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Old 04-13-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Will I have trouble growing grass here?


I have an alley between my house and hedges that is about 3 feet wide, it had patio stones which I removed with intention of doing something nicer with that area.

Right now it's just sand. Could I put grass there, or will it have trouble growing with lack of sunlight? From my understanding grass does not need sunlight as much as trees and other plants, but does it still need direct? That side of the house is facing north so the sun never directly hits that area.

I can't leave the sand as it is bad for water infiltrating the foundation. I will want to slope it away.

I'm also thinking of putting pavement or even just cement, but I rather go with something a bit more natural like grass. Think it would be fine?



(that's an older pic, those stones are not there anymore)

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Old 04-13-2011, 08:14 PM   #2
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Will I have trouble growing grass here?


Red, I'd give it a shot. I'd take the sand out, build it up with top soil, as high as you can along the house, with as much slope away from the house as possible, and talk with the local mill or garden center regarding the right seed for a shady area such as that. I think though that the situation that you need to try to overcome is the constant dampness, moreso than the shade factor. I imagine that the hedge prevents regular air circulation through that area, preventing it from drying out on any sort of regular basis, and the moss on the brick pretty much confirms that, at least in my opinion. I would also look at the downspouts along that area, because I can see a large tree that appears to be overhanging that area, but I don't see a downspout along there. I assume it is around the corner, and even so, and even if you clean the eaves trough regularly, the leaves will collect in the corners, an allow water to come over the sides in aheavy rainfall. That may or not be one of the reasons that the stones were put there in the first place, but, regardless, those are some things that I would look at, because I think that if you could keep the water in check, there is surely a type of grass that would grow there. Or, you may even want to consider a low ground cover, with some strategically placed stepping stones.

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Old 04-13-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
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Will I have trouble growing grass here?


In that pic there is no gutters but I have some now, the downspout is actually where the deck is. And yeah I had fun cleaning those last year. Tons of leaves!

I will probably get a truckload of top soil delivered at some point as there is a few other areas I'd like to add more slope. Is there a guide line on how thick I should have it, or does it not really matter? Like should I add sand, then try to only have a few inches of top soil, or can I actually use it as filler as well?

Also I'm guessing the grass will help absorb some of the moisture a bit?
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #4
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Will I have trouble growing grass here?


Okay Red, now that it's Swiffered or whatever, I'm going to share this with you, and let you have a laugh at my expense. I didn't want to say anything, but I thought that you had some really banged up and crooked gutters. Turned out, after you said that there weren'y any in that picture, I realized that I was looking at a smudge in the dust on my computer scree, which just happened to sort of line up along your roof edge. Geez, my wife is right again; someone needs to dust my office more often!

Anyway, I don't think that sand is good for growing anything lush in, so I would want to scoop it down at least 3-4 inches, maybe even 6 or so, and replace it with top soil. As for the grass helping process the water, yes, based on what I have seen and picked up on over the years, I agree, which is why I started off by saying that I would give it a shot, even though it won't receive direct sun. I would also plan to cut it long, because the roots tend to go deeper as the blades grow higher, and I believe that would be beneficial in this situation as well.

Ill bet those stones were a lot of fun to carry out of there!
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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Will I have trouble growing grass here?


I would put some paving stones back but with ample space between them and plant a hardy moss or other sturdy low growing ground cover in between them.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:04 PM   #6
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Will I have trouble growing grass here?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
Okay Red, now that it's Swiffered or whatever, I'm going to share this with you, and let you have a laugh at my expense. I didn't want to say anything, but I thought that you had some really banged up and crooked gutters. Turned out, after you said that there weren'y any in that picture, I realized that I was looking at a smudge in the dust on my computer scree, which just happened to sort of line up along your roof edge. Geez, my wife is right again; someone needs to dust my office more often!

Anyway, I don't think that sand is good for growing anything lush in, so I would want to scoop it down at least 3-4 inches, maybe even 6 or so, and replace it with top soil. As for the grass helping process the water, yes, based on what I have seen and picked up on over the years, I agree, which is why I started off by saying that I would give it a shot, even though it won't receive direct sun. I would also plan to cut it long, because the roots tend to go deeper as the blades grow higher, and I believe that would be beneficial in this situation as well.

Ill bet those stones were a lot of fun to carry out of there!
Haha I've done that. A small spec and i start freaking out because I think I have a dead pixel, and it turns out to be dirt.

As for top soil, my plan is to just put some over the sand. Is there a problem if I go too thick? Rather then order sand AND top soil I am hoping to just order top soil and "shape" the land to get the right slope. I need to do the back yard too. Will this work, if do I need sand to shape the land, and then just add soil over it?

And yeah had fun moving those tones a la stonehedge style. Can't lift those alone. Never realized how heavy those were.

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