Drainage issues on a Slope help.

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by gob71, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. gob71

    gob71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    In the last year a section of my yard on a slope has got where it WILL NOT dry up. When I walk on it its mushy and just really wet. I can dig down 6-7 in and the soil is soaked it seems like. Before the fence it was nice and had some of the best grass in the yard, but since the fence went up a little over a year ago it has gone to crap. After the lack of sun really thinned out the grass, Moles moved in really tore/rutted the ground. I guess from me walking on it every day just made it worse. When I don't get at the bottom of the hill/slope the ground is fine and dry. Any ideas what I can do? Its been multiple days of hot weather and no rain with no change. Its not just the part with no grass, it extends out into the grass 2-3 feet, and those parts get PLENTY of sun. Right now its early in the AM and the sun isn't't hitting them, but later it does except for the closet part to the fence. Its only on the sloped part too in that one 20 ft stretch, rest of the yard is great. Instead of trying it grass again next to the fence the wife wanted to plant some ground cover so I let her have at it. In the last pic, its mushy 2-3 feet into the grass and for 10 or 20 feet towards the house. I don't think its the fence because since the ground is fine next to the house and gate and fence by the house, its only here near the back.





  2. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    do you have fences on both sides of your lawn? how much sunlight does the very back get and along the fence? it looks like your fence goes down to the soil line, does it? does it go lower than the soil line?
  3. gob71

    gob71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I have a fence on both sides of the yard, but only this side has trouble. the other side gets full sun on my side, and the neighbor side doesn't( like this side here), yet doesnt have the same issues as here. When we built the fence we went to the ground,/grass with the pickets. If its lower than the soil line, its not by much from washing of the dirt or us raking. The very back gets only a few hours of sun, and the closet to the fence(all dirt) gets none, hence the reason its now all dirt. What I don't get is that its mushy the most on the slope, yet not at the bottom where the fence meets the open wire fence, at the bottom of the slope. I would have thought it would be worse there but it is not.
  4. jbc1013

    jbc1013 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Looks like an opportunity to plant some shrubs/trees that like wet, boggy conditions. This link is full of good ideas for native plant material that likes those types of conditions, and will not take any alteration of your site. Much less expense and work and ongoing maintenance than trying to make it a well drained area.
  5. lrvjim

    lrvjim LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 7

    Do you have a septic tank? If yes, where is your drain field located?
  6. gob71

    gob71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    NO we do not.
  7. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    heres my thinking, grass won't grow there. best idea is plants that love shade and wet feet ( wet soil ). on the reason why that spot doesn't dry out ( i might be reaching ) low sun light, but the major reason is the fence is stopping the wind from hitting that area.
  8. gob71

    gob71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    So I had some free time today to watch and see how much sun this area gets. 1-1/2 ft from the fence gets little to no sun where it is just about all dirt. The rest gets lots of sun, more than enough that would dry it out. In the area where the grass is really declining I am wondering if its compacted with fill dirt under it from when the house was built and its not draining well in those spots. Is this possible. Looking at the pics, the wet spot is runs from the 2nd,3rd and 4th to last Fence panel, 4-5 feet out on that generous slope. It dries out fine by the last fence panel at the bottom of the slope that gets less sun then the other spots. It makes no sense. If I was to do a dry well would this help? I thought about tilling,adding sand and then more sod, or just aerate then use river sand. Any more ideas?
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Keep that 1 1/2 foot of dead zone along the fence tilled up for a while and see if that relieves the pressure from th rest of the lawn... Think of it as a crack in a concrete floor, in a flooded basement...

    Anyways, it does look like compaction from too much water, so after a while you should be able to plant Hostas along the border and keep it drained...
  10. gob71

    gob71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Today I dug roughly 4-5 3 ft deep holes with my post hole diggers in that area. There was some clay layer roughly1 ft down but not a whole lot of it . I am thinking of using some of that black drainage pipe put down in the holes covered in a silt sock, filled with gravel and the last 3-4 in from the top being sandy soil with grass...anyone see any issues with this? or should I just use the silt sock and gravel to fill the holes and then cover with sand and grass? I am hoping this might act to weep out the excessive water in the soil

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