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Your solution for a damp, thin area?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GarPA, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Customer has a shaded area at the rear of home that gets lttle sun and when it rains allot, the area gets a bit muddy and the dog brings mud into the house. Its not a drainage issue so much as grass wont grow there. Customer does not want to go to the expense of pavers. Area about 150 sq ft. Hardscaping is not our strong suit so I would appreciate any ideas you may have. I was thinking about using large river stone(I think thats what its called...looks like large dinosaur eggs..rounded, smooth). Dig down a few inches, lay heavy landscape fabric, perhaps some crushed stone. level, and lay the river stone. Wont be easy to shovel off but customer wants and inexpensive solution to the dirty dog issue

    If you care to, I would greatly appreciate your swag on what you would charge for the approach you would use. Thanks in advance for your advice
  2. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    You have a situation almost identical to one I am beginning this weekend into next week. Down here in SE VA, builders scrape most of the good top soil away and lay sod on a mostly clay base. We all know what happens to clay when it gets wet. 5th wettest uear on record last year here so the sod was always wet and the clay base hase oozed into it. Now it is mud every time it rains. I intend to sod cut 2-3"" of the effected area and slope area gently to #57 tan stone walkway. The walkway will be tapered to a low spot in the center at about 4-5" deep where water will drain towards the side of the property. Water will drain under the walk to Wick drains that will carry the water to the sides of the property and then downt to the street. In the other areas where sod was removed I will grade in about 1/2-3/4 of sand and then lay in new sod over the top. The sand will provide a barrier between the clay and sod where water can leach toward the drain. There is edging to be installed and fabric under the walk so all in all about a $1,600 job.
    If I had to keep costs down, I would have not installed the path or edging and put 3/4-1" of sand between the clay and sod.
    Hope this helps
  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    GarPa - can you make a bed out of the area and throw in a few serviceberry or other shade tolerant bushes and plant pachysandra in the entire bed?
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    no I cant put plants in there because its at the rear exit of the home...I also thought about trying to find those big, heavy rubber mats like we used to see in the "old days" laying at peoples front doors. Put some fabric under it and done...but I honestly dont know if that will work either...I'm a little our of my league on this kind of problem.
  5. Danimal

    Danimal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    I had a customer with the same problem before ,that was the solution I came up with but I never got to do it. I came to mow a few weeks later and someone else had installed my design. I was ticked but it looked good and it fixed the problem.
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    which sloution? the mat or another one?
  7. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    What about sodding the area? sounds like it has plenty of moisture so it may not have to be watered daily, instant grass. Perhaps you might can use a shade fescue maybe. Other option i guess it a stone area, river pebbles perhaps as an informal seating area or patio. Shouldnt bee too expensive for 150sq. ft.
  8. mmacsek

    mmacsek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 547

    The only problem I see with the river rock is cleaning up after the dog. It is not the easiest thing to do. The river rock isn't cheap either, though it is a small area. I'm no help with what to plant because of the dog. Keep us posted on what you do. Matt
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    sod wont work since it gets only about 3 hours of partial sun...and somwhere I heard/read that any kind of seed, fescue included needs 5 ot 6 hours of sun to sustain itself. But maybe I'm wrong on that.

    ANyone have any idea where I could buy one of those heavy runner mats...a couple of big ones?..this guy on the other side of 70 so he doesn't care how it looks, just something to keep the pooch off the mud.

    MMacsek..good point about the river stone and doggy droppings...nope that wont work now that you mention it.
    Back to the drawing board I guess
  10. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    Have you tried a creeping red fescue or some other shade fescue. Ive had good results with shade seed.

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