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Old 05-18-2012, 12:46 AM   #1
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Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?


Sorry about the long post but here goes... About two years ago my wife (against my advice paid a contractor a lot of money to come in and landscape our yard. It looked amazing at the time but as I pointed out to him at the time, if the drainage was not taken care of then this was all a waste of time.

Back to the present (two years and one divorce later. Yes, seriously!) the whole grassy area looks like hell: it floods in the winter and becomes a desert in the summer with only patches of grass able to cling to life here and there.
I'd like to rectify this and want some opinions/ advice.

I live in the Pacific Northwest = LOTS of rain and heavy clay soil. The water table is quite high as there used to be steams running through the area. So, I'm thinking french drains (running into solid pipe connected to a sump which I built to catch the drain tiles and downspouts) 1" layer of sand, fabric, 4"new graded top soil and sod.

I've attached photos to give a clearer idea of what I'm doing.

In the middle of the trench that I've dug you can see the "rock pit" that the contractor put in and which was ineffective. On the last two shots you can see that after two days of hot dry weather the 4" of topsoil is dried out, grass is all but dead but the bottom layer of clay soil in still holding lots of moisture.
Attached Thumbnails
Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5152419.jpg   Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5152420.jpg   Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5162432.jpg   Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5162433.jpg   Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5172438.jpg  

Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5172440.jpg  


Last edited by WayneGee; 05-18-2012 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:51 AM   #2
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Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?


Two suggestions from The Village Idiot.

If you're going to add sand and top-soil make sure you remove that much of the existing elevation or you'll bury the edges of your sidewalk/patio (a maintenance nightmare) and possibly bring the grade high enough to cause moisture problems with the house.

I assume you mean an active sump pit with a pump vs a dry-sump. Is there anyway to make the system passive (no pump)?

Not sure about the sand layer but we don't have a lot of clay here in SW PA

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Old 05-18-2012, 08:34 AM   #3
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Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CplDevilDog View Post
Two suggestions from The Village Idiot.

I assume you mean an active sump pit with a pump vs a dry-sump. Is there anyway to make the system passive (no pump)?

PA
Thanks for the response and to answer your question, the sump system is passive. I built it when I did the drain tiles etc two years ago and it works great.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?


Here's a few pics of the process and final product..
Attached Thumbnails
Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5252471.jpg   Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5252473.jpg   Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_5262480.jpg   Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_6032483.jpg   Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_6032486.jpg  

Our lawn = Mud pit in the winter, dustbowl in the summer!?-_6082344.jpg  
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