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Old 09-02-2019, 12:17 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On Fri, 08 Feb 2019 22:19:14 +0000, Another John wrote:

In article ,
Chris Hogg wrote:

On Tue, 05 Feb 2019 10:49:20 +0000, Another John
wrote:

A chap I do a bit of gardening for had a couple of his borders flooded
last year by a change in subterranean water flow. That has been fixed,
but the borders are still "sticky".

He wants to dig sand into the borders. Fine, but he has specified
"horticultural sand". I think it would save him money if I just used
ordinary sharp (concreting) sand from a builder's merchant. What does
the team think?


Just another thought: are you sure the 'sticky' border isn't just due
to poor drainage and/or a high water table? I'm not sure what you mean
by 'change in subterranean water flow', and how it was 'fixed'?


Yes - it was a "high water table". He and his next door neighbour are on
land that was a field before they made their gardens; in fact half of
next door's still _is_ a field. The whole plot (3 or 4 acres) is on
the side of a gently domed hill (agricultural pasture), which has
springs. The water springs forth when it has forced its way up through
the clay, which is about 18" down. Last year, heavy rain forced the
water up through the land just "uphill" from my man's garden, hence his
borders were swamped. He has dealt with it by trenching along his
fence, and channelling the water around the garden.

[The proper way to do it would be to get a drainage man in, with the
right "heavy plant", but that will cost too much.]

And so: the soil is sticky because it was sodden -- under water -- for
months.

John


A bit OT, but local authorities round here are allowing estates to be built
on what us locals know are either flood plains or on the bottom side of a
hill. Their attempt to alliviate this is to dig out huge underground
'reservoirs' to temporarily hold water during times of 'stress', but
whether this works only time will tell. There is one known case where after
open-cast mining they replaced the overburdon upside-down, with the clay
above the topsoil, then built on it. I hope the OP is not in that
situation.
--
Jim S

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Old 09-02-2019, 01:10 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Sand for sticky borders

On Fri, 08 Feb 2019 22:19:14 +0000, Another John wrote:


Yes - it was a "high water table". He and his next door neighbour are on
land that was a field before they made their gardens; in fact half of
next door's still _is_ a field. The whole plot (3 or 4 acres) is on
the side of a gently domed hill (agricultural pasture), which has
springs. The water springs forth when it has forced its way up through
the clay, which is about 18" down. Last year, heavy rain forced the
water up through the land just "uphill" from my man's garden, hence his
borders were swamped. He has dealt with it by trenching along his
fence, and channelling the water around the garden.

[The proper way to do it would be to get a drainage man in, with the
right "heavy plant", but that will cost too much.]

And so: the soil is sticky because it was sodden -- under water -- for
months.

John


My house has a similar problem. The estate was built, in 1959, on the side of
a hill with the soil made up from bands of clay, gravel and topsoil. When we
moved in, in 1985, I excavated an existing soakaway to see why it wasn't
working. I found a 6" layer of clay at the bottom, so dug it out until I found
gravel. The next day, I had a 2 foot square water feature!

I've installed perforated drains along the uphill side of the small plot,
which had some effect. The greatest effect was when I built a workshop in the
garden with a pit in its base to house a compressor and store things. This
needed a sump pump to stop it flooding and has lowered the water table by
several feet.

When the estate was originally built on farm land, there had been moled drains
and clay tile drains, from what I saw when excavating in the garden, but they
were completely disrupted when the houses were put in.

With raised beds, filled with a lot of compost, I've got an almost functioning
garden after 30 years of work :-).


Regards
Mark Rand
--
RTFM


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