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Old 04-29-2013, 10:06 AM   #1
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DIY grading?

Hey all,

I have some low areas in my backyard where water pools. The yard is all bermuda grass in full sun and some of the areas where water gathers is over my septic field. So aside form muddy kids and having a mosquito breeding ground - I have multiple reason to fix this.

I figure I need to call a landscaper to create a swale off to the back. The property does slope slightly anyway - it's just that for whatever reason, it's flat enough where some depressions have formed creating these areas where water pools.

We've had pouring rain recently. Since I'm already ready to hire a landscaper anyway, I went out and cut a small trench with a shovel across a few places. Just perhaps 3 inches deep and off to the back of my property.

Low and behold, all the pooling water ran right out and off to the back.

Obviously this is unsightly. But I know bermuda comes back fast. So I'm wondering if I even need the landscapers now. Mother nature might assist in continuing to erode my little trench which would be helpful while the grass still grows in.

Just curious if anyone has ever done this - created a small trench/depression then just let mother nature take over...

I sort of hate the expense of creating a true swale and needing to resod a driveway-sized portion of my lawn. Any other ideas for depressing the land? Perhaps I could roll some heavy object over my trench area when the ground is wet, then let the grass fill back in.


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Old 04-29-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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I would rent a sod cutter and rescue your turf if it is healthy. Fix your grades, till and prep the soil for sod and lay it back down.

Don't leave the sod sitting rolled up though. You should harvest and put it back down within 24 hours and you really risk killing it all together past 48. Water it as you lay it back. Roll it with a half full rented landscape roller to get good sod to soil contact. Especially with a shallow rooted turf variety like bermuda, water---perhaps a couple times per day---until it roots again in the soil.

I would hire a landscape or grading contractor to fix things once and for all or your quick fixes may come back to haunt you or your neighbors. You are not going to fix a slope or broad low spots top to bottom or side to side with a shovel and a drain trench.

I sometimes forget to remind people. Make sure you know where your underground utilties hide before you do major grading or start digging things up. Things like phone and cable lines often get buried just below the surface and tearing them up can get expensive. Utility locating services are free but the folks start to get busy about now.


Last edited by user1007; 04-29-2013 at 10:19 AM.
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