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Old 02-05-2016, 12:50 PM   #1
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Parking on Mulch vs Rock


Here's the deal, over the winter I put my boat(s) inside my locked and fenced back yard. During the summer I typically leave them in the drive for easy access. The problem is it never fails that the ground is soft, maybe a little muddy, and I tend to leave ruts in the ground when doing this. My gate to the back is off an alley and in the future I am hoping to build a detached garage in the space I park the boats, but for now it is yard space and I'm not sure I want to invest a bunch of money in rock to just tear it out in a year or two...maybe five....maybe ten....

To try to keep it somewhat short....I'm turning what was grass, into landscaped areas and mulching the paths as well as the area under the kids play set. My thought is the mulch would help keep a softer feel to the yard, but I realize rock or even concrete is ultimately the best to park on. With that said, I can get mulch for free and save the money I'd spend on rock and apply towards the garage fund....maybe I can even do the foundation and slab sooner. My question is will I be fighting the same battle with the mulch as I do with partially grass/dirt when storing the boats?

My understanding if I went with rock, I'd need to build up layers starting with large stone, then gradually go finer....that's a lot of layers that would have to be moved, unless I just go with pea gravel, which tends to be tough as well!

Thoughts on this? Also, when I park on dirt, I jack tires up and place them on concrete blocks or treated wood planks to keep off dirt. Would I need to do the same with mulch?
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:22 PM   #2
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I think that a shredded bark mulch would be about worthless in this situation, but maybe a nice chunky mulch may work.
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:27 PM   #3
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The mulch I've been using is what the tree trimmers, at least around here, tend to shred up. Not real fine, lots of larger pieces including sticks, etc. I'm guessing the average size is several inches. Definitely not consistent with the picture you posted, but also not what I buy in the bags from the home improvement stores.....
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:34 PM   #4
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Gotcha. As long as there's some large aggregate, I think it would help. You're basically asking it to spread the weight on the tires out so they don't sink, so a bigger "footprint" (larger chunks) will do that better & produce better drainage.

I'd also get a layer of heavy landscape fabric under it or it'll just sink right into the mud.
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:37 PM   #5
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regardless of what you put down short of concrete, your gona sink in the mud, now you will just have mud and wood...if the ground gets saturated you will sink even with a foot of wood chips..you can try getting a special base fabric that will act as a load spreader , so your tires will have there weight spread over a larger area to help from sinking...under the layer of top soil do you have a solid base like clay? if so you can dig out the soft soil, then fill in with the wood chips, even then A base fabric would do better...I had the same issue, so I cleared all the soft top soil down to clay and then put in about 8 inches of bank run..its a mix of stone from 3/4 inch to baseball size and sand, it compacts to almost a solid layer and water just drains through it...
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:32 PM   #6
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Have you though about removing the existing and bringing in a suitable stone base for the garage slab now, park on it in the interim, and just add to it when you do the garage.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Have you though about removing the existing and bringing in a suitable stone base for the garage slab now, park on it in the interim, and just add to it when you do the garage.
I have thought about that as well....at least in the sense of bringing in some rock and just pouring over it. The thing is, they don't normally put down a rock base before pouring concrete slabs around here. I worked in new construction for several years and the most they used was sand to level out the ground prior to pouring. When I bought this house 8yrs ago, I had my drive completely redone and even there, they just ripped out the old, leveled with a small bobcat and poured on top.

Previous post asked about clay soil and actually we have fairly sandy soil where I live.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Brian View Post
I have thought about that as well....at least in the sense of bringing in some rock and just pouring over it. The thing is, they don't normally put down a rock base before pouring concrete slabs around here. I worked in new construction for several years and the most they used was sand to level out the ground prior to pouring. When I bought this house 8yrs ago, I had my drive completely redone and even there, they just ripped out the old, leveled with a small bobcat and poured on top.

Previous post asked about clay soil and actually we have fairly sandy soil where I live.
Need a good base of non organic around here for the freeze / thaw. How about setting a few bigger concrete pavers down and back your trailer tires onto them? Shouldn't sink and won't have to jack up every time you use.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
The problem is it never fails that the ground is soft, maybe a little muddy, and I tend to leave ruts in the ground when doing this.
Previous post asked about clay soil and actually we have fairly sandy soil where I live.
Ayuh,.... Whether ya want chipper chips, or a agreatate base for a future foundation,...

It gotta start with strippin' off the soft stuff on the top,....
Box it out,....
Then fill yer box with yer choice of material,...

Geo-textile is a Great idea,...

'n make sure yer box is naturally drainin', Before ya fill it with yer choice of material,....

Aggregate, you could leave, 'n build on,...
Chipper chips, you'd have to remove, 'n start again,...
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