top soil & clay

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Green-Pro, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    I got a small area of lawn (home addition) that needs repaired. The guy had the whole nine yards done putting on this addition, that is he had the basement expanded as well as the house. That being the case the contractor left him with the pile of excavated material in case he needed fill for settling. I started to take down the pile, smooth it out, planned on running harrow over it. I get about two thirds of the way down this dirt and its bad sticky clay, the more you touch it the harder it packs.

    Question is if I don't remove the clay would anyone have any input as to adding some good black topsoil and taking say a Dingo with a tiller attachment and going over it? Sand is out of the question it will bind to the clay and make things worse I think.

    I just want to check with some of you folks to see if I'm on the right track, I really don't want to and don't have the time to excavate it. I want to try and mix it good enough to seed.


  2. Old Red

    Old Red LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    I don't know if your "bad sticky clay" is as bad or badder than my "bad sticky clay" but if it's not some gunk you could make pottery with you could till in a couple inches of topsoil, maybe a topsoil/compost mix and then cover it with another inch or so of topsoil. Soil test might be an idea here.
  3. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Its my opinion that you should take the time to remove the clay now. It may be a pain, but you'll thank youself later on.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I totaly agree get rid of as much as you can now and don't mess with it.I work in clay all the time and you have to add yards of organic material just to get it workable.Clay is full of nutrients but the flip side is loss of drainage and if you want a nice lawn,that's #1 requirement.
  5. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Exactly. I have tilled 3-1 organic to clay to the depth of 10" I does a very nice job for a new lawn area. However if you have to much fill in the first place you will have to get rid of it to do this. In my last house I kept all of my grass clippings for the year and just dumped them in the back yard(before it was a yard). In septmeber I tilled it all in. Yep nice and slimmy and good smelling. then I added all of the leaves from that season. Tilled again in april and seeded. This was 3 years ago. We sold this last january and the reason that they purchased was the grass in the back yard was the best they have ever seen, as a whole. I have done a couple of soil tests and the only thing I have had to add was a 5lbs per thou of Lime. I haven't needed to fert other than strait mulching on it. The clay became very workable from the organic material. Now the other New construction I do, I till 2.7 yards of compost to every 27 sq ft and till to 10". This actually comes out cheaper than 3-4" of topsoil.

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