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Drainage for a lawn on clay soil



 
 
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  #1  
Old 16-04-2006, 07:31 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil

My son-in-law has planted a lawn (not from seed) and it has done well.
one big problem. There is very little top soil and underneath is all
clay. the garden is always very wet because of very poor drainage. Even
putting in drains probably wouldn't solve the problem as only that area
would drain. Any ideas ?
Tom Atkinson

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  #2  
Old 16-04-2006, 07:40 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil



--
-------------------------------------------------------------------

"BIGTOM" wrote in message
oups.com...
My son-in-law has planted a lawn (not from seed) and it has done well.
one big problem. There is very little top soil and underneath is all
clay. the garden is always very wet because of very poor drainage. Even
putting in drains probably wouldn't solve the problem as only that area
would drain. Any ideas ?
Tom Atkinson


Is there anywhere for the water to go? Water finds its own level and you
MUST be able to get it off sight. Question. Where?

Only you can answer that one. Look around you at neighbour's gardens and the
road. Are they higher than your ground? Yes? Problem :-((

Mike


  #3  
Old 17-04-2006, 03:16 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil

Neighbour's gardens ARE higher so water from them drains into my son in
law's garden.
Nowhere really for the water to go.
tom Atkinson

  #4  
Old 17-04-2006, 03:50 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil

regular aeration and autumn spring renovations would help apply top dressing
of 70/30 sand soil dress after aeration
"BIGTOM" wrote in message
ps.com...
Neighbour's gardens ARE higher so water from them drains into my son in
law's garden.
Nowhere really for the water to go.
tom Atkinson



  #5  
Old 17-04-2006, 03:50 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil



--
-------------------------------------------------------------------

"BIGTOM" wrote in message
ps.com...
Neighbour's gardens ARE higher so water from them drains into my son in
law's garden.
Nowhere really for the water to go.
tom Atkinson


Tom as I see it from a remote situation, your Son in Law has three options.

1) Live with it as there is nowhere to drain to.
2) Build the garden up so his is highr than the neighbour's. Not too
practicable if their gardens are a lot higher.
2) Dig a hole through the clay to the sub soil in the hope that it will
drain through that sub structure, BUT, a) it will drain all his garden and
b) there is no gaurantee that the sub structure is any more absorbant than
the clay and 'might' be a mile down ;-)

There is a large Garden Gentre/ Nursery near me and before they put the
greenhouses up they wanted to know if the soil was absorbant to take the
water off the glass in the form of a soak-away. They dug a hole a metre deep
and filled it with water. A week later it was still there! The water that
is;-))

Mike


  #6  
Old 17-04-2006, 04:05 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil

Thanks folks-looks like he is going to have to try a soak away and add
lots of drainage material
and cross his fingers !!!
Tom

  #7  
Old 17-04-2006, 04:51 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil


Tom wrote
....
My son-in-law has planted a lawn (not from seed) and it has done well.
one big problem. There is very little top soil and underneath is all
clay. the garden is always very wet because of very poor drainage. Even
putting in drains probably wouldn't solve the problem as only that area
would drain. Any ideas ?


He didn't think it through then. Should have sorted the drainage out by
incorporating grit/sand before he laid the lawn.
All he can try now is to push a garden fork right into the soil at a couple
of inches apart and move it around to make conical deep holes which he can
then fill with sharp sand and hope it will be enough to cure the problem,
depends how solid the clay is. The lawn will look a mess for a while but
soon green up again.

--
Regards
Bob
"Never get so busy making a living
that you forget to make a life"



  #8  
Old 17-04-2006, 09:12 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil


"Bob Hobden" wrote in message
...

Tom wrote
...
My son-in-law has planted a lawn (not from seed) and it has done well.
one big problem. There is very little top soil and underneath is all
clay. the garden is always very wet because of very poor drainage. Even
putting in drains probably wouldn't solve the problem as only that area
would drain. Any ideas ?


He didn't think it through then. Should have sorted the drainage out by
incorporating grit/sand before he laid the lawn.
All he can try now is to push a garden fork right into the soil at a
couple of inches apart and move it around to make conical deep holes which
he can then fill with sharp sand and hope it will be enough to cure the
problem, depends how solid the clay is. The lawn will look a mess for a
while but soon green up again.

--
Regards
Bob
"Never get so busy making a living
that you forget to make a life"


dont use sharp sand it holds the water and doesnt integrate with the clay
you need a sand/soil mixture


  #9  
Old 18-04-2006, 10:55 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil


"BIGTOM" wrote in message
oups.com...
Thanks folks-looks like he is going to have to try a soak away and add
lots of drainage material
and cross his fingers !!!
Tom

Ggetting a soil test may be worthwhile, I am thinking, for a humus test
(some soil testing laboratories will test for this, other will not). Once he
has dug the soak hole(s) this may start to drain some of the water off.
Aerating the soil and gradually building the soil layer up by top dressing
will also help (these will not yeild dramatic results over night but should
be viewed as a medium term matter. If he has a shitty little layer of top
soil over a clay pan (such as you have sometimes in new subdivisions) he may
need to add quite an amount of organic matter and resow the grass. If the
top soil is fairly deep, at a guess here at least 6 inchs, then there should
be enough for decent humus to develop. The humus layer is where a lot of
biological activity takes places and it is an important part of a lawn
expelling excess moisture in wet seasons and retaining needed moisture in
dry seasons. Again, it is not a miracle cure but plays a part in the cycle.
If a soil test shows low humus levels, soil tests will come with diagnostic
information, then he can pay attention to getting that working right. Best
way go organic, no pesticides and artifical fertilisers. Blood and bone &
pelleted animal poop will help build humus. If you can;'t be bothered doing
it the scientific way a rough guide is cut a sod of turf a spade depth cubed
and count worms. 7 or under shows problems with the soil life, 8-22 aprox is
ok, over 23 is very good. If you have a good abundance of worms this
indicates the soil is probably in good health and that the humus is probably
also good. Worms help aerate your soil and drain it. This advice is in
addition to the other good tips you will get about drains, aeration, top
dressing etc and is only ONE of several steps that will help.

rob


  #10  
Old 18-04-2006, 02:11 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil

Thanks again for all the detailed information. I think he has only 3
inches of top soil.
Another Gardening friend suggested using a 1" auger and making 18"
deep holes
about 1 metre apart and filling with coarse grit but postings todate
seem to advocate a sand-soil mixture.
I will pass all of this on to my son in law. He is half my age so it's
up to him !!!!!
tom

  #11  
Old 19-04-2006, 09:21 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil

BIGTOM wrote:
Thanks again for all the detailed information. I think he has only 3
inches of top soil.
Another Gardening friend suggested using a 1" auger and making 18"
deep holes
about 1 metre apart and filling with coarse grit but postings todate
seem to advocate a sand-soil mixture.
I will pass all of this on to my son in law. He is half my age so it's
up to him !!!!!
tom


Boring inch-and-half holes will be a _complete_ waste of time. 18" deep,
even if not filled with grit, would only hold a few hearty gulps. And if
the holes were eighteen _feet_ deep, they'd still fill up fast enough to
leave him back where he started.

The only complete solution is drains, and, as has already been said,
they will work only if they lead somewhere. That could be a pond, or
wherever the rainwater goes from the gutters on the house. A pond like
that would, of course, need an overflow in a rainy area, so it's back to
wherever the rainwater downpipes go. Even ripping up the whole lawn and
relaying it on top of a quick-draining layer, like a football pitch,
still implies some sort of drain at the lower end.

If most of the water is seeping in off neighbouring land, though, rather
than just rainfall on the lawn itself, then a simple deep stone drain at
the upper end, leading down the side, should help. A raised lawn with
crushed stone paths all round a few inches lower might work. Hard to say
without seeing the site.

--
Mike.


  #12  
Old 22-04-2006, 05:56 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Drainage for a lawn on clay soil

g'day tom,

a hard question to help with when we can't see the situation. yes you
need to work out how or where the water comes from or gets there?
french/agricultural drains (have some ideas on them on my page) will
work if you have or can create somewhere for the water to drain to?

also a simple thing like adding another good layer of top soil can
alleviate pooling problems.

len

snipped
With peace and brightest of blessings,

len

--
"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."

http://www.users.bigpond.com/gardenlen1
 




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