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Removing muck
#527940 11/23/20 09:07 PM
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So I’m draining my pond and it has about 10 ft of muck in the middle, I’m going to start scooping it out and laying it in a thin layer on my property and disking it up every so often to get it dried out, my question is has anyone sold it as top soil, does it make good topsoil, I’ve been researching and get mixed reviews

Re: Removing muck
Fishinillinois #527942 11/23/20 10:06 PM
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My experience has been very satisfactory when I've tilled the pond muck into existing topsoil. Our parent soil in this area is low in fertility; any addition of organic matter has helped grow stuff, whether it be vegetables, trees, or flowers.

Your idea of spreading and disking it will likely work very well for you. I tried a small patch of muck without incorporating it into soil. While still saturated, it was monsterably (I'm not sure that's a word. Help me out, @Teeh Jaeh) sticky. It hardened into clods that would grow nothing.

We had a thread on here a year or two ago that discussed lots of this. In order to sell it, a person would probably have to dry it out for a lengthy period of time, as in 6 months, a year, 2 years, to reduce its weight for hauling purposes.

Unless the deposits on your pond bottom are simply eroded silt, sand, or clay, I think you will achieve good results.

YMMV

Re: Removing muck
4CornersPuddle #527948 11/24/20 06:57 AM
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My pond is very old and my neighbor said the guy de mucked it about 25 years ago and my neighbor took 80 tandem dump truck loads to his yard and he said the guy still had atleast that much more left, my pond is fed by the ditches which all of the fields around me drain into, so I get corn stalks bean stalks dirt out of the fields plus leaves from nearby trees so it catches pretty much a little bit of everything , I’ve dug a bigger section next to it and once I get the muck out I’m going to break the land between the new hole too make the pond bigger also making the new section a beach for the kids, while I’m at it I’m going to build sort of a catch basin out by the culvert that runs into it, but I’m in no hurry and my brother in law manages a pump rental place near me and he’s getting me a big diesel powered pump that he says will drain my 1/2 acre pond in about 2 hours, my plan is too drive a big enough pipe with holes drilled in it and wrapped in that felt paper down through the muck untill it hits the hard pan and use a automatic submersible pump to stick in there to help drain the water out of the muck, I’m just going to pick at it a little at a time, I mean it’s going to take me several years probably but that’s ok, I work out of town so I’ll mess with it on weekends, so I mean it’s a massive amount of muck and I always thought it would make the best topsoil just like a compost pile and was thinking I could scoop out enough for about 6 tandem loads and spread it pretty thin and keep it churned up to keep it aerated and hitting the sunlight, and sell it cheap to people for topsoil, but I’ve seen mixed reviews on it, topsoil is $35 a yard near me and we live in a clay dirt area so people are always looking for cheaper soil to use for topsoil to grow grass better, some people say it’s awesome some say it’s not, I guess it depends on what you have in your pond, any input is appreciated

Re: Removing muck
Fishinillinois #527965 11/24/20 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishinillinois
... has anyone sold it as top soil, does it make good topsoil, I’ve been researching and get mixed reviews

You have been getting mixed reviews, because not all "muck" is created equal!

It sounds like your muck "should" be a decent candidate for sale, because all of the stalks and leaves are organic material that are part of good top soil.

It appears that this is on your "long-term" project list. If so, then I would advise you run a small-scale experiment first. Do the thin layers and disking exactly like you proposed. If it is good to produce valuable top soil, then you should have a good crop of weeds on that patch next spring or summer.

If you really want good marketing for your "organically sourced muck", you could take a "before" picture next spring, and then throw on some grass seed right after you disk.

If you get some great "after" pictures showing lush grass, you might be able to get that $35/yard price for your special muck. laugh

Re: Removing muck
FishinRod #527975 11/24/20 02:41 PM
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Yes that was exactly my plan, i was going to do a test like you said with enough to make a couple loads, I mean I have to get rid of the crap cuz I don’t want a monstrous pile of muck on my property lol, so instead of paying to have it hauled away if it’s descent stuff I’ll sell it for really cheap so people will buy it that way essentially my pond gets de mucked and instead of costing me money I could perhaps make a little bit, hell I don’t even care about the money if it’s good stuff and people bring their own dump trucks to haul it away I’ll just give it to them, cuz my wife would cut my throat if I spent the kind of money people want to de muck a pond

Re: Removing muck
Fishinillinois #527979 11/24/20 03:34 PM
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Good luck on your project!


Originally Posted by Fishinillinois
cuz my wife would cut my throat if I spent the kind of money people want to de muck a pond

Sounds like my wife is probably Facebook friends with your wife!
grin

Re: Removing muck
Fishinillinois #527992 11/24/20 08:05 PM
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You could always take some of the muck, dry it and send it out to be analyzed for nutrients and pH like the farmers to for their fields. That way you can tell the people that are buying it that it was tested and to get it perfect they need to add "X".

Might be a great selling tool.


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Re: Removing muck
esshup #528002 11/25/20 06:48 AM
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Yes I thought about calling around, Who would you normally call to test dirt? Do the local feed and seed stores do it, I’ve never messed with anything like that, I guess I could ask one of the farmers near me, I plan on this being like a 3 year project beings I’m not in a real big hurry, and I have a 300 ft stretch of flat ground in the very back of my property, so I’ll scoop some out from around the edges and whatever I can get with my tractor and lay a strip, I plan to buy a little 3 point disc or tiller and churn it up every 3 or 4 days to speed up the drying process and keep the air and sun circulating, I’m thinking making it the full length and about 30 ft wide and only spread it about 4 inch thick I would think once it warms up that disking it that often would let it dry and finish decomposing in a few weeks that would be enough for a couple dump truck loads then just repeat the process, and if I can get rid of it fast enough I’ll lay it out wider, but for now I’m going to do a test and spread some in the bottom of a tote or something and keep it in my heated garage with maybe a heat lamp over it and mix it up every couple days and throw some grass seed in it, my kids would love to mess with that while I’m out of town working, I’ll just tell them they get 20 bucks if they get grass to grow in it hahaha, time is not an issue if it takes 5 years oh well it isn’t hurting anything

Re: Removing muck
Fishinillinois #528003 11/25/20 08:19 AM
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Your local farmers feed-n-seed/grain elevator/fertilizer co-op should be able to facilitate a soil test for you.

The testing lab will typically want to know what crop you intend to plant, and will provide a crude analysis, and a recommended fertilizer application best suited to that crop.
At least that's the way they do it here. The caveat: this is similar to getting a stocking recommendation from a fish seller. The ag exchange wants to sell fertilizer.

It might be possible to get a soil test done through the nearest university extension office. If that service is available you could expect to receive an unbiased test.

Re: Removing muck
Fishinillinois #528009 11/25/20 09:21 AM
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https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/stories/2015/10/secenter100715.html I think this place will help ya. The phone numbers are at the bottom of the link.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716

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