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Old 02-06-2011, 11:18 PM   #1
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Soil Too Soft?

I am planning to have my 4900 sq. ft. yard tilled, limed and graded. It is mostly weed filled and muddy. Then I plan to have it rolled and lay down fescue sod. I will need the services of a landscaper to do this job. The only fear I have is I think the ground is too soft to place sod on top of it. I just purchased the property and there used to be two large pine trees in the yard and the former owners did not sweep up the pine needles and they let them decompose and work into the soil.
The trees were at least 35 to 40 foot tall.
So is there a way to determine if the soil is too soft for planting sod?
From looking at the surface, I get the impression the ground is waterlogged and puddles take longer then I think necessary to leach into the soil.
What needs to be done to correct this?

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Old 02-07-2011, 11:29 AM   #2
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Soil Too Soft?

What needs to be done to correct this?
Ayuh,... Regrade it to shed the water...
It needs to run off, not pool, 'n soak in...

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Old 02-07-2011, 12:31 PM   #3
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Soil Too Soft?

Hello, rjordan. Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area.
I did landscaping for many years. This is what your landscaper should do
when the time comes.
After the yard is tilled, limed, and graded, he or she should remove the
dirt clods, smooth out the soil, and roll the soil with a drum roller. The
weight of the water inside the drum roller will compress any soft areas
making the surface just right for laying sod. If there are drainage problems
after the sod is down, it could be clay soil. Applying gypsum and mulching
your grass clippings can help with that over time.
The best thing to do before any of this is done is get a soil test. That will
tell you if you have a lot of clay in your soil and the ph will tell you how
much lime to apply. I hope that helps and keep me posted on how things go. Learn more at,

Last edited by Gary in WA; 02-07-2011 at 01:27 PM. Reason: No ads allowed in body of post as per rules, thank you
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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Soil Too Soft?

Thanks both,
I must admit that the yard does need grading. That may be 75% of the problem. I'll see what the landscaper says to get things corrected beyond that.
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