The Q&A Archives: Landscape

Questioner's Location: Camano Island, WA
Date: July 12, 2005

Question: Greetings to all of you

Thank you for sharing all your expertise with us.

On our ongoing landscape project the area close to the back of the house gets only morning sun and doesn't drain, now that we killed the grass it is really mushy.

We would like to put in some river rock. What should we do make it drain better once we put the river rock? How shall we prepare that area?

Thank you very much. You are terrific

Sole Switzer
Camano Island Wa

Answer: Solving drainage problems is not an easy task! Now that you've gotten rid of the grass, you'll need to make improvements from the ground up before installing the river rock. First aerate the soil to reduce compaction and follow with a 6-inch-thick top dressing of fine compost for mild drainage difficulties, or fill low spots with sandy, fast-draining topsoil. The cover the area with weed barrier and place your river rock over this. Or, you can lighten the soil texture in your yard by rototilling in topsoil, compost, and other organic matter; then smooth the prepared soil and lay weed barrier, then your river rock. Best wishes with your new project!

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