Using compost to regrade lawn
Asked May 31, 2011, 11:23 PM
Hello all. I have an older house with a well-settled yard. It has settled quite a bit around the foundation so there is now a dip directing water into my basement wall. I know I need to regrade, and I want to put a patio back there while I'm at it, so I don't care about the lawn in the area I need to grade - in fact I want it gone. I need to do this as cheaply as possible, so I've been thinking of using compost, at least in part. Last summer I started surrounding my raspberry patch with grass clippings in an effort to contain stray raspberry shoots and encroaching weeds from the neighbors' yards. It's ugly while it's settling, but after a couple weeks of Michigan rain, it seems to make for surprisingly good landfill and weed control. Would it be a bad idea to try to use this method right up against the foundation of the house? I've got quite a bit of ground to build up (about a 3x3" dip to fill plus I want to grade out about 10' times about 20' along the side of the house) and that much top soil is out of the budget. I could probably fill the dip with as much mulch as I would get from just one mowing, and that would be free. Would it retain too much water and do more harm than good? Could I mix it with soil and risk a weed garden? I'm collecting scrap pavers for a free-form patio, so I don't need it perfectly level, just directing water away from the house instead of into it, and preferably grassless. Any input, even just to tell me I'm an idiot for even thinking this might work would be great.