Soggy Yard in subdivision

Discussion in 'Lawn Care' started by Aces40love, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Aces40love

    Aces40love New Seed

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    Hi everyone. I have a lot in a subdivision that's roughly 1.0 acre. The topography and grade is good with no drainage problems. Here's the bad part: the soil has a lot of clay and seems like the earth never settled even after 12 years since the creation of the development. Whenever it rains, the yard holds so much water I sink maybe 2" or more. I'm wondering what I can do to correct this soggy yard since there is no grade or topo problem. I normally have to wait anywhere from 3-5 days to mow or else the lawn mower will create tracks and maybe even get stuck. What can I do to maybe correct this?
     
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  3. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Acres--Have you been to a garden center to ask someone (hopefully) knowledgable? Does the whole neighborhood have this problem and if so what have others done to correct it?
    In general, I thought one adds organic matter to clay to loosen the soil, create more pockets of air for plants to breathe. That might be hard to do in a lawn already established.

    I'll be curious to read what others suggest for this problem.
     
  4. Aces40love

    Aces40love New Seed

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    Hi! I talked to one person at a garden center and was told to spread a 1/2" layer of sand over the yard and also be sure to spray (or have someone do it) for weeds and also fertilizer. I get the yard treated by a lawn company and thy come out either 6 or 7 times a year. Last week, The lawn service tried to sell me something called a liquid core aeration treatment but didn't give a lot of specifics as to how it worked or the process.
     
  5. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Hmmm...I might want to ask someone else. And certainly ask around the neighborhood. I say that because the general thought about adding sand to clay is that it can become closer to concrete. I just googled that & read conflicting advice: "if you add sand be sure to add a lot, too little & you make the problem worse" and "if you add sand be sure to add very course sand, fine sand compounds the problem." The rest of the advice was recommendations to add compost or organic matter--lots of it over the years, and to avoid working (or mowing) the soil when it is wet. Working it then just compresses it and adds to its tendency to become like a rock when dried out.

    Hope this is helpful!
    An addendum: the ironic thing about improving soil is that ALL soils respond to organic matter. If your soil is too sandy, add organic matter. Too heavy & clay like? Add organic matter.....
     



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  6. Aces40love

    Aces40love New Seed

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    Thanks for the advice! I surely didn't know that about adding sand and will not do it now.

    The neighborhood in general has the same problem but mine seems worse than neighborng lots. One neighbor said they comletely re-graded the entire lot, had dirt shipped in and also re-sodded but I don't have the funds to do this. Another problem is that most of the lots have construction fill :(

    Please forgive my ignorance, but when you say organic matter are you talking about manure fertilizer or is it something I can ask for at a garden center?

    Thanks so much!
     
  7. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Compost, decomposed leaves; composted manure (cow, sheep, chicken, etc); any matter that was once alive & has now decomposed to a rich brown crumbly material. Do you have a compost pile? Do you compost your leaves in the fall? Allowing the grass clippings to simply fall into the lawn is supposed to help too, although of course only very gradually. If you keep spreading a thin coating of compost on your lawn every so often, that should help.

    But I wonder if you can't do something to improve drainage. A french drain?
     
  8. Aces40love

    Aces40love New Seed

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    I will take a picture tonight. That' the weird thing - I have good drainage overall, although there is a small area (maybe 3' wide by 2' long) where water slightly backs up by the concrete drive and does need a small french drain. Overall though, there's no standing water in the yard and decent grades. Since I'm a surveyor, I did a topo to make sure I wasn't crazy by thinking the grades were all ok. I really believe it's the clay based soil that's so bad. I'm surely not an expert on soils so I used NRCS to get a map of the soil type.

    Sounds like adding organic matter is the only way to go. I don't have a compost pile but may ask my folks if I can make one at their place since they have a lot of trees, etc. If not, maybe I can ask around and find a place to buy some.
     

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