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Old 05-01-2011, 05:30 PM
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Two years ago I installed a retaining wall and had crushed stone hauled in and gravel placed on top to level everything out.

I had some loam hauled in as well, but it only covered 2" or so and of course nothing really grew and it seems to have mixed in with the gravel at this point.

My question is, what amount of loam is required to cover gravel and get a healthy lawn?

I was thinking of 6" of loam would do it?
Old 05-03-2011, 04:42 AM
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3 inches fill..then six inches screened loam.
Old 05-03-2011, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Semper Fi-sh View Post
3 inches fill..then six inches screened loam.
That sounds about right. You might be able to get away with 4" of loam depending on your water needs.

I would put landscape mesh between the stone and the fill.
Old 05-03-2011, 08:03 AM
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The more loam,the better! If the loam is not thick enough,the roots will dry out in the hot months and fry the lawn;no moisture retention.6" absolute minimum!
Old 05-03-2011, 08:36 AM
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Without landscape fabric, the loam will continue to filter into the gravel AND degrade the gravel's ability to drain water. Frost damage to retaining walls will follow.
Old 05-03-2011, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cedarholm View Post
Without landscape fabric, the loam will continue to filter into the gravel AND degrade the gravel's ability to drain water. Frost damage to retaining walls will follow.
I have never heard of this before, are you talking gravel or crushed stone?
Old 05-03-2011, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PMaine View Post
I have never heard of this before, are you talking gravel or crushed stone?
Which part do you not understand? The landscape mesh keeps the dirt from filter down into the spaces between the stone. If the stones purpose is to help with drainage, it won't work with dirt mixed in. The same thing is done with septic drainage fields.

The need for "loam" is only a couple of inches with a base of good dirt of another 6 to 8". The root system of most grasses don't require a lot of loam. the dirt is there to hold water. You can add peat moss to the dirt and it will help even more.
Old 05-04-2011, 06:06 AM
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The crushed stone is already covered by gravel, that work is done and is a non-issue, which is why I am confused about adding fabric over the gravel again.

I am now faced with a gravel base (which up here is dirt/sand/small stone mixed).

So my confusion is why would I need to add fabric over existing dirt before adding loam?
Old 05-04-2011, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by PMaine View Post
The crushed stone is already covered by gravel, that work is done and is a non-issue, which is why I am confused about adding fabric over the gravel again.

I am now faced with a gravel base (which up here is dirt/sand/small stone mixed).

So my confusion is why would I need to add fabric over existing dirt before adding loam?
Maybe I misread.

The goal is to prevent ANY soil / dirt from being able to work it's way into any gravel that was installed behind retaining walls.

A soil/gravel combo can freeze and push laterally and damage retaining wall.
Old 05-04-2011, 10:05 AM
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Over a gravel base you should have minimum 4", 6" is better, cheaper alternative (and some times better) is to use a loam with a heavier clay content. Some of the loam I used was fairly clay heavy and my lawn receives minimal care and seems to flourish with very little watering.

You only need landscape fabric over washed stone before overgrading with either loam or gravel.

i have had in the neighborhood of 400 tons + of fills, loams, dense grades, washed, etc brought onto my property in the past 7 or 8 years and am pretty used to working with the different fills.
Old 05-04-2011, 12:19 PM
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I think we have a little misunderstanding of terms and purpose. I was assuming the crush and gravel were for drainage and the loam was for the grass. One wouldn't put loam over crushed stone and gravel without a fabric between the two.

Loam is a "rich" and sometimes enriched soil. A couple of inches of loam is enough to grow grass. Under the loam, you should have 6 to 8" of soil (dirt). If there isn't a mesh between the soil and the gravel, you'll loose the soil and loam over time as it will filter down into the gravel.

I would either scrape off the 2" of loam and put down the mesh and the add back at least 6" of loam or you could add another 4 to 6" to what you have and see what happens.
Old 05-04-2011, 12:41 PM
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Filter fabric is not the secret to a good lawn . Food and water are the key . 30 years in excavation and I've seen sod like a carpet torn off an inorganic base (gravel) with almost no topsoil at all ! Its almost hard to believe , yet a lawn so lush you would think loam is a foot thick ?
Old 05-04-2011, 05:37 PM
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I have tried everything to get the grass to grow, I am in dense shade as well.

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