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knotquiteawake 08-03-2012 02:39 PM

To say "soil issues" would be an understatement.
2 Attachment(s)
As it gets hotter and hotter this summer more and more cracks like this are appearing in my backyard. I hadn't been watering the grass because it was mostly weeds and I wanted to save on water but for the past two weeks I've been water 2x a week to try and keep the cracks from getting worse.

What does one do about this stuff? Its dangerous to walk in the backyard because some of these cracks are hidden by the grass. In the second picture there you can see some kind of yellow wire too... wonder what thats for? This is in the middle of my yard so its not part of any utilities easement.

I am in North Texas. Home to watering your foundation, and the number one purchaser of soaker hoses in the nation...

Thunder Chicken 08-03-2012 04:54 PM

Clay soils are very expansive. In the heat they lose the water and contract significantly as you have seen.

I would check around your house foundation and work to keep the soil there moist. If these cracks start showing up around the foundation you can get some structural problems.

As for the lawn, it should swell back up and the cracks will close if/when you get good rains again. It's going to be tough until then, it will take a lot of water to get that clay swelled up again. I don't know if filling in the cracks is a good idea as when the clay swells up that new soil won't have any place to go.

Getting more organics into the soil may help this problem in the future.

knotquiteawake 08-03-2012 04:57 PM

Thanks, I guess thats what I was thinking... Too bad there's no quick fix.
We are only permitted to water twice a week because of the water restrictions so I am limited in what I can do.

I have soaker hoses around the foundation because that IS an issue there, they run a couple days a week and that is keeping the soil from pulling away from the house for now.

Thunder Chicken 08-03-2012 05:04 PM

For safety you might consider ripping a few pieces of plywood to deck over the worst of the cracks. It probably won't hurt the grass.

As for the wire, now might be the time to probe where it is coming from and where it is going. Do you have any yard lights or outbuildings? Speaking from my experience, I've fished out a lot of old Romex out of my lawn that was just buried there by previous owners to save on disposal. Put a glove on and give it a gentle tug and see if it doesn't pop free.

user1007 08-03-2012 07:56 PM

Might visit your library or call University of Texas ag extension to see if they have recommendations, pamphlets, websites etc. to help you.

Drip irrigation might be a wise investment for flower beds and all non-turf areas when you can water again.

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