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filling up a big hole in the yard

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Joined: 3/21/2008
Location: decatur ga
Posts: 1
Posted: Mar/21/2008 6:18 AM PST

I had a pond in the the ground. My ex husband was going to reline it and he moved all the fish to a kiddie pool. We divorced before the hole was filled. I am happy with the fish and plants in the pool, but the hole was not my idea of a nice yard. Last summer my 8 yr old daughter and I poured soil in the bottom of the hole(it's about 4 ft deep and 7 ft in diameter). We spinkled wildflower seeds in the bottom and enjoyed seeing them pop up from the edge of the hole. This year, I took my neighbors bags of oak leaves raked from his yard and practically filled the entire hole, hoping it would decompose into soil, filling the hole and then ONE DAY I can plant there.
I recently got a small compost bucket for my kitchen, and now I am wondering if I can just dump the bucket in the hole and then add a layer of soil or should I get worms for the hole (filled with leaves now)? The leaves are so heavy I am unsure I have the strength to "turn it" regularly.
Any suggestions for my yard crevice full of leaves?
sweetlebee blog photos
Joined: 5/09/2005
Posts: 19587
Posted: Mar/21/2008 8:05 AM PST

I think what I would do is layer it with brown and green as much as possible. If you had chopped those leaves up with a lawn mower, they would decompose much faster. I think oak is slow to decompose. Also chop up the kitchen scraps as much as possible. There's also a product that you can add to compost piles to speed up decomposition.

We have a thread on here about static composting that was very informative. I'm going to look for it and post the link.
sweetlebee blog photos
Joined: 5/09/2005
Posts: 19587
Posted: Mar/21/2008 8:14 AM PST

Here it is: _no=1#92133

If you see any spaces in the addy after you copy and paste it in your browser, you need to take them out. It's one of the quirks we live with on GG.
AngelsGarden blog photos
Joined: 5/30/2006
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 1261
Posted: Mar/21/2008 8:55 AM PST

We have an area in our yard that we are doing the same thing with. Its kind of an eyesore, but its cheaper to fill it like this than just going and getting a truck load of dirt. LOL We just fill it will any and all organic material available. Leaves, small branches and our bagged clippings from the yard. The green grass clippings in the summer helps to break down the dryer materials. It kind of fills up and is a bit mounded on top, then after a good rain it sinks down some. When it gets closer to being the level that we want we will go ahead and put a good layer of topsoil on. Our area we are filling is long, maybe about 18 or 20ft.

If you wanted to use some of that product that helps to break it down you could use a 'compost pile mixer tool' to help mix it in. I don't remember exactly what the tool is called. They aren't too expensive either. You just insert the tool, then it has pieces that pop out at the bottom of the tool, then you pull it out. Some people find it to be effective. I haven't used one though. I can imagine when dealing with a hole that it would be rather difficult to turn the leaves and other material any other way.
sweetlebee blog photos
Joined: 5/09/2005
Posts: 19587
Posted: Mar/21/2008 12:14 PM PST

Same with just having a pile. That thing is heavy! I'll have to look for that tool!
stereoman blog photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: beautiful southern appalachians
Posts: 2168
Posted: Mar/21/2008 3:12 PM PST

You're not going to get much composting action in there, for several reasons. One, they're oak leaves, which are very high carbon and very acidic. Two, it's a hole in the ground, so there's no air circulation. Three, they're not chopped up, so they're going to pack down and impede air flow even further. Likely if you put compost down there it'll go anaerobic and become a nose-sore as well as an eyesore.

Best thing to do IMHO is bury them. Get a pickup truck load of topsoil and just dump it in. The weight of the soil will pack down the leaves. Two cubic yards of soil will fill the hole just about exactly one foot deep. Just right to start planting shallow-rooted perennials right away.
spiceoflife blog photos
Joined: 7/30/2007
Location: Suburb of Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 698
Posted: Apr/04/2008 10:48 PM PST

I am a HUGE proponent of composting, and I usually would say the more the better, but I have to agree with stereoman on this. The leaves will break down VERY slowly that deep down. And the vast majority of the leaves will be out of reach of the roots of most plants anyway. And when they eventually do break down, you'll be back to having a hole again. I would say that the best thing to do now would be to dump in some top soil over all and run a rototiller over the top foot or so to mix the leaves in with it, and go from there. Start a compost pile and top dress the bed with the compost.


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