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  • Jul 15th, 2018 10:00 pm
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[OP]
Member
Dec 23, 2006
233 posts
Toronto

Soil/clay removal

I'm looking to create a flower bed in my backyard. I need to removal those extra clay/soil (I'm pretty sure they are clay since water not going through them) , anyone would know how should I handle them? Any place I can drop them off or any recommend company will come pick them up at a cheaper price?
6 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
2911 posts
706 upvotes
Ottawa
Why not simply improve the soil by adding organic matter? Clay generally has good nutrients, it's just hard for plants to access it. If you have time, just have arborist wood chips or mushroom compost on top and leave it for several months - let worms do the work.

Removing the clay down a foot or two will just result in a perched water table, not healthy for shrubs, although you could get away with it for shallow rooted annuals and perennials.
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Jul 30, 2005
2994 posts
296 upvotes
Hamilton
I have concrete-like clay. I wasn't prepared to try and amend it over the period of a couple of years. I built a raised bed (lined with stones 1ft high) and dug out the clay at least a foot down (can't remember exactly it was a number of years ago). Filled it up with 8 yards of triple mix and the garden has been thriving ever since.

I have been trying to amend the soil on the lawn and it's been a tedious process. 2 years in a row putting 2 yards of soil down and have seen some but little improvement.

I had the same problem you have though, it was getting rid of it. After digging out the back I had no desire to do it again, so for the front I hired someone. One condition I had was he had to take all the soil away with him as sell as remove the pile of dirt I had set aside in the corner of the backyard from the backyard garden. While digging the front, it was lifting the guys machine off the ground. He said it was some of the hardest dirt he had ever tried to dig.
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Dec 26, 2005
15579 posts
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Thornhill
I’ve dropped off bags of clay at the dump. I heard that there are places hat take clean fill for free with bin rental though. I didn’t bother because it was only 5-6 bags.

bjl
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Deal Addict
Jan 20, 2014
2264 posts
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Ottawa
OttawaGardener wrote:
Jul 14th, 2018 9:07 am
Why not simply improve the soil by adding organic matter? Clay generally has good nutrients, it's just hard for plants to access it. If you have time, just have arborist wood chips or mushroom compost on top and leave it for several months - let worms do the work.

Removing the clay down a foot or two will just result in a perched water table, not healthy for shrubs, although you could get away with it for shallow rooted annuals and perennials.
All that and doesn’t even attempt to answer the OP’s question.
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Mar 30, 2004
1843 posts
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Edmonton
AtlsNBP wrote:
Jul 15th, 2018 1:15 pm
All that and doesn’t even attempt to answer the OP’s question.
I think he’s just trying to give the OP some options. It would be easier and less expensive to amend the existing soil than to replace it, depending on the situation. We had that problem and by slightly raising the beds in question, we ended up with good viable flower beds at a fraction on the cost and effort of a full removal.
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Newbie
Aug 20, 2007
61 posts
14 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
andrew90 wrote:
Jul 13th, 2018 8:00 pm
I'm looking to create a flower bed in my backyard. I need to removal those extra clay/soil (I'm pretty sure they are clay since water not going through them) , anyone would know how should I handle them? Any place I can drop them off or any recommend company will come pick them up at a cheaper price?
...ahhh, removing and disposing of dirt aka fill...what fun!!! I aint gonna lie to you, it's not fun or easy.
Here are some options:
(now you didn't say how much you're removing, so I'll just approximate...
1. rent a bin. It's about $200 for a decent one, but you gotta do all the lifting and put the dirt in, or hire some "kids" to do it for you...I'd say another $200 for the labour (or min wage for how long it may take...a few hours at least)
2. some companies will come and do it for you, such as 1-800-got-junk. They'll even come and give you a free estimate.
3. if you have some time, and a bit of luck, post on kajiji or freecycle...some people want fill, and will come get it.
4. some farmers will let you dump on their land. I know a guy in Mount Albert who loves it.
5. Re-use it elsewhere. do you have a garden in front of your house? raise it up with extra soil....it may even look nicer
6. build your raised garden on top of it, then you don't need to worry.
7. sell your house, and let the next guy figure it out :)

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