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Fixing a soggy lawn made of potting soil

Zoo_GardenZoo_Garden Posts: 1
edited April 2018 in Problem solving
Hi all,

I´m new to the community and am looking advice to solve a damp, soggy lawn.

We moved into a house with last year which had a large pond occupying approximately half of the garden´s surface area. Expecting another child shortly after moving in we wanted to remove any potential for accidents so, after safely rehousing the few fish, we drained and removed plastic pond basin without any great difficulty - it was stagnant without any filter or fresh water flowing through. 

Looking for a quick solution the local supermarket two minutes walk away had a pallet of potting soil sacks which we used to fill the hole left after removing the pond. Nonetheless we thought we´d try our luck and try and turn it into a lawn so we loosened the undersoil to help drainage, used a plough to level the soil once emptied from the sacks and sowed grass seed several times from March/April ensuring the seed and remaining lawn was adequately watered during the spring and summer.

As a result its become a decent lawn covered in grass but unfortunately the part where we used the potting soil sacks remains sopping wet, even without recent rainfall. I think the potting soil we used may have contained compost or peat which I have read can act as a sponge retaining the moisture. 

We have since discovered that the drainpipe taking the rainwater from the roof also runs onto this part of the lawn which we assume exacerbates the moisture retention problem.

Now with the weather improving we will take the time to sort out the lawn properly so we will dig a trench in the garden to take the water away through an extension at the end of the drainpipe to the edge of the garden. Whilst out digging the garden I´d also like to get a layer of topsoil over the potting soil that will drain properly and support a durable lawn.
I would estimate that we have a varying depth of between 50cm and 1m of potting soil that filled the pond hole. What depth would I now need to remove over the entire area to put down a layer of topsoil that drains properly? What kind of soil and other elements e.g. sand should I use for the replacement topsoil? If there is anything else I may need to consider any help is greatly appreciated!


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,193
    edited April 2018
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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