adding topsoil to yard

orangedragonflyMay 12, 2007

there is a part of the yard next to our driveway that is lower ,significantly. It collects water everytime it rains. I would like to fill this area and level it , and add grass. This is also were the dog runs around and the kids play in this area too. so what is the easiest way of doing this, and what is the fastest grass seed I can put down.

thank you

Kristen

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quirkyquercus

If you have a pickup truck you can haul in about a cubic yard at a time of mostly clay fill dirt. You may be able to get screened fill dirt so that there are no big rocks. If no truck then find a place that will deliver it. Then you shovel it into place and pack it down. You can drag various objects over it to level it perfectly flat such as a section of wire fence or a rake. I've used a rake. If you want to use another type of soil on top of that, you can. Some people do.

The fastest grass seed germination I have ever seen is Bent grass. But you're not going to find that at the local home depot. So you're going to have a choice of things like tall fescue, bluegrass and ryegrass. They take about 10-30 or more days for germination. If it's a small area you might find sod a lot easier. Last time I was in Mass, it was in June and was 55 degrees and y'alls idea of a sunny day is like a "1" on the UV index. So I don't know if it's too late to put down seed there or not.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 8:50AM
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orangedragonfly

is grass seed something you need to put down when its cool?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 5:20PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

If you have KBG or fescue, probably the best time to do it would be just prior to when you usually reseed in the fall.

Depending how much you need (those 40# bags at HD don't go far at all), bring in a truck load or dumptruck load (however much you deem necessary) and start moving it around to where you want it, level it with a tractor and some kind of drag harrow (or by hand), and seed.

I've done my complete yard several times to raise it up (over 100 cu yards), and have also just done spots to level and raise. It's not a complicated job...just pretty labor intensive unless you have the equipment. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:24AM
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quirkyquercus

Yes, for your area you'll want to seed when it's cooler out but not cold. And no threat of extra hot and dry weather an no threat of heavy downpours.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:23AM
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Billl(z7 nc)

Before you go trucking in dirt - remember that the water that is currently pooling in the low spot is going to go somewhere else. Make 100% sure that "somewhere else" isn't "your basement" before you change the grade significantly.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 3:28PM
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grayentropy

I live in MA too and have a Red Fescue/KBG lawn in mostly full sun (new development).

I have an area in front of my walk which is depressed for the sole purpose of drainage. The area by the driveway is the worst as it is slightly recessed and gets considerable ponding during the spring thaw and heavy rains. I added alot of compost last spring in hopes of improving drainage. I have seen marginal drainage effects but the red fescue growing in the area is extremely dense and thriving much better than other parts of the lawn. Not sure if it is the heavy spring water or compost that is making the difference but does show that red fescues can grow in rather moist soils. I thought about leveling the lawn but the grade to the back of the house is slight and I think if I leveled it I would just put the water somewhere downfield of where it is now. I am considering trenching one of those drains to the side yard if the lawn seems to suffer.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:51PM
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barbwatkins(z7 Arkansas)

Well, I have a silly question, we manage a farm with about 40 acres grassy, we really have a problem growing grass in one area as it is right on top of a shale plate which is solid rock for who knows how far down, when the farm was originally purchased it was solid sodded and needless to say it was really beautiful, however much of the soil has washed out of the sod and now there are big patches of vinyl webbing??? We added some more sod last year and it seems okay for now but I think it is a matter of time that it will wash away too.
Now the grass that remains has never done any good, what would be the suggestion beings as it is a huge area and we really cannot resod it all

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 11:46AM
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quirkyquercus

Do you need this 40 ac grass land for grazing or pasture?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:25PM
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barbwatkins(z7 Arkansas)

No it is only for looks, there ia a lot of mowing and some of it is in corrals but the rest of the yard is just grass, mostly bermuda...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 6:20PM
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