First time landscaper...ever.

ikethearmyguyJuly 4, 2013

First post so be gentle lol So we've built our first home (72ft mini home) in a new subdivision and the final grading of our acre lot has been done a few months ago and I'm ready to start landscaping. Or to be precise, I want to make my sometimes muddy sometimes hard packed clay type ground into some grass eventually.

I'm not at the seeding stage yet so I'll keep my questions limited to the "breaking ground" type.

1. Half of my front lot (about 15 feet from the front of the house) is hard packed clay type soil that is very hard to rake the rocks out of. Any suggestions on how to loosen it? Not sure how far I want to dig down to loosen the soil because my septic tank is in this area as well (5 feet by 5 feet) but not sure how far underground it is.

2. The other half of my lot (from the 15 foot mark down to the ditch along the street) is very loose soil easy to rake and level so it's just time spent to make things rock free and somewhat level.

3. The rocks that I rake I want to place in the ditch but someone told me that it could obstruct the culvert and cause flooding which I'll be responsible for repairing. I personally don't think there'll be THAT many rocks in the ditch and whatever rocks are in there won't make it water tight. Am I out to lunch in wanting to place the rocks there? They're no bigger than an average football and no smaller than a marble.

I've attached one pic (not sure how to load anymore than that but I will have lots of pics taken tonight after work so once I learn how to add more they will be put up).


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The only way to loosen clay permanently is to turn it into loam (nice topsoil). The recipe is clay + sand + composted organic matter (humus) of roughly equal parts of each.

You do not say WHY you wish to put large rocks in the ditch. It should be a compelling reason if it's going to compensate for the damage it will likely do. While it won't make it watertight the day you do it, over time it will cause the ditch to silt up to the level that the rocks create. Even a few rocks will make the ditch silt up faster than it normally would.

It is not necessary to remove rocks from the soil in order to grow grass. Unless the rocks are sticking up and in the way, they will not impede grass growth or maintaining the lawn. You could deal with them on a case-by-case basis when you plant shrubs and trees.

To load multiple pictures in a single post, don't use the "choose file" button provided by GardeWeb. Instead, upload the pictures to a photo-hosting site (like flickr, etc.) There, look for links to "share" the pictures where, if you follow the path, you'll find html code for each picture. Copy the code and paste it into your message. (There may be several different codes for different size pictures so it might require some experimentation in order to find the right code. When you "preview" the message, the picture will show up the same as it will post, so you have an opportunity to find the right code and fix it before posting.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:32PM
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