Laying sod over wood chips?


Old 02-05-16, 12:41 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Laying sod over wood chips?

I have a 10x10' patch of dirt/wood chips from a tree that was removed a few years ago and the stump is still under it. Since it has the wood shavings mixed with the dirt it hold in water a lot and makes the ground soft and spongey to the point where my feet sink into it. I imagine it just needs to be compacted.

Could I just compact the soil and then lay sod over it? Or does it need to be compacted and then a layer of topsoil over that and then sod? Im not sure what the right way to compact it is either. Any ideas are appreciated!
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Old 02-05-16, 05:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
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I'm not an expert in this area, but I'll offer a layman's opinion. Adding 2" of topsoil is probably a good idea.

My concern though is for the contour. The wood chips will continue to decompose and settle. As a result, the area may not appear level with the surrounding space. For that reason alone I would compact the area.
Old 02-05-16, 05:58 AM
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I say remove the sawdust and stump if possible then refill the area with topsoil. The organic material will decompose and 5 or 10 years you will have a low spot in your lawn. Also, wood chips are low in nitrogen and don't add the "organic value" that most people think.
Old 02-05-16, 06:21 AM
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Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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I agree with Pilot, not removing the wood chips would be the WRONG thing to do.
Old 02-05-16, 07:51 AM
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Decaying wood chips in the soil will also likely lead to mushrooms in the grass.

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