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Need help with a rut on a slope

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HereIGrowAgain blog
Joined: 4/06/2012
Location: South Western North Carolina
Posts: 4
Posted: Apr/08/2012 8:10 AM PST

Hi. I'm trying to perk up the yard of my new home. There's nothing here but grass and clover. The soil in my neighborhood is a mess. There's quite a bit of erosion on nearby lots so I can see what the soil is like under the grass. There is a thin layer of top soil about 1/2-1 inch thick riding on top of sand that has almost no organic material in it. The whole neighborhood is on a slope which makes things worse. Every hard rain makes the erosion a little worse. One neighbor's driveway has eroded into a gully over the years. I don't want my yard to get like that.

Near the property line is a rut where someone driving a car swung out from the neighbors driveway to avoid the gully. This left a deep rut that cut through the top soil. They crossed over the property line so I have to fix the part of the rut in my yard. The landlord told me to just take a shovel and "dig it out till it's flat" but I think that will just turn a small problem into a bigger one. The rut is about 2 inches deep so the sand underneath is exposed. Nothing is growing in the sand. There is no organic material in the sand that I can see. The grass on either side is growing like mad but not spreading to the sand in the rut. I've considered buying some topsoil to fill in the rut but would it just wash away along with the sand? I've never worked with soil like this before. Any suggestions?
Betts blog photos
Joined: 7/28/2010
Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 1366
Posted: Apr/08/2012 9:19 AM PST

You're right about the will have to be amended If you want anything to grow in it. Compost was a big help with our yard, which is mostly clay...Rick used a lot of sand for drainage but I had to add the compost and amendment stuff for nutrients. Luckily we can get free compost from our refuse place.

Good luck!
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