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Old 09-27-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


I have been going back and forth about what to do with my small backyard. I decided it would be best to put down new grass seed. My backyard is small. It hasn't been taken care of in years. The previous owner wasn't always living here and it is a condo so the landscapers didn't do a whole lot with it.

I started to take the top layer of moss off and remove some of the small rocks that were in one small section tonight. Well I started to realize that the small rock section had rocks about 2 inches down. I assume this was done for drainage. The rocks are about the size of a half dollar. There are also small roots from near by trees. Those are no more than 1 inch thick. I also have a drainage pipe from a stair that doesn't seem to have been put deep enough. I think this pipe goes from one end of my yard to the other and around the corner where it drains into the street.

Even though I don't think the pipe is deep enough I don't think it is too big of a problem. I can just cover it again with dirt and top soil. What I am worried about is the roots and rocks.

My plan was to remove the top layer of crap, use a rototiller to loosen up the soil, take some of the soil away and add some new top soil before seeding.

My questions:

1) Would it be bad to use a rototiller if I have some rocks in the soil and a small patch of rocks that go down 2 inches or so?

2) Will that pipe that is about half an inch deep do anything to growth of grass?

3) So I keep some of those rocks there and put top soil over that or would it be best to remove them all completely and put all new top soil where the rocks were?

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Old 09-28-2013, 05:49 AM   #2
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


If this is a condo are you allowed to mess with this area since it's on the outside?
Someone has taken the time to install drain tiles for a reason, start messing with it and you may end up with drainage issues such as standing water ECT.

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Old 09-28-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
If this is a condo are you allowed to mess with this area since it's on the outside?
Someone has taken the time to install drain tiles for a reason, start messing with it and you may end up with drainage issues such as standing water ECT.
Yes it is my area so I can do what I want with it.

I assume it the rocks where put there for a reason which is why I asked if I could put top soil on top of that and still be ok. I would think putting grass on top of rocks would still drain ok.

If not, what are my other options? I'm trying to keep my costs down. I could keep the rocks, maybe get new ones to make it look better. Are there other drainage options?

Last edited by h22lude; 09-28-2013 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:48 AM   #4
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


I dug out a lot of the landscape rock and found that the pipe goes the length of my concrete slab which is not what I expected...but I'm glad they did that.

I'm just going to fill it back with newer stone. There was a ton of dirt and it was very compacted which I am guessing is not good for drainage. I will be putting weed fabric then just rocks (no dirt) to help drainage. I want nice looking rocks but I don't want to spend a ton of money. Can I buy the cheap rocks for underneath and cover the top with nicer rocks?
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:13 PM   #5
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


If they are a different color they will eventually move around and be seen. Perhaps another layer of landscaper's fabric between the two. Then it's just a bald spot that could be easily filled in.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:28 PM   #6
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


Good idea, thanks.

Didn't want to start a new thread for this...I have a down spout that I want to connect to the drainage pipe. I dug out the pipe and have about 2 feet showing. I cut the pipe to put in the T only to realize I can't install the T with no movement in the pipes. How can I install the T without digging out the rest of the pipe? If it was just dirt I wouldn't mind but this is dirt and rocks and is very hard to shovel anything.

Last edited by h22lude; 09-30-2013 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:34 PM   #7
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


Quote:
Originally Posted by h22lude View Post
Good idea, thanks.

Didn't want to start a new thread for this...I have a down spout that I want to connect to the drainage pipe. I dug out the pipe and have about 2 feet showing. I cut the pipe to put in the T only to realize I can't install the T with no movement in the pipes. How can I install the T without digging out the rest of the pipe? If it was just dirt I wouldn't mind but this is dirt and rocks and is very hard to shovel anything.
you don't have to dig it all out, but the more you dig out, the more "play" the pipe should have.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:46 AM   #8
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


If there is enough gravel or rocks under the grass it could have trouble growing. The gravel allows the water to drain too quickly and the grass doesn't get enough. If you water it everyday it's fine, but it could be an issue in certain conditions.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:02 AM   #9
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Using a rototiller with rocks and roots


A picture would help----but sometimes--a hole can be cut into the pipe and a saddle T is simply clamped around the pipe---a saddle T is a two part thing with bolts that clamp the top and bottom----

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