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Help leveling my yard

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by C Jay on November 18, 2004 02:05 AM
Okay, I am in Eastern TN. Our house is about 2 years old and the subdivision it is in was a cow pasture just a few years ago. The finished product was a horrible, unlevel yard with a mixture of good soil in some places and horrible clay in others mixed with sand/rock for the rest. What would be the best thing to do before spring to prep the yard to help the leveling issue and covering those areas not good enough for grass to grow on??
by geegeeburr on November 18, 2004 05:30 AM
Hey, CJay. Are you going to hire someone to level it?
My husband and I have just spent about 80 hours last week trying to level our back yard because it slopes toward our house. We're using a retaining wall and putting in a flagstone patio. Our back yard is completely enclosed by a wall, so we're using a wheelbarrow, shovels, and four very tired arms and legs and two very racked backs. We've barely made a dent in what we need to do. So, if you're wondering about leveling it yourself, my most earnest advice is: DON'T. If there's any way possible, get someone with a backhoe or bulldozer or something.

I wasn't really sure if your question was about the leveling, or about soil prep. I'm a novice gardener, but if question was about soil prep, my best guess would be to till in some compost and topsoil with the bad soil you've got. Maybe someone more knowledgable on this topic will step in with with more information.

But if your question was about the leveling, and you're doing it yourself, PM me, and I'd be happy to tell you what (little) we've learned so far.
Good luck!

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by suzydaze on November 18, 2004 04:23 PM
I'd have to agree too, hire someone to level it. Hubby and I mashed out a wheat field 5 years ago to put a double wide trailor on, ground was already almost level but from years of non use it had not settled and once we started walking, playing and mowing over it we now have dips and high spots all over the yard. If you own a tractor then I'd say just go for it. Here we have to borrow one from my cousin everytime we want to level, or do it by hand (not a fun job with a shovel and wheelbarrel) Anytime I can catch a farmer on a backhoe I try and get some dirt moved. But you're looking at a big and on going job. Good luck

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I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.
-Jennifer Unlimited-
by frustratedattimes on November 21, 2004 03:37 AM
C Jay,
How big a yard are we talking about here???? If you go to the link under my signature, you will see pictures of my yard last winter and spring as I worked to level my backyard and build raised beds in the front with the removed dirt. I did all the work by hand (about 190 wheelbarrow loads of dirt). It took me about 3 weeks total. After I had removed most of the soil, I used a tiller and rototilled it all as deep as the tiller would work. I then used a large rake, stakes, some string and string level, and leveled everything as best as possible.

I won't kid you, it was hard work, but it was well worth it in the "satisfaction and pride" factor. Also, I was on a tight budget, and wanted to spend my limited funds on plants and grass seed, etc.... instead of 60 - 100 bucks an hour for someone with a bobcat or backhoe.

I hope this sheds some light on your issue.

PS Welcome, I really love this place and all the people that are willing to help when you have a question. [wayey]

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I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Wayne

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