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Stonescaping base layer

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GardenofWeeden, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Folks, we are currently doing a design in a newly constructed development. The bid is $15,000 to give you an idea on the sincerity from the customer. They have ZERO grass-they want ZERO grass. The yard is approximately 10,000 sq. ft. The condition of the soil is clay and sand. (Terrible.) Since nothing grew there initially, we graded the slope to 4 degrees for water drainage to the front of the property towards city drainage. We place River Surge (1-6") down in place of the grass. All is well at this point...so we thought. Then it rains after 10 days of no water at all. The soil turns to 'muck' and the rock is slowly sinking in to the soil. Prior to that rain,you couldn't get a shovel in the soil so my thought was it was compacted.
    Well, without adding more rock to stabilize the base, is there another alternative to limit the movement of the base layer and limit the 'muck' in the future? The customer has been great so we want to do the right thing. We have done this last year and didn't have these problems rain or shine.
    What can correct this? Thanks alot in advance.
  2. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Did you put anything under the initail spreading of the 1-6", or if I read correctly, it is on exposed soil,right? What about plantings and trees / shrubs?Are you prepared to remove all the stone and rinse and re-apply? Are there any traffic avenues through the rock? You are going to need a geo mat or some heavy poly matting used to line nursery runs. You need something for the water to run on top of, rather than through, under the stone.You may even look into using a soil binding polymer , such as Poly Pavement, under the stone with no matting or fabric. A 4% grade should be more than sufficient to direct the water away with proper base prep. Even any type of fabric, doubled, should do fine.
  3. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Did I put anything under the stone? No. My mistake in analysis was thinking the harden earth wouldn't reap so much mud. Long story short. We are doing a lot of earth work so my miscalculation is why I felt the ground was hard enough. It hasn't seen rain for some time nor did I find any evidence of runoff prior to engaging in placement of the stone and that led me to my mistake. Sooooooo...The other side of the lawn is fine. The grade on the problem area is such to 'smooth out the edges' on the property.
    I am looking in to a River Birch but the customer has a 5 year old Crepe Myrtle there now. The other side has a Willow Tree and that will soak up the water, although there is no problem there (yet).

    She's been fantastic about the situation...so I will look in to the Poly Pavement. Just want to learn from this and get it right for the customer.

    We removed most of the rock and have it set aside to rinse. With the rain in Eastern VA...I have time to figure this out. Any additional info would be appreciated.
  4. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Tell me about the rain..it hasn't stopped here in three days..geesh..

    Check out the poly pavement here:www.polypavement.com
  5. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Is this the " muck ", clay or something with the consistency of jello pudding?
    If it's Jello, then it will have to be removed. If it's clay then a proper geo-fabric should be adequate.

  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    You needed to put down fabric under the rock. The fabric will not only help to keep the rock out of the soil (or vice versa), it will also act as a weed suppressant. Get the good stuff; woven with a fuzzy bottom side. It comes in all kinds of widths and lengths.

    Good luck.

  7. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Great. I checked out Poly-Pavement..and the fabric. Looks like the fabric is going to win. The Poly Pavement is a great idea, but with no expirience with it after this mistake...fabric sounds like a bit of work...but a great lesson in the future. Thanks guys!!
  8. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    No problem. Just make sure to use enough staples to hold the fabric in place under all that rock. You don't want it shifting or tearing under the rock. Be sure to overlap the seams at least 10-12", and use a pre em or granular weed control over the top of the rock after reinstallation. Some sediment will still be on the rock, and create pockets for weed seeds to germinate after the rock gets rained on a few times. Upsell some weed prevention and maintenance for next year to them before you are done. Best of luck! :waving:
  9. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    I am also in Virginia and I always use some type of geo-textile under stone mulch. The thing to remember about clay is that it is very unstable and plastic when wet. Sounds like you are on the right path to correct this job---at least you aren't having to invest in lots of new materials or throw away anything. Just remember to cut away the excess fabric along the edges of the area so there is no fabric visible when you are done. And the overlap and staples are essential.
  10. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Thanks again. Not as costly as I had thought but I will let you know how it works out. Bad error in judgement on soil. I'll get pictures for later.

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