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How to repair ground at fenceline?

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  • How to repair ground at fenceline?

    My apologies if this has been covered before... I haven't been able to come up with a search query that brought anything relevant back on this subject!

    But after almost 5 years of 2 horses and a donkey being kept in pastures that open into a "dry lot" area around an old cattle barn where they are typically fed at the front fence line and the water tubs are at the fence line, I guess the enhanced traffic there has worn down the footing. So when I climb through the fence anywhere along an approximatel 20-foot length there, I now step "down" about 4 inches (whereas the ground used to be level on both sides.) I am concerned that I will eventually erode the foundation of the fence on the inside (in fact, the concrete mooring on one fence post is starting to show. It's a vinyl, 3-rung, white fence type.)

    So my question is: what is the best way to build the footing back up so it is level on both sides? (I'm new to managing a "farmette" since coming out here, so I don't know much about farm maintenance, and I don't yet have any serious farm equipment on hand, like serious tractors... just a riding, John Deere mower with no implements. But I possibly could find someone who could either loan me equipment, rent equipment, or I could try to hire someone to come in and do the job if I just knew what the job exactly entailed!)

    Thanks!!!

  • #2
    We had boarded a mare who paced the fence line digging a pathway of about eght inches deep... once we had her gone I put decomposed granite in as a back fill then topped off with compost

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    • #3
      The repair involves moving dirt. Like the highway dep't building up the shoulder. A pile of dirt at on end, then a blade to move and level. You can use a shovel or a blade behind a tractor... depending on how much labor vs machinery you chose.
      Equus makus brokus but happy

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by hosspuller View Post
        The repair involves moving dirt. Like the highway dep't building up the shoulder. A pile of dirt at on end, then a blade to move and level. You can use a shovel or a blade behind a tractor... depending on how much labor vs machinery you chose.
        Yeah, your answer is driving home the fact that I really do need to budget for a "real" tractor ("tractor-ette"???) .... and then learn how to drive one!! (And probably even how to repair one???)

        Oh well. It'll probably be the shovel and physical labor for now!

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        • #5
          This might be a time to learn about geotextile fabric, how it's use can help your "dirt" issues. Then there are the wonderful MACHINES you can rent that move dirt, dig holes, SAVE YOUR BODY from being damaged moving heavy things!

          Not sure what your budget is, but it sounds like the sunken area isn't too bad, still needs to be used for feeding as time goes on because it is a handy location.

          Suggestions could be to get a rototiller, see if you can "fluff" the dirt back up a bit. You can order more dirt, fill in with the fluffed up dirt. Mats on top of that worked dirt, can help prevent it getting QUITE so smashed down, gives a firm surface to put hay on in winter.

          The geotextile fabric layed down on the packed dirt, then filled on top to slightly above the outside dirt level or more, will get things back to about even, cover your cement post base. This dirt will also get packed a bit, so you overfill and should end up with both sides of the fence about even. The fabric will help prevent the new fill sinking away into winter mud. You should be prepared to add at least 6 inches of fill over the fabric to prevent hooves tearing it up. Cover all fabric edges deeply too. The fabric is light, easy to use and cut, should be available from landscaping services, maybe excavating companies doing roadside construction. Comes in big widths of 12-14ft, so it covers a big area. Seems to last forever if no one digs it up.

          With the dirt fill idea, it is TRULY best to rent a machine, skid-steer with a bucket to move that HEAVY dirt. Tractor with a front-end loader. They can move SO MUCH without you getting frustrated or hurt with the weight. Bonus is that machine makes short work of even a BIG truck load of fill, and you get to learn how to smooth things out, level the piles. You CAN do this driving of machines, we all started the same way and learned by doing the work. Rental delivery guy will give you a quicky lesson on how things work. Yes it takes time to get things the way you want, can be harder to do than it looks to get smooth, but is a good skill to have. Like sandbox machines only BETTER!

          When ordering dirt or a gravel fill, ask how big the truck is or how much it holds. You will probably have to ask the gravel pit folks how much fill you need with measurements, length x width x depth, so they can convert that to cubic yards for your order. I know I never figure it right, so I always get extra. It is cheaper to order enough to fill the truck, only pay ONCE for delivery if you didn't figure right. Extra amount of dirt can be piled off to one side for later uses. Never rots or spoils, just gets weeds on it. I have found it quite amazing how many places you can use up extra dirt! And while a whole truckload looks HUGE, it may not go that far to fill the area you want improved. Our side paddock took TWO, forty yard loads of gravel mix to level it up, with a good depth of about 6 inches over geotextile fabric. Our mud just eats fill, so we have used the geotextile fabric to prevent that. Fill has stayed in place well, good footing for the horses and a bonus harvest of cobble sized rocks for filling woodchuck holes! I no longer lose my boots in the mud!!

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