How to get a level lawn field loaded with rocks
I have a field that is 100 x 100 feet. It's unlevel and kind of rocky. I have been trying to get it to just have a level ground of grass to look like carpet but mowing it is a hassle because of rocks and boulders that slightly come out of the ground. I spent all of yesterday and the day before with my shovel and stone-pick digging up the boulders and moving them to the edge of the field but after picking through the field I have noticed that it seems to me that the entire field is purely rock underneath a thin layer of soil and my grass and weeds. I think this is the reason I can't get a nice clean grass carpet, because the rocks cause the bare spots which encourages the weed growth.
I am assuming this will be expensive, but supposing I were willing to invest a couple of thousand in this, what is the best thing I can do? Should I get a company with a bulldozer to till and rake the entire field?
I thought maybe the wiser move would be to contact a landscaper but I would think that this is an uncommon problem for which their guess is as good as mine. I wouldn't want to pay them for an attempt, I'd rather pay for a fix.
I'd rent someone with a bulldozer and have them rip up 6 inches by 6 feet wide and move it to one side. Then sieve the rocks out of that line and move them into the hole. Then move the rest of the soil above it. And then go onto the next line. All of this seems like overkill.
The other thought I had was to simply order a few tons of topsoil, get it leveled, and then lay down rolled up sod grass. The problem with this idea is that I have a neighbor that lives next to that field and she'd probably get flooding from rain water if I add more height to my side.
by the way I live in northern Jersey.
Last edited by reformedman; 09-28-2012 at 09:52 AM.
Re: How to get a level lawn field loaded with rocks
There is a reason for all those rock fences in Europe, there is no way to get rid of the rock, they will always migrate to the surface. The best you can do is collect them as they do and remove them.
You could go to the time and expense of screening the top few inches of your soil, but the thing is, you will need to cart those rocks off or find a new home for them, you don't want to bury them back in your freshly cleaned soil. Still, whatever is below the point you stop your screening process will eventually work its way to the top as well. How quickly will depend on how active your soil is, the lighter/sandier it is, the faster those rocks will surface.
Cures? Not much you can do, either live with them or try to remove them. One thing to keep in mind if you start excavating, make sure to grade your ground so that you have natural drainage. It is also illegal in most places to redirect water from your property to neighboring properties, you can only redirect into natural/municipal systems.
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