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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I rent an apartment on a shared lot with a large backyard that we all share to park our vehicles on. Over the past few years, the grass in the center has eroded away from a heavy van and a truck and extreme dips were made. Roughly 20x30 ft in area was almost 4 inches deeper than the grassy areas. I offered to fill them in and at least level out the dirt areas so we don’t have pools of water when it rains. The owner wants nothing to do with it but didn’t care if we filled it back to the way it was. I had several tons of heavily clay fill dirt put in and I’m about an inch or two under the grass level. I still have plenty more and have been packing it with each layer.

I don’t want to add gravel as it was a grass lawn before and I don’t want to risk removal costs or trouble since that’s not technically authorized. Being that it’s clay, it compacts real well but when it rains it should turn into a muddy mess. The original dirt under the topsoil is a slightly sandier blend of clay soil. Without installing French drains or anything, what is my best option for topping this off? Preferably something useable for growing grass in the new year. I just want to not have mud or pools of water in the dirt and risk a mess or vehicles getting stuck. Home Depot topsoil? Generic dirt? A mix? Mulch?
 

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I rent an apartment on a shared lot with a large backyard that we all share to park our vehicles on. Over the past few years, the grass in the center has eroded away from a heavy van and a truck and extreme dips were made. Roughly 20x30 ft in area was almost 4 inches deeper than the grassy areas. I offered to fill them in and at least level out the dirt areas so we don’t have pools of water when it rains. The owner wants nothing to do with it but didn’t care if we filled it back to the way it was. I had several tons of heavily clay fill dirt put in and I’m about an inch or two under the grass level. I still have plenty more and have been packing it with each layer.

I don’t want to add gravel as it was a grass lawn before and I don’t want to risk removal costs or trouble since that’s not technically authorized. Being that it’s clay, it compacts real well but when it rains it should turn into a muddy mess. The original dirt under the topsoil is a slightly sandier blend of clay soil. Without installing French drains or anything, what is my best option for topping this off? Preferably something useable for growing grass in the new year. I just want to not have mud or pools of water in the dirt and risk a mess or vehicles getting stuck. Home Depot topsoil? Generic dirt? A mix? Mulch?
Nice to meet you!

Sounds like you've got a mess, and you're a mensch for taking up work to fix it. Be warned it may be a lot more than you might have bargained for.

Where are you located? City/State is enough. That will give an idea of the climate, a vital starting point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice to meet you!

Sounds like you've got a mess, and you're a mensch for taking up work to fix it. Be warned it may be a lot more than you might have bargained for.

Where are you located? City/State is enough. That will give an idea of the climate, a vital starting point.
I live in Southern California in the OC area. The temps get down to about low 40s at night as stay between 65 and the upper 70s during the day right now. The day temperature is just a little lower over the winter and that’s the only time it rains.
 

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I live in Southern California in the OC area. The temps get down to about low 40s at night as stay between 65 and the upper 70s during the day right now. The day temperature is just a little lower over the winter and that’s the only time it rains.
I’m in the OC too so we’re neighbors
 

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I think that whatever you do with regular soil is not going to last long. It will become rutted back to the way it is today.

I, too, would not recommend gravel or other kinds of material that were not there before.
 

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Hey there,
Just the soil can't last as long as you wish. There is a great chance for it to wash off in the heavy rain.
Last year, I also had a similar experience, where a portion of the soil in the yard eroded in the rain. I do many experiments to fill the dip, but nothing lasts.
Then I contacted a landscaping company as per my friend's suggestion. They planted heavily rooted grass and shrubs through the side, that made my yard more beautiful. It increased the aesthetic value of our yard and stopped the chance for erosion.
So I strongly recommend you contact a landscape service company who can make your garden more beautiful and find a solution to this problem.
Thanks!
 
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