in another location. The more places you dig to see what is going on the better. Dig until you hit native soil. That is the soil you are looking for, and what condition it is in. That said, if it is at 2 feet or deeper, your options to alleviate any perched water as a result of that layer will be limited. Chances are you are also over irrigating, so that isn't making things any better.

    The top soil was probably rolled, so it would be expected to have a higher density than the fill soil. The level of compaction varies pretty widely with respect to impacts, so what you might consider really compacted might not be that compacted at all. In an ideal world you would be using a penetrometer to take your measurements, but the screw driver will work for a rough idea.
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    I have my doubts as to the topsoil being the problem, or for that matter even clay, although it does appear to have some clay in it looking at the foot steps.

    If it were highly compacted clay, chances you would be seeing puddles after a rain or irrigation event given the "swamp" like conditions.

    A fall time coring with some seed and compost top dress would be a good idea just to fill in the lawn and get some organic matter into that soil.
     
  6. sandman512

    sandman512 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Axe,
    I will try your idea.
    Kiril,
    I will dig and try and native soil, keep in mind that this section of lawn was back filled due to a severe slope in the yard. I would say, at the highest point to dig to native soil is probably 6 feet. Let me see what I can do(I'll dig near the retaining wall)

    QUESTION? Aerating at this time? Good idea/Bad Idea?
     
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    BTW .... if you let me know where you live (PM me) I will pull a soil report so you will know what to look for with regard to your native soil.
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Bad idea. Fall and spring (in that order) are the best times to aerate cool season grasses.

    I wouldn't dig near the retaining wall, that is where I would expect the fill soil to be the deepest. What direction and % slope was the original land with respect to your house and pics?
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Kiril is correct... plugging in the heat of summer is dangerous in that the grasses are not really actively growing, but maintaining even up hre in Wisco... BTW, where are you from???
     
  10. sandman512

    sandman512 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Actually the retaining wall is on rear of the property. The slope was from the rear of my house towards the rear of the property. So by putting the wall in the rear of the property and filling it, we were able to have a lawn area. Not sure of the slope. My area is Suffolk county, new York.
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