Creating a woodland garden

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Old 03-05-09, 10:33 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
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Creating a woodland garden

Ive got a bit of a challenging situation. I built a house in the woods about four years ago. I am trying to decide on the best method for tackling my landscaping in the backyard, which is where my septic system is.

My biggest question is what to do around the drain field. There is a large are that had been excavated and it has not been touched since. What remains is a large area of hard dirt that has been overrun with crab grass and weeds. Id like to turn this area into a place to put a swingset, horse shoe pit, hammock, clothes line, etc. I would like to either plant grass and/or make it into a woodland garden.

How would you go about removing weeds and loosening and leveling the dirt in the area. The thing that bothers me is disturbing the drain field.
 
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Old 03-05-09, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Jreed,

These sites have some great info on how to deal with a leach field. Both are in cold climates so any plant material recommended might not be appropriate to your location.
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/envirohor...7/426-617.html
http://clark.wsu.edu/horticulture/sm...ing-septic.pdf

I'm not a fan of using potentially toxic chemicals to remove weeds, etc. I would either strip off what is there with a rented power sod cutter, or use a radiant heat weeder to kill the weeds. Sod cutters come in different sizes.
http://www.pesticide.org/radiant.html
http://a123.g.akamai.net/f/123/12465...ery.jpg?size=l
http://www.curbagarden.com/1.jpg

Then you can apply a 4" layer of compost and till it in before you plant your lawn or other plants. Here's how to seed or sod a new lawn. The prep is the same.
http://www.garden.org/articles/artic...w&id=75&page=1
http://www.hortmag.com/article/Seeding_a_New_Lawn/

Here's a great tool you can make for leveling large areas.
http://turfgrass.com/planting/rake.html

Newt
 
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