• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Steve Thorn

I think I screwed up... (Culvert)

 
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all,

I have a ditch about 4 feet wide at the top, 2 feet wide at the bottom, and 2 feet deep. I put in a 18" double-headed plastic culvert pipe.  I had some extra topsoil, and used that to backfill the ditch. I added about 6 inches at a time, tamping each new layer. It took about 4 tons of soil.

Now, I'm afraid I made a mistake using the topsoil. I was planning on putting a couple inches of gravel on top, as vehicles will be crossing this ditch. If the topsoil will settle and pack eventually, meaning I'd need to add more gravel, I'm okay with that. Will the topsoil ever stabilize, or will this continually give me problems? I'll dig everything out and replace with gravel or fill dirt, if I have to, but not looking for extra work if it's not necessary.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
 
pollinator
Posts: 438
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
86
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I may be reading this incorrectly for comprehension, but...

If you used top soil for back fill down inside the ditch to stabilize the culvert, I would be concerned with washout.  If you are doing gravel anyway and don't mind the extra effort, I would flip the two.  Gravel for the bedding.  Top soil above the pipe to hold the driveway material.  I am not sure the top soil will stablize or not.  Depends on the amount of clay content.  However, it has a better chance to stay put on top of the ground than in the ditch.  
 
Posts: 150
31
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Depends on what your "topsoil" consists of. For example, my subsoil is orange clay, and my "topsoil" is more like brown clay which will compact. If your topsoil was more of a sandy loam mix, I would have reservations with it continuing to settle or washing out. Ideally back fill with a clay based fill dirt. That said it would be hard for me to dig out a finished culvert.
 
Rocket Scientist
Posts: 4363
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
1461
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes Lane, I think you screwed up...
There's a first time for everything right!
At this point I agree with John, its already buried leave it be for a year and see what happens.
Add gravel as it settles.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1428
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
368
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Unfortunately, topsoil is a giant sponge that expands, moves, contracts, and never really packs well. Not great road material.

As mentioned, much depends on your subsoil. If it's very sandy, you're not going to win anyway. But pure clay packs like concrete.

If the traffic is light vehicles, you may be okay. Any kind of heavy truck traffic will pound your road all to heck.

A soft road can soak up infinite volumes of gravel. Given the cost of gravel these days, it may be worth looking into geotextile. This is like mondo industrial grade landscape fabric. Put this down before adding gravel, and at least it won't mix in.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1927
Location: Bendigo , Australia
127
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A photo is worth a thousand words! Can you load up one?
 
Evildoers! Eat my justice! And this tiny ad's justice too!
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/greenhouse
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic