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Looking for ideas with my back patio (large pictures)

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by pcm2a, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. pcm2a

    pcm2a LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Evening everyone! When I purchased my home a couple years ago they had just made this nice concrete patio and put some mulch around the side. It looked beautiful for a short while. After a while alot of the mulch went away, you could see the rocks underneath, grass grew into the mulch, etc, etc.

    There is also a severe problem with rain runoff on one side washing away the mulch and some of the dirt.

    The first thing I tried to do was put some stone edging around the edge. This keeps the grass out, but when I put new mulch down it piles up at the bottom.

    The second thing I tried was to make a nice walkway where the worst rain runoff area is. To do this I put down a retaining border, filled it with some sand, and put down red stone. All the sand washed away and now the stone moves around and looks terrible.

    What I'm looking for are ideas to fix up this area that I can do myself for less than $1000.

    My big idea right now is to take the whole 10 foot slanted side, make it smooth and flat with dirt. Next put some kind of a weed tarp over it to keep the rain from washing the dirt away. Finally paving the whole side with small paving blocks, you know the little 5 inch stones from Lowes that lock together. Does anyone like that idea? Pictures below and thanks!




    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    is the water coming from the gutters or the patio itself
  3. pcm2a

    pcm2a LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    It's coming from the patio and not the gutters. It's also not like one giant stream of water going across the patio, it's just a normal small slant to keep the water from pooling up I guess.
  4. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    That slope is too steep. Cheap solution - add soil (maybe 10 cubic yards) into the lawn so that the slope is more gradual. If you want to keep the garden bed you will need a short retaining wall to make the bed flatter (2% slope would be adequate).
  5. Elden

    Elden LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    I say make a small french drain and run is along the edge of the patio. Tie in the gutter run it down the back of the house lay fabric and rock over the rest of the slope. Then build a small wood deck around the concrete patio. Keep it simple and the same height
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,001

    The cheapes way is to plant monkey grass and keep it mulched with pine straw until it fills in
  7. pcm2a

    pcm2a LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Thanks for all the ideas guys and keep them coming!

    The monkey grass idea would be cheap but so much trouble to deal with the monkey grass down the road, yuck! I also don't have the experience necessary to build a small deck around the edge, but that was one of my original ideas if I wanted to hire out the job (and still might).

    Creating some kind of drain around the edge doesn't sound like an impossible idea, neither does building a retaining wall. I hate to make the area any bigger though, by that I mean I don't want to add 5 feet of dirt out into my yard to make the slope less.

    My parents idea was to go with the retaining wall and make steps out of blocks or wood ties.

    I'll have to read up more on french drains.
  8. Rcgm

    Rcgm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 314

    Just like the other guy said. I would get a 4 in perf pipe cap it at one end up by the house make it fall towards your walk way use a T connector tap it into that white downspout and the run it out to the yard I would bury it though. Then LOL I would make a sweet retaining wall flower bed around that patio and fill it with all kinds of flowers. I would use Black eyed susans, Daiseys,some Daylillies, Liropes, and a few annuals.

  9. Your Lawn First

    Your Lawn First LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    There is no way this is caused by the run off of the water to bed. This is as simple as the slope is way to big for as little as the bed is. Someone said add soil and make it flat, this is right on the head the bed is way to small and the slope is way to big, has nothing to do with the run off of the water from the patio. Also how long has it been since you added mulch or did some work on this ? Looks like ot me it has not been touched since you moved in ? Move the bed out two feet and add some more soil to make it more flat and then put your mulch down going to coast you less then $300 and I will bet you this works
  10. pcm2a

    pcm2a LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Making the bed bigger either means I have to deal with a bigger mulched area or I have to deal with trying to seed new dirt. I do agree that making the bed flatter would probably solve the water runoff problem.

    The last time I filled in the area with dirt in the big erroded areas and mulch all over the top was end of last year, sometime in November. I have dirt/mulched that area 4 times since I moved in about 2.5 years ago. It doesnt last long as you can see.

    If I create a french drain system around the whole top of the patio, wouldn't I be able to leave the bed the size that it is with the steep slope?

    I think I should also take out my red 3 inch tall decorative border and replace it with double stacked 5inch blocks to make a 10 inch wall. That would help flatten it out just a tad.

    I'm going out in a bit to buy some tarp and pipe to see if I can lay down the foundation to the french drain and I'll take lots of pictures to post up here.

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