Mud... The enemy.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    Around our place we are fighting mud right now. With gravel anywhere from 11 - 15 dollars a ton I was wondering if anyone has found any cost effective or free sources to help those heavily travelled areas on your homestead in the fight against mud. I have access to a shingle tabs that I can get for free from a local owens corning shingle factory. I am just not sure if there would be any environmental impact to my drinking water from these or if they are innate.

    Looking forward to hearing of peoples solutions.
     
  2. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    I have a spot on the north side of the house where the snow/ice is v-e-r-y slow to melt and the mud doesn't want to dry out either. It's the access route from the driveway to the backyard where I have to cart my feed, so I finally put all sorts of stuff on it... thin straight branches, twigs, leaves, grass clippings, straw, etc. It builds up on top of the mud over time, and aside from making it much easier to walk on, it builds better soil which, hopefully, will mean better ground cover and root systems in the future. I don't think this solution would do much good if I had to drive on it though.
     

  3. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Ark. Ozark Mtns. (Marion County)
    I hate to say it ... rock, rock, and even more rock is about the only way to go - after you cure the drainage problem.
     
  4. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,026
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    WV
    I have learned straw can be slippery when walking, but for the muddy areas for the animals it works fine. I have a few small walkways I have used pine shavings on.

    But, you're talking to someone who just bought 25 ton of gravel for the driveway. So I guess my vote is for the rock. You might change the diameter of what you are buying to build a more sturdy layer. I think the best time to get the rock is when it is not so wet out though, so it can for m a concrete like top and not get so eaten by the earth immediately.
     
  5. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

    Messages:
    232
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Big flat rocks and gravel. I use big slabs of west Virginia limestone that likes to split in nice 3 inch thick slabs (some times a hammer helps convince it to split) I have no shortage of it, and creek gravel. I have to get the creek gravel one wheel barrow load at a time...so, it's an on going project. I put down a layer of gravel, set the rocks in place, level and then fill the cracks between the rocks with more gravel. Fortunatly I have several creeks on this property.
     
  6. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,983
    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Michigan
    In the long haul, only rock and drainage will solve the problem. For the short haul, I wouldn't advise using the shingles. One year we had access to some carpet that was being removed from a house and we cut that in strips and made a path from the house to the barn. It worked well for the season as a base for us to throw straw and old hay on. Eventually we put stone over the whole mess and dug some french drains that helped us avoid the mud from house to barn.
     
  7. johnghagen

    johnghagen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    :) This is what we use and it is great and compostable,Wood chips the ones that come from your tree trimmers these are about 2 to 3 inches long and are free.The local utility company hires a frim out of Ohio to com to Illinois every year to trim trees off power lines,they gladly give you 8 ton at a time as there trucks push the chips out where you want them ,get all you want as much as you want.Great bedding in barn and chicken house and chicken run.The name of the tree trimmers are Asplunda or Wright Co.Very nice people.
     
  8. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    50 miles southwest of Louisville
    Around here we can get old big rolls of grass hay for $5. I've used those allot for walkways, garden paths, etc. But don't plan on ever picking it back up again, it's to much. You can just leave it and gradually build up the areas. Grass will always grow thru it, in fact, it's most likely full of grass seed. You can un-roll them, and have big sheets of it.

    Also, the big tree trimming companys, if you're close enough, will dump their mulch for free. It's corse, rough stuff, and stinks a bit, like whatever trees they are shredding. Only for walkways, not plant mulch, as it could have black walnut, etc, and might hurt your plants & trees. I like hay better than this.

    Saturday we were dry and warm, all the mud gone, and then Sunday morning, we got hit with allot of rain again. It's mud everywhere now. Rain should stop sometime today. I wish I had 100 rolls of hay right now. I had to lay down big wide boards over the mud for my wheelbarrow to get to the mulch piles in the garden. I don't know if asphalt shingles are toxic or not. Probably. A friend of mine used to have access to free used rubber conveyer belts from the mines in KY. I could put those to allot of uses for sure. Tires, if you could cut them and make them lay flat would be great. They are free everywhere, even the big ones. One company makes rubber walkways for dairy farms out of old tires.
     
  9. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    If you are close to a major urban area you should be able to get concrete and asphalt rubble for free. Build up a 10 - 12 inch base and put a skim of gravel over the top.

    Asphalt grindings (the layer they grind off the road when they repave) are usually very cheap, you just pay a little for the load and then the trucking bill. It works out to about $5 a ton if you arn't trucking too far.

    If there are any steel mills or other metal refineries nearby, call and find out what they do with their slag. Here they crush it and it is free, you just pay for trucking. Not the cleanest stuff, but the price is right.

    Pete
     
  10. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,516
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    You want mud? Oy vey! Come here! First we had to drill a new well which completely destroyed the north enterence to our home! No side walk-just mud. Then a attached garage was built on the west eneterence which meant more mud. The enterence we usenow is the front or east enterenc and with the snow and rain and melting temperatures has become a mudhole.

    The only cure for this is gravel and we're waiting for later in the spring to do that!

    Good luck!
     
  11. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Rock only goes so far. If some future archeologist ever excavates my farm, they will likely find about 6 feet of sunken gravel in spots. After a few years, the gravel disappears under the mud and we throw more on top.

    Geo-textile fabric is the only true solution. I don't know how cheap it is, but I have seen places where it is in use and it solves the mud problem, very effectively.

    Jena
     
  12. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    218
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    NW AR
    currently we have a 1/4 mile long driveway. A few years ago we went to the local cement place and got the wash out, the only cost was the gas for our truck. Since then my very wonderful FIL :confused: brought a highway grater and is learning how to use it on my driveway!!!! He has successfully pushed ALL the cement stuff off and the rainy season is here! I can barely get out of my drive way!! actually I drive everywhere else but my drive way as it is unpassible!!! Point is the wash out did work very well it got hard and we were able to have a nice driveway until...... It is a little dusty in the dry months,. Good Luck Rannie
     
  13. owhn

    owhn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    248
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Location:
    Vermont
  14. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Free carpet that has been taken out of homes to put new down! My landlord used it all around the house I was renting in CO and it really was great. You might have to add new layers in time, but it is free, so why not? You can put gravel or wood chips on top if you like.
     
  15. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,893
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Buckfield, Maine
    I agree!
    DH works for Davey Tree and they are always willing to give away truck loads of woodchips. He often brings home loads to dump on our property. We use them to fill in our access road, which is long and winding and we don't want to gravel the whole length. We also leave them piled and let them compost and use this for mulch. Just don't have them dump them too close to your home because like any wood product, they can attract termites and carpenter ants. Look up Tree Co.s in your yellow pages and make some phone calls. I'm sure you'll find someone willing to get rid of their chips.
     
  16. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    For walkways over muddy areas,a nice 4 inch layer of wood chips works great!

    BooBoo
     
  17. motivated

    motivated Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    671
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Location:
    CA
    My mom has a half-mile long dirt road to get into. She lays down a hunk of plywood across the worst spots. In the spring, she attaches an old bed springs to the bumper and drags it up and down the driveway-instant grader! It works pretty good.
    Jodi
     
  18. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Gravel will not squish down into the dirt if....

    You put a thick enough layer down, you use large enough stone and you place it over reasonably stable subsoil.

    Putting down a skim coat of gravel (anything less then 4") is surely a waste of your money unless it is to just dress up an already acceptable surface.

    Gravel remains stable by spreading out the pressure your tires exert on the surface. Your tires press on one stone on the surface, which in turn transfers the weight to four stones one layer down, which in turn transfers the weight to sixteen stones two layers down and so forth.

    With a thick layer of gravel the pressure on the subsurface becomes negligable, and so the gravel does not get pressed into the soil. How thick a layer you need depends on the size of the agregate (larger agregate spreads the weight better) and the stability of the subsurface. You will eventually get a stable surface by letting the gravel squish into the mud, as every time you put on another two inches you improve the subsurface conditions. Eventually the two inches you put on will be able to spread the weight enough because the subsurface has become hard enough. Much easier and less stressful to just do it right the first time.

    The last consideration is the shape of the gravel particals. Generally out of a sand/gravel pit you will get fairly round gravel pieces. These do not bridge nearly as well as the more angular pieces produced in a quarry, where the stone is crushed to produce gravel. Although the pit stone is cheaper, it usually is a poorer buy. Buy pit run, or crusher run stone, not clear stone. You need the fines to help the stone bridge and so spread out the weight. If you really want the clear stone look, build your surface out of crusher run and put a skim of clear stone overtop. Good luck plowing that driveway in the winter.

    Geotextile will help, but is costly and usually not required unless building on highly unstable ground.

    Pete
     
  19. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    SE PA, zone 6b

    Where would you look to get access to concrete rubble? There are several great ideas for using this in the landscape.

    If you were to build a driveway for trucks to deliver compost and leafmulch, etc., could the asphalt rubble be used? Should it be ground or left in chunks. Should there be base under it?

    Thanks for the help...
     
  20. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    I have for years been in an ongoing battle with MUD 6 months of the year, sometimes it gers a foot deep like stiff pudding. whenits dry a jackhammer cant bust it.

    this year i stopped being cheap, and did it right and its the only cure that has worked 100% with horses walking onthe walkways, with mud on either side.

    dumping sand is useless, any gravel is generally useless. gravel creeps putward as you walk on it.

    the key is "lockers".
    whats a locker... a locker is a large stone about the size of a walnut or larger. the first thing you have to do is remove the mud to where there is firm ground.
    yes, this took me a month in the rain it nearly killed me.

    next you have to pour a bed of lockers down, it doesnt take a thick bed,a thin bed worked for me because of my hard subsiol.
    the lockers bite into the ground as downward pressure is put on it via walking above.
    next is 0-1 driveway slag. you can use 1-2 driveway slag its harder to shovel... but sets better.

    I have poured, tin bucket by bucketfull a 3" wide and 10" deep trail thru the sloppy area to the shed where the horses go (and I have to go). the more they walk on it the tighter 0-1 slag packes, and when the sun bakes it dry for a few days it becomes almost impervious to water soak, and in essance sets like cement.
    you will have to maintain the surface with a pail or 2 of slag now and then, but in general... other than pouring high agreigate cement.... 0-1 slag (with a little sunshine) is your best bet.
    I got 23 tons delivered for 230 bucks total. I still have some places to go and 2 driveways to patch up, and will need a second load, BUT I would pay 4 times the price for this wonderful stuff.
    1-2 slag is large enough to burise up a horse sole so I stick with the 0-1, as its largest grain is grape sized but 80% is smaller than that and the fines work between the slag and lock it all up tight as rock.

    if you have tons of field or garden rock those are ok lockers but flat rocks slip and move... the point of a "locker" is to bite in.
    large red dog cinders make good lockers... but red dog is hell on a hoof.

    for the price and the result.... use as much 0-1 driveway mill slag as you can afford.