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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:12 am 
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Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 8:25 am
Posts: 147
Location: Clute,TEXAS
I have been watching and participating in this forum for a while and have picked up several things but just want a confirmation as to what I am doing.

First, my house/yard are about 4 years old in a new and developing neighborhood. I had weedy lots on both sides of me until just a few years ago. It took up until about 6 months ago to get all of our lawns "straight" trying to keep the weeds, in particular dallisgrass, from invading my St. Augustine but things are looking good now.

Second, I converted to organics about 4 months ago and have put alfalfa pellets, horticultural cornmeal and liquid molasses on my lawn up until now and they are working great.

Now, here is my predicament, when the houses on both sides of me were built the building codes had changed a bit and both of the neighbors lawns are a bit higher than mine causing large soggy puddles on the borders of our lawns. Because of this, at least one bare spot is about 10' radius and about 8-10" below my neighbors so I felt I had to get drastic and slow 1/4 inch levelling was not going to work as my neighbors runoff just makes it worse every year.

So, even though the St. Augustine is doing great, except in the puddle, I have decided to go serious. So, I have added about 8-10" of topsoil(maybe, or probably the wrong ingredient) and watered it in several stages along the way. I am quite sure that it will sink a bit when it settles.

I am going to get some local St. Augustine to place on top of that here pretty quick so I want some confirmation on what I am doing.

I do have most of the basic ingredients in an organic program from Horticultural Cornmeal, Horticultural CGM, Alfalfa Pellets, Lava Sand and Green Sand, Liquid Fish and Seaweed, Garret Juice and many, many more.

So, from what I have read, I am going to guess that I should just lay the grass on top of the soil and apply some of the Cornmeal and some Liquid Fish/Seaweed and keep it watered for a while without making it soggy.

Any thoughts anyone?


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 Post subject: Lawn
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Hubbard,TEXAS
Since you haven't gotten an answer to your question, I'll put in my two cents worth. The Dirt Doc advises not to bring in dirt from elsewhere since it's probably different from yours. He usually advises to build up with lava sand, compost, etc.

If you want to cut cost on the new St Augustine, you can buy the square foot sizes, cut them in smaller squares and plant 6"-12" apart. Keep it watered and it'll soon cover the area. This is the way it was done before folks had the money to carpet their lawns.

You folks around Houston don't have the drought problem the rest of us are experiencing. So some light fertilizer every so often probably would help.

pakin


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:59 am 
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Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 8:25 am
Posts: 147
Location: Clute,TEXAS
I am sure that you are correct but I have few extended problems.

One problem is that my yard is low and as the matter of fact slopes back from the street towards my house. Every other house around here does just the opposite, starting at the house and sloping downhill to the street. All of their water congregates in my yard and rots my soil and drowns my yard and plants.

The part that I am resodding is about 1 foot to 18" low so I have to bring in some dirt somehow. Noone really sells our native soil around here either. It would take alot of Lava Sand and compost to really build up that much.

My thoughts are that I will build up with Red Dirt about 10" and let is settle for about a month. Then I will put some lava sand and maybe topsoil on top of that and let it settle for a while.

Finally I will add some cornmeal and place the sod square on top of that.

I am sure that it is not as hot down here as it is up there but it still reaches 99-100 degrees here. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
You may need to consider putting in drains around your low spots. It sounds like no matter what you do, your yard is going to be lower than your neighbor's, and sloping towards your house.
Or, go with the flow so to speak, and incorporate plants that like alot of moisture in that area ? Be creative and design new beds in that area ?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
This isn't an organic issue. You need to get the city and/or county engineer (whoever manages building codes) involved in this. The initial plans should never have been approved without proper drainage ON THEIR PROPERTY, NOT YOURS. Other houses should NEVER be allowed to flood your yard and certainly not your house. This could cost anywhere from thousands all the way up to the value of your entire property to fix. You might not be able to sell the property if it is deemed to be in a flood zone. The neighbors should have paid to do this right, but now you'll probably have to pay for it.

Ways to "fix" this are to build a curb and/or berm at the street to keep water from draining into your property. The berm would go at the driveway entrance and the curb goes the rest of the way. Along the sides you can do the same, but that might be ugly. What they typically do when the entire neighborhood goes in at once is to build deep (and ugly) swales between the houses to carry water sideways and then lengthwise to the low ground at one side of the block or the other. In any case there are going to be tractors all over your yard to fix it.

Hopefully you can compromise with the neighbors so your yard isn't a total sacrifice just keep the water draining properly away from your house. If your yard needs to get torn up, their yards should share the pain - half the swale goes on your yard and half in theirs.

You might want to talk to an attorney familiar with zoning and property values just to see what everyone's rights are before you knock on anyone's door. If your neighbors come at you with something unreasonable, you would want to know in advance.

This winter is supposed to be a wet El Nino one. You need to get hopping on this.

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