Hot answers tagged

14

Who knows? There could be lots of reasons. It might have been to help drainage (although proper rounded gravel probably does this better), but it might be just builder's fill - and a bulldozer leveled it out before the final top soil was added. A large number (majority?) of urban backyards in the US are made of varying degrees of builder's fill. All they ...


8

Three options I can think of right now: Craigslist, Local newspaper and Freecycle Our paper has a free $50 and under section which still gets traffic even in this digital age. You might be pleasantly surprised by someone willing to come pick that gravel up. Folks looking for fill material might not care at all that what it is mixed in. Freecycle is ...


8

I always liked 2' x 2' concrete paving slabs as they are reusable. A piece of plywood, even on top of gravel will be worse for wear after any really wet period. They are a bit tricky to get perfectly level unless you compact the gravel underneath first. Paving slabs will drain water but any leakage inside will sit on plywood or be absorbed


7

Crushed gravel is the media of choice for providing drainage. What you want is to have the maximum amount of airspace in the drainage layer so water has somewhere to go. Normally you would use 5/8" or even 7/8" crushed gravel but 3/8" will do. Pea stone gravel would not be my first choice as it will pack down over time and provide less airspace than the ...


7

Probably from the builders, as winwaed and LarsTech already point out, and previous structures that were built there. Though our backyard sounds much smaller than yours, it sounds like you've been just as unlucky. Our house is on land near a city centre that has undergone an "urban renewal" project, transforming from really shabby houses to slightly larger ...


6

We caught our builder burying crumbled concrete below our garage floor when building. They were bringing it from other job sites to save on dump costs. Since our house was the next to have concrete poured they thought they could hide it all below our garage floor. My husband, a concrete/materials inspector for over 16 years, just happened to show up while ...


6

Last time I rented a bobcat to dig out a compacted clay bank even with a toothed bucket it could not break up the clay. Compacted gravel could be equally hard. I recommend hiring a backhoe which has a hydraulic bucket on the back. Bonus is that the person/company owning the backhoe usually has a dump truck to pull a trailer. You can get them to break and ...


6

Two traditional methods which work but may not agree with you are: 1) tar the surface. I believe you could get a local construction company to do this as spraying hot tar may not be a chore you want to do 2) If your driveway is already compacted and drains well this is my preferred solution: Crusher run or Crushed stone: this is generally limestone or ...


5

It sounds like you are on the right track. Depending on how "small" the gravel bed is, you could dig the gravel into a wheel barrow or trough, and then fill the container with water to float the weeds and "clean" the gravel. Then you'd have to deal with the weed seed bank that has surely developed in the soil under the gravel. Landscape fabric might do it, ...


4

Get a pair of wellies on, a rake and a spade. Rake it as level as you can, use the spade to bash any larger lumps, and then walk all over it, not missing even an inch - this should break up the clods and also reveal any soft, sunken parts. Now rake it again and walk over it again, repeat if necessary. I hope this area isn't absolutely huge... otherwise its a ...


4

I found a product called Stone Man Stay Put. The manufacturer is Ivy League Landscape LLC. Found it at Ace but I'm sure Home Depot has it too. Simple water like mixture. Put it in your sprayer and apply a thin coating. You literally cannot tell there is anything holding the stones together, but they do not move. It's been two years and I have not had to rake ...


3

A bobcat for 15X30 might work well but you need to protect your lawn from the weight using sheets of plywood. You will need to know where you want to dump that debris, depending on the size of your lot and/or pay for disposal. Do not disturb more soil deeper than 2" or than necessary during the removal of gravel/weeds. If you want to plant more grass find ...


3

For removal of weeds from a small area, the boiling water method works like a charm and I have been using that method for years with great success. I hate using weed killers because of the damage it does to the environment and I have plenty of beautiful frogs around my place to prove that it does work.


3

Without more information my advice would to definitely install drainage. If you have nowhere to drain TO, you can easily create a 'dry well', a pit lined with LS fabric, filled with drain rock, covered with fabric and then covered with gravel, more drain rock or cobble...the trench would be landscape fabric, perforated pipe wrapped in landscape fabric then ...


3

Try using a gravel stabiliser! I used one on my driveway, which was also on a slope. The one I used was called COREgravel Coredrive, and it has really helped. It's from the UK, but you can probably find something similar wherever you live. I saw another forum which said these grids must have a weed membrane already attached, so when I was hunting for a ...


3

It sounds like the original builder may have dumped any remaining concrete from the mixing truck into your yard and top soil was just thrown over that later. Although 60' is a lot of concrete. Maybe it was once a drive way.


3

Couple of things - first, the corner of the material you've found is likely the edge of a geotextile membrane which extends beneath the deck to prevent anything from growing through, and to discourage rodents from making it their home (which they do quite like to do beneath decking). Second, the pebbles were presumably on top of the membrane in the open ...


2

Similar to Allen's boiling water method, you could try solarizing the patch, if it gets enough sun. Basically, you'd just lay a clear plastic tarp over the area and roast the seeds to death. It takes a few weeks during hot, sunny weather, but I think this is the least labor-intensive method suggested so far. http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/...


2

Freeze-thaw isn't doing it in South Florida (nor "after every rainstorm"), and in normal weather conditions air transport is limited to dust. So, your most likely option is critters that live in holes in the ground, from little ants on up through land crabs and larger things. The rain upsets their tunnels, so they clean them out.


2

I can agree with Black Thumb. I have the same problem. But there is another explanation for it, here it goes. In any place where it is cold enough (like winter) to freeze the ground you will experience this. The reason for them to come to the surface is because they are better conductors of heat than the soil. So the stone will conduct heat away from the ...


2

If you want to be able to use that space I would reconsider re-using river rock. Tough to put a table or chairs on and certainly hard to walk upon. Much better use of your time would be to dispose of the river rock somewhere on your property that doesn't get much traffic. Or ask your friends or neighbors if they'd like 'free' river rock. They just have ...


2

You could try making all the weed seeds germinate this year. It's late enough so that unless they're perennials or cold-tolerant annuals (or have a very short life-cycle), they should die with the cold without reseeding again (after they germinate this year, that is). If enough of them sprout this year, you may not have a problem next year (that's the hope, ...


2

In my opinion it would be a serious mistake to lay the planings over soil/grass. You will find that a lack of preparation will cause problems in the not-too-distant future and you will be faced with removal of the planings and the soil/grass and starting again. (Problems such as uneven grade, ponding of water leading to pot holes of ever increasing ...


1

You've said the deck is at ground level, so it is possible to replace it with paving slabs. However, laying slabs involves a lot of work and cost; there's the digging out, the aggregate then concrete mix to go beneath the slabs, and then the slabs as well. If you wanted pavers, they should be laid on sand, but probably you'd still need to do some digging out ...


1

My father-in-law used a non-slip deck paint very much like the one shown below to coat his home's deck, porch, and stairs. Some specs: Type: One-part polyurethane nonskid enamel Finish: Low sheen Solids by Volume: 54% Coverage: 94sq.ft/qt Aggregate: Fine mineral bits It works as advertised and has lasted more than a few years now (in full sun, too). Its ...


1

It would be good to know how long its been in that pot; hopefully not too long because the pot you've used is way too big for the plant, which is never a good idea. The pot should only be large enough to leave an inch (at most) of clear soil around and below the rootball. The reason for this is because, with a lot of empty soil around a rootball, over or ...


1

Our builders broke up the concrete from the old house and spread it around so it is in various areas of the garden. I've found that the crumbled concrete seems to suck a lot of moisture away from the plants roots. The fruit trees do okay, probably because their roots go deeper, but it badly effects vegetables like tomatoes and strawberries. I can't grow ...


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