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Jun 2, 2020 6:30 PM CST
Washington, DC
Suggestions for how to tackle this mound of earth at the back corner of the lawn? A friend thinks it might be covering a sump pump, and suggested not to dig there.

Thumb of 2020-06-03/nickelsnbills/796a1a
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Jun 2, 2020 6:34 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
It looks like from the color of the brick that at one point there was a lot of dirt piled up along the brick work, wonder if there is any possibility you could get any info from the previous owner
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Avatar for PlantingOaks
Jun 5, 2020 10:56 AM CST
central ohio (Zone 5b)
mmm, I bet the dirt on the wall is just where the bare earth splashes up.

I'm not sure what she meant by covering the sump pump. I thought sump pumps were usually in a pit inside the basement. (I don't actually know, our house predates them. It's...interesting in our basement)

Additionally, electric is (supposed to, by code) be buried much deeper than you would hit with a hand trowel.

In any case, I would probably dump enough compost and maybe other soil over it to make a proper raised bed. Plants like the drainage of a raised bed anyway. Compost will improve what looks like pretty iffy soil. Spray glyphosate to kill the weeds before you add new soil.
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Jun 10, 2020 4:41 PM CST
Name: GERALD
Lockhart, Texas (Zone 8b)
Greenhouse Hydroponics Region: Texas
I don't think it has anything to do with a sump pump, unless it's covering some kind of discharge, and you should be able to tell that by following the mound.

It's really got the look of waste ground. I wonder what the eave/roof edge looks like above. I'm a concerned about what may be underground. It looks like maybe a gas line coming through the fence. And there seems to be a lot going on with the electric. Any exploration into the mound should be done very carefully. And that underground electric cable running along under the clips. From experience, I know underground doesn't necessarily mean above ground. I would certainly have had that in conduit.

There's a lot of slop-jawed electrical work in sight, and I'd address that as a priority before worrying about the ground cover.
Avatar for CPPgardener
Jun 10, 2020 5:23 PM CST
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
You do have a very interesting 'rental' landscape between your front yard 'tree beheading' and the side yard 'weird raised area'. You could ask the landlord what's in the mound and what you can do there. You may not like the answer particularly, but at least you'll know. Any efforts will be better than what's there and there's the possibility that you'll get some help and ideas.

What???? It could happen.
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
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Jul 5, 2020 4:18 PM CST
Washington, DC
Update: I'm planning to pull the weeds, cover with compost, and plant buckwheat seed.
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