Bobcat tire tracks

gilley111November 17, 2012

I survived Sandy but 30 of my trees did not. I am listening to them being cut up as I type. My question relates to the damage left by Lipa and my tree men in my perennial gardens. Tire tracks, deep tire tracks right through my gardens. What should I do, what can I do? Should I fill the tracks with soil? Shall I even out what is there or say what the he$& and just move.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont know about the moving part .. lol ...

i would leave it all until spring in my z5 .. and see what buds/pops out ... you might be surprised what might be buried down there ... e.g. i wouldnt be surprised if hosta didnt make it ...

now dont get me wrong.. i am not talking big pretty plants.. i am talking about salvaging some small parts/pieces.. which by end of next summer.. would be peachy ...

but i dont know if i would dig it all out now .. especially in my zone ...

perhaps others from z7 can be more specific ...


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 4:00PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I'm so sorry for your storm damage, been there too. It's very hard to have men in your gardens who are not interested in your plants, but only the cleanup job in front of them.

I don't know how much area you are describing. If you were to do anything at all, do you have a garden fork? The full sized where you could step on and insert the tines, rock back on the handle just to loosen compacted soil/tracks a little. You wouldn't have to turn it over or cultivate, just lessen the compaction some until you can give it your attention after winter.

Hang in there, I think you'll find your garden will recover in less time than you think you are facing by looking at it now. Our gardens are forever changing, and not always by our plans - somehow it all works out :)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 4:25PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I'd not do a lot until next spring. A lot of the compaction will self-correct. What is left after thing dry out in the spring is what you are really dealing with.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Many thanks for the feedback! The gardens involved are an acre maybe acre and a half. I have a garden fork and have spent many an hour on my knees so that doesn't bother me. Now if I have the patience to wait for Spring is the question ;0)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 5:13PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

do note.. that both of us who suggested waiting.. are in ground freeze z5 ... its much too late to be doing this right now ... besides the ground is already getting hard.. and the bobcat wouldnt be making deep ruts ...

you really need an answer from your zone ... hopefully someone will roll thru ....

but i bet the bottom line will be.. if you just need to do something.. do some.. but dont worry about doing the rest in spring ....


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 6:46PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

whaisname, "hours on your knees"....

I wasn't suggesting you use a hand tool, but a full sized fork - the size of a long handled shovel :) No bending, no down on knees.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:00PM
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I'm sorry about all the damage. I'm providing a link to a site with directions on restoring compacted soil.

Here is a link that might be useful: Restoring compacted soil

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:37PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Ditto what Morz8 said. After the "Snowtober" storm last year, my neighbor and I cooperated to have some tree work in both of our yards, using my usual tree guy. They finally got around to doing the work in January.

There was hardly any snow cover last winter, and most of neighbor's lawn wasn't even fully frozen. The tree company drove the bucket truck right over his side yard to get to my damaged silver maple, and left big track marks. They used a long handled pitch fork to lift the compressed marks.

They also drove over the corner of my front garden with the chipper. That I "fluffed" up with the pitch fork and raked over.

I also like to top dress the lawn with compost or good loam, especially where the grass is crappy or the ground is uneven. This helps to even out the grade and build up the organic matter in the soil, which encourages the turf grass to fill in and dominate over time.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Thanks guys! I spent part of the day ignoring my perennial gardens and trimming broken or bent branches on trees and shrubs. I feel better doing something rather than nothing but you might have guessed that already. Morz8 I skimmed and did not fully read your post before responding. I apologize. Thanks to all and let Spring arise!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:19PM
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spartangardener(z4 MN)

I had to fix a garden last year that was heavily compacted from having a large tree and it's stump removed. This was midsummer, but I found that tiling with a pitchfork did wonders. That, plus the frost heave from winter, loosened up the soil so I could work it and so that the plants were happy. I did have to replant part of it, but it rebounded nicely.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Carrie B(6B/7A)

I'm with the "do your best to wait" camp. If you're out there tromping around in a compacted, mostly dormant garden right now, you're bound to do more harm than good. Try to sit on it, watch for signs, and wait, with as much patience as you can muster.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:17PM
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