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Tire damage to lawn

Posted by gardeningannie 06 (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 17:32

Woke up this fine winter morning to a fresh fall of snow and a guy in my yard with tires spinning to China ~ yuk. Once his buddy pulled him out, he gave me his insurance info and I filed a claim. We'll see where that goes.

In the meantime, I'm stressing over having some maintenance crew show up with bad dirt and worse seed and do a hit and run on my damaged lawn.

We've spent more time than sense caring for our lawn and beds and having followed Dave Hall's advice on 'feeding with organics' a few years ago, we now have the kind of yard passers by stop to enjoy. Even had a local lawn care tech stop by to ask 'who' I used, I said "my husband and several bags of alfalfa" ~ ha !

So I'm thinking at the first sign of decent and dry weather, we should at least rake out the ruts and do something to aerate the compressed ground before adding a topsoil/compost mix and good seed or maybe sod. Would really like to know how others have done this type of repair when a 'quality outcome' is important.

Would appreciate any thoughts on this. We're looking at two 10' strips about a foot wide and 1-6" deep. Thanks

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tire damage to lawn

Thanks for the nice words...I think. More time than sense? I assume you meant me.

Do not add or remove any topsoil. You can add as much compost as you want, but if you add topsoil, you will have a mound there when everything settles. If you remove topsoil, you'll have a low spot. The trick is to move the high spots into the low spots evenly. When the snow melts (before the decent and dry weather), start standing on the high spots to push them down. If that doesn't do anything, you might try carving the high spots off and dusting the loose dirt into the low spots. Don't worry about the grass at this point. Once you get the soil flattened out, you can worry about grass. Repeat as necessary. Back in about 2006 or 7 there was a guy here who had an 18-wheeler drive off his paved driveway and sink into his lawn. He made a fuss over it initially but never spoke of it again. I assumed it got fixed fairly easily. I wish he would come back and share how he handled it. His ruts were about 10 inches deep with the soil squeezed up between the tires. It was a mess.

RE: Tire damage to lawn

Hey Dave ! Thanks for your thoughts ~ as usual, it makes more sense the way you explain it. And as to the 'more time than sense' comment, I meant me not you. Learned way too much good stuff from you over the years to be throwin' you under the bus now ! Thanks again !

RE: Tire damage to lawn

You've got a solvable problem, but you've omitted critical information. You didn't supply the grass type or your location (your member page just says United States). Different grass types have different abilities to spread to fill damaged/bare areas - some have no ability to do so and others can spread as much as 12"-15" in a season, given optimal conditions.

I'm not in agreement with the compression-to-fix-compression approach. Remove any high spots, and use a pitchfork from the side of the ruts to begin lifting (uncompressing) the lower spots. Repeat every 2-3 weeks until the area stabilizes. BUT - do not rush out now or even in early Spring. Messing with soil that is still thawing and soggy is a recipe for long-term compacted soil - the soil must be "friable" (crumbly) before you attack the problem.

RE: Tire damage to lawn

I like Andy's pitchfork idea to lift the soil and introduce air.

Andy is the guy I learn from, so don't be afraid to add him to your list of people to follow. He's a soil expert from New York and more familiar with the trials and tribulations of freeze/thaw cycles than I am.

RE: Tire damage to lawn

Don't ask, cause I don't even know where I've been ! Thanks for your thoughts on lifting the soil to reduce compaction. It is certainly that.

Since my last post, the man's insurance company has come to the rescue and when all is dry enough to work, I have a landscaper coming to remove the compacted sod, add good topsoil and my compost and relay new sod. Will soon be time to put down some SBM and add a bit to the new sod as well ! Thanks, guys !

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