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linboomer 05-07-2009 08:00 AM

backfill & grass over a gravel trench ???
Hello. I have relatively large pools of water forming in my backyard every time it rains. My lot is at the bottom of a large hill so I get all the neighbours runoff, also I have very clayey soil so it takes forever to infiltrate.
I am planning on digging a trench, approximately 100' long, 12" deep at the start, sloping to 16-24" at the end to drain the water to an already swampy vacant lot next to my property.
I am going to line the trench with landscape fabric, then place perforated pipe and clearstone. I intend to provide enough fabric so that I can then extend or wrap the fabric over the top of the pipe/gravel "tube" before I backfill it with soil.
What I am wondering is can I plant grass on the soil over top of the gravelled trench?
How thick of a layer of soil over top of the gravel would I need to ensure that the grass has enough to grow in and be healthy?
This will influence how deep I have to dig to place the trench, in other words, if I need 4" of soil for healthy grass and my trench is 12" deep, that only leaves me with a remaining 8" for the pipe and gravel. Is 4" enough?
Will the water drain through the soil too quickly to allow the grass to grow?
Any advice would be appreciated.

4just1don 05-07-2009 10:09 AM

grass over that trench will definitely be droughtier.

rob williams 05-08-2009 08:26 AM

If I were you I would make the trench deeper. I would go at least 24" deep because you'll need to put 2-3" of gravel down first,then the perforated pipe with silt sleeve,then more gravel,then 2-3 inches of topsoil. If you can,make it easy on yourself and rent a trencher. Another benefit of putting the tubing down deeper is that it's less prone to getting crushed by something heavy driving over it. I'd put a cap on the end of the tubing to keep critters out of it too,just drill some small holes in it.

RegeSullivan 05-08-2009 09:35 AM

If it is less than a foot wide grass (or weeds) will grow over that trench weather you want it too or not here in SW PA. I would plant grass to keep the weeds out. If you are concerned about it drying out get about a cubic yard if agricultural grade vermiculite and amend the soil with it or about 3-4 parts soil to 1 part vermiculite by volume. This will also keep the soil loose so water will perk down to your drain while holding on to enough for your grass. The big box stores do not carry it in large quantities but you may find a supplier in you area that does.


DUDE! 05-09-2009 06:54 AM

I did something very similar a few years ago, was recommended to me to keep at least 5" inches of soil on top to get grass to grow. I thought I was doing so but after all was said and done, I ended up spreading top soil over the buried trench to get the grass to grow better.

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