Boggy lawn areas (not yet turfed)

24 Sep 2004
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United Kingdom
Hi, I wonder if anyone can help me with the following.

Our back garden used to slope fairly steeply towards the house. This slope was covered with a mass of moss, weeds and the odd bit of grass. In the summer my wife (and I) decided that it would be a good idea to get rid of the slope and create a flat, level lawn area for our young son to play on. The sloping area to be levelled measured approximately 8 x 7 yards and between 24" and 36" in depth at the high end furthest from the house.

With the help of my brother and some very useful advice from this forum I dug the slope out to a level removing a large amount of house bricks, rubble and what appeared to be mortar along the way. I then rotavated the soil to a depth of 6" and mixed in 12 large bags of compost. The soil was raked level and I removed approximately 8 wheel barrows full of stones from the surface. I intended to set about turfing the garden the following weekend, however due to other commitments, the garden was left untouched for three weeks. Over this three weeks there was a lot of rain!

The situation now is that there are a couple of areas which seem to be retaining water more than others and hence are very muddy (your foot would sink 4" if you stood in them at the moment) whilst other areas are firm and damp but not muddy. I'm not sure why these muddy areas exist as I have prepared the whole area in exactly the same way.

What, if anything should I be doing about these muddy areas prior to turfing? Should I ignore and turf over or as I expect should I be doing something to help drainage prior to turfing the area.

Any pointers, tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry to waffle on but I thought that the background info may help.
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You are right to worry! You do need to do something before you turf.

Sounds like you have a inpenitrable surface below where the water is now collecting. You could dig holes in the areas affected to at least a couple of foot and see if you meet a really hard surface. If you do, break it up.

Maybe this was not a problem before as the extra height from the slope and all those bricks ect were allowing it to drain (plus you had a slope!).

Hope that helps.

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