what to do with so much sand?

lana_langOctober 12, 2011

Hi all,

The home we moved into about a year ago has a very large area of sand (we're talking sandbox sand) on one side of the backyard. We've thought about getting rid of it, but it's A LOT of sand. About 30 ft. wide and 18 inches deep in the middle. So, we tried to work with it. We have kids, so we put a couple small play structures in it and it worked for a while.

You can see a simple drawing of my backyard here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/46183598@N05/4547015847/in/photostream

But now we are starting to have problems with neighborhood cats using it as a giant litter box. Disgusting! And because it's such a large area with a swingset in it, there's not way to cover it up when not in use. Also, I'm starting to tire of having sand tracked into the house and all over the patio.

So... I need a solution. If money were no object, I would have someone come in and remove the sand and replace it with soil and plant grass. But money is tight, unfortunately. I'm wondering if there might be a less expensive solution. I've even thought about covering up parts of it with red brick pavers, just out of desperation. I don't know... I need ideas!

thanks!

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Yardviser

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 6:13AM
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lana_lang

thanks, Yardviser :) I couldn't figure out how to do that.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:32AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You're stuck with digging it out or covering it up.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 11:24AM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

You can try offering the sand for free on Craigslist or freecycle. Someone may need some for their own project and take some, if not all of it, away.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 3:30PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

If you try to offer the sand for hauling away, can you afford to replace it with soil? Is there a clear route wide enough for a wheelbarrow between that area and the street?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 4:46PM
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lana_lang

Yes, missingtheobvious, there is a clear path. There is also a recycling center in our town that sells truck-fulls of composted yard trimmings for $5. So I'm thinking we could get some soil for pretty cheap. And if someone couldn't take all the sand, we could mix the remaining in with the compost.

I posted the sand to craigslist just now. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 5:34PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

If no one takes it, or if only part of it gets taken, another option for getting rid of it would be to spread it out over the rest of your property in a thin layer. Over time it will work itself in/be covered with other mulch, dirt, grass clippings, etc.

Also, if you have any plans anywhere on your property for a patio area, widening or creating a walkway, or anything with paving stones, this would be your base...

But I'm betting a good bit of it will go on craigslist. Give it time; I suspect demand for sand is a bit seasonal... if it doesn't go now, it will in spring.

Karin L

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 6:51PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In the meantime prevent additional turds by laying down poultry netting or similar wire. They want to be able to dig where they crap.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:34PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

You know, one question you might ponder is why the previous owners put all that sand down. You've been through all four seasons in the house... anything with flooding or something? Or do you know why they did it?

Karin L

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:35PM
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lana_lang

I believe one of the previous owners had a large, above ground pool on top of the sand. We found about 25 large red brick pavers arranged in a circle, buried about 2 inches under the sand. But I don't want a pool :) just more work.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 3:39PM
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Yardviser

Lana, all you do to post the picture...first, go where the picture is on Flickr. Click on "share". Copy the html code. Paste it directly in your message here. When you preview message it will show up if done correctly.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 10:56PM
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lana_lang

good news! a guy came and got my sand this weekend. I got a lot of responses to my craigslist ad from horse owners. Apparently they like to use sand in riding areas and horse pens. Who knew? :)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 1:23AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Good to hear, and thank you for coming back and telling us! Have fun with the space,

Karin L

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:26PM
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Yardviser

Great! Craigslist IS GOOD for something other than low cost prostitution!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:02PM
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