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Wobbly Soil!

Firstly a disclaimer - I'm pretty new to gardening and this is my first post. Please be kind!

So, the problem... I had a patch of lawn I wanted to plant up with wildflower / grass seed mix. I followed the instructions, and in December time I removed the turf and dug out all weeds, mixed in some compost and covered the soil over winter. 3 months later I've gone back to gently tread down the soil and even it out a bit before adding the seed mix and I found when I trod on my boards that I started to sink!

We've obviously been hit by rain and snow in the past weeks and whilst this area of garden never seemed to suffer from standing water before it seems like it has been a magnet for the water over the winter. The soil is like jelly - I can wobble it! I don't see water on the surface though.

How big of a problem is this? Will it naturally dry out or should I try to do something else to speed up the drying or help aid the drainage? Whilst the rest of the lawn is still a tad damp, nothing is close to as bad as the area I have "prepared."

Thanks for your advice,
Kevin

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,290
    edited March 2018
    Hi Kevin  :)  This sounds like something that occurs from time to time in @Hostafan1 's garden ... indeed we've been there and bounced up and down on what seems like a waterbed-type mattress.  
    Hopefully he'll see this post and pass on his thoughts ...
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    I've a very dry garden (on chalk), but after lots of rain, the consistency changes greatly.  The recent frost lifted a lot of the garden too, and parts with lots of organic matter move when walked on.  But it's not like a water bed.  A week of dry weather and it will be like dust again.

    What's the geography like around there?  I know there's York stone, is that under your garden, are you on a 'pavement'?  I've a friend on top of the weald in Kent, who's garden pretty much sits on top of rock - and that dictates much of the planting.  So it would be good to know what you've got.

    Is/was the lawn area in a bottom?  Was it wet previously?
  • KevInYorkKevInYork inYorkPosts: 6
    edited March 2018
    Thanks dovefromabove - a waterbed-type mattress is a very good description of it!

    Where I am I think I'm sat on a bed of clay, we recently had to dig a 3ft deep trench for some electrical work and we didn't hit any rock at all.

    The whole lawn was dry and flat previously, though the area I have worked is lowered slightly now from having removed the turf and possibly an inch of soil at the same time. I hope that helps!

    Edited to include before picture, and the scene a week ago.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,334
    I do indeed have the same thing. 
    Dove calls it a water bed, I said it was like a hot water bottle, Dove's lovely OH said it reminded him of a breast implant.
    To each his own eh?
    Not helpful, but in my garden it goes away again.
    Devon.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,290
    Hostafan1 said:
    I do indeed have the same thing. 
    Dove calls it a water bed, I said it was like a hot water bottle, Dove's lovely OH said it reminded him of a breast implant.
    To each his own eh?
    Not helpful, but in my garden it goes away again.
    I remember that Hosta ... he has still to explain convincingly how he acquired familiarity with breast implants 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,290
    Looking at the photo again ... I can't see a roof gutter on your shed and I can't see a roof gutter on your neighbour's shed either ... there'll be a lot of rain and water from melting snow in that area ........ I suggest some guttering and water butts on both buildings will improve the drainage in that area considerably. 
     :) 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • KevInYorkKevInYork inYorkPosts: 6
    Thanks both.
    Well spotted with the guttering - the top photo is out of date - a water butt and drain pipes went on not long after the photo was taken (it is visible in the snowy picture.) The water butt is completely full now. Is it worth hosing the water out to another area of the garden until the rains have gone so that the butt completely takes the run-off from the shed? I don't think there's much I can do with the neighbour's shed apart from have an optimistic word.

    Is it a bad idea to add more top soil / compost to the wobbly soil? Ideally I want to bring it up an inch or so (hence trying to level it out the other day.)

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,290
    Right ... so a full/overflowing water butt is adjacent to the patch of wobbly soil?

    I think you have your answer ...  :/

     :) 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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