I have a wonderful backyard - with two problems.
One is that our backyard slopes on both sides and the other is that the ground is clay.
We are not able to dig up the clay and put down new soil - it is just too labour intensive to do it ourselves and is a fortune to hire for.
Does anyone know of an inexpensive place to get soil or some kind of fill to level out the sides of my yard (I'm guessing a couple hundred cubic yards) and also how can I get my grass to take and not be patchy on this clay base?
My yard is mostly shade and some sun - lots of very large trees.
You ciuld call a local excavating company and sometimes they have clean fill that they would be happy to dump in your yard for free. They usually have to pay to dump it somewhere. The only thing you would have to do is buy some top soil in order to seed your grass and seed it early spring. You can over seed it again in the fall if you want thicker grass. Also you can visit a local farmer and purchase inexpensive natural fertilizer, animal or pigeon manuer.
Before you do all this you have to make sure that your back yard is not sloped in a perticular way for water runn off or drainage. And that you do not interfere with your neighbours enjoyment. Basically you cannot raise your back yard and not have a proper water run off because it may end up in your neighbours yard. This could be bad. By law enforcement could get involved and even orders to remove can be laid. So make sure you talk to your neighbours and ensure them that you will not drain your yard into theirs.
also, if you want to put in a garden of vegetables and/or flowers be aware that you need the right kind of soil to get the proper drainage. most good gardening books will have a comprehensive section on soil and what is required. from what i understand you cant just put a top soil down and expect to get what you need. so check out a good gardening book and also use google to look up what is required in terms of over-all soil and drainage quality.
A couple hundred cubic yards sounds like a lot, how big is the yard and the slope?
think you can try get it from some orchard, they should charge less on the soil. but again, they might not sell it to you but give you someone else's contact number.
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