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Old 03-14-2010, 09:11 PM
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 4,095,473 times
Reputation: 527


I'm planning to do my backyard. I took a 6-week landscape class so now I'm an expert, hahaha.

Actually, what I have now is a landscape plan, and, finally, a good idea of what I want to do back there. It's not a blank slate in my head anymore.

I have to replace a deck and patio (both were built wrong and are much too small). I was going to start small, but the concrete guys pointed out that we'll be excavating some dirt to do the patio and dig some holes for deck posts. That costs money to haul away, and really, I'll be shrinking my lawn for planting areas soon enough.

I'm thinking about just piling up the extra dirt from the patio area in the nearest area where a planting bed would be, OR spreading it in low spots in my yard, OR spreading it across all new planting areas in my yard. I haven't gotten yet to the point of building the beds or even knowing exactly what I'm going to build them with (wallet will have to absorb the patio/deck hit first). But since I have the dirt anyway, what does it make the best sense to do with it??? dump it in one spot, spread it over low spots, or spread it over all new planting areas??

And, what kind of company would I be looking for to haul in material for planting areas? Generic landscaping, or something more specific?

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Old 03-15-2010, 08:00 PM
201 posts, read 230,941 times
Reputation: 146
if moving extra dirt around the lawn, take care not to change the grade and create drainage problems. while it may not look like it now, the lot was probably graded with water in mind.

if you have dips and wet spots you could carefully place extra dirt in them and tamp the area or wait for it to settle (or both really) to see the impact

on the rare chance what they remove is good soil and not backfill, you could use it for flower beds or vegetables

i would not plant trees in an soil that was hauled in or moved around though. for trees, i would find the right ones for the soil type you have (even if it is sandy or clay or some other not so rich soil)

most folks find out how much hauling soil in costs and decide to lightly amend flower beds or garden spots, keep them mulched and let time take care of making "soil" out of construction backfill.

if you make the investment in topsoil and have it put in with proper grade, you need to protect it from spring rains that will enjoy moving it for you :-(
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