Friday, October 16, 2009

Pot Holes

By Skeeter
(Above photo borrowed from the Internet)
I like Wikipedia's explanation of a pot hole:

A pothole (sometimes called kettle and known in parts of the Western United States as a chuckhole) is a type of disruption in the surface of a roadway where a portion of the road material has broken away, leaving a hole. Most potholes are formed due to fatigue of the pavement surface. As fatigue cracks develop they typically interlock in a pattern known as "alligator cracking". The chunks of pavement between fatigue cracks are worked loose and may eventually be picked out of the surface by continued wheel loads, thus forming a pothole. The formation of potholes is exacerbated by cold temperatures, as water expands when it freezes and puts more stress on cracked pavement. Once a pothole forms, it grows through continued removal of broken chunks of pavement. If a pothole fills with water the growth may be accelerated, as the water 'washes away' loose particles of road surface as vehicles pass. In temperate climates, potholes tend to form most often during spring months when the subgrade is weak due to high moisture content. However, potholes are a frequent occurrence anywhere in the world, including in the tropics.
Potholes can grow to
feet in width, though they usually only become a few inches deep, at most. If they become large enough, damage to tires and vehicle suspensions occurs.
I think we can all relate to that last line about damaging our vehicles suspension. And just what does a pot hole have to do with a garden you may ask? Well, I have pot holes in my Georgia Garden! I call them pot holes as I don't know what else to call them.
Our potholes are formed from trees that were cut down years ago. Even though the trees are long gone and the stump ground up by a machine, the roots are still there. Over time, they rot forming a concave in the ground. Some may form into trenches such as the one above. We have to dig out the dirt over the hole and follow the trench until no more soft ground or roots are to be found.
This occurs in our yard often as we have removed many trees over the years. The Spring rains really get things to rotting for us. Each Spring and Fall we are out filling holes so we don't fall into them and twist or worse, break an ankle! So the ankle would be our human Suspension!
While digging out the grass, we are careful to turn it over as sod and put it back into place once the hole is filled with fresh dirt.
Then the Water Sprinkler is out doing its job of keeping the sod moist. We were lucky to have a nice rain fall the following day of this project so Mother Nature was helping us out a bit.

The only problem we have with this rehab, is finding good Top Soil. Most of the bags labeled "Top Soil" are nothing more then compost which will break down over time as well. We had to mix some dirt we had left from a recent project with the top soil in hopes it will do the trick and keep this hole filled. Ah, the joys of filling POT HOLES, In the Garden...


  1. Hi Skeeter, Don't you love those holes? We discovered walking around the bare veggies that all our squash sunk when we stepped. I guess the manure had too much chips in them. The tomatoes did well and dealt with the "air" bubble but we figure that's why the squash did poorly.
    I like the defination of the pothole too, we have a ad with a pothole talking "Did I do that?" Is what it says to the flat tire!

  2. Good for you to dig that up and fill it in. I don't think I have had that problem. The few trees that have come down I have put big garden beds in their place. Add mole tunnels to the bed and who knows what the terrain may be.

  3. It is hard to find Top soil that actually is Top soil.
    I never thought about pot holes before, I just have vole holes, EVERYWHERE! I have to fill them in and even the elk make holes when they walk through our field in the winter.
    Thanks for this informative post, Skeeter.

  4. I have a big pile of soil in my yard right now, very good soil! You would be welcome to a bag or two if you were nearby. I'll be doing the same thing with it soon, filling holes!

  5. Very good subject Skeeter! These 'pothole's can surely plague our gardens. We have a few here but I am constantly digging and edging and moving soil so I just drop the soil in the spots. If I didn't then I'd seriously notice them. In fact, I'll be moving soil today-in the rain. Sigh. Not sure if you trench your beds but that is where I get my extra soil and it works well. That topsoil in stores is not much good at all.

    Everyone have a super day.

  6. I'm lucky that there haven't been any trees die in my lawn.

    The 'top soil' I've gotten in bags here has been clay with some type of black dye or coloring. I avoid it. Interesting how things are different in some areas.

  7. Cute analogy Skeeter. Your girls never cease to amaze me with your unending talents!!!!

  8. Lawn repair!! We have a huge pothole from a tree the power company cut down. They used a stump grinder and filled the hole in with wood chips, but it's still not very firm, not sure that to do about it.

  9. POTHOLES. Yes, they are a menace. I have a couple in my backyard where I had pine trees cut down & the stumps ground down. That has been several yrs ago & the ground is still soft there. One of them is where I fell & broke my leg/hip. So be very careful all.
    They can damage a vehicle also. Did anyone see the pic of the car that went into a hole around Atlanta?
    Good post Skeeter.

  10. Good Afternoon everyone! My brother and his family have departed GA and wow is the house quiet today! I so miss them as the days were filled with laughs and great memory making…

    Dawn, too funny the add with a talking tire! Those pot holes in the yard are somewhat dangerous to the step for sure. I have stepping stones in the veggie garden so the air holes are not an issue in that patch of land…

    Kathrin, Guten Tag von USA! Have a nice weekend!

    Janet, moles are an issue in the yard as well. I think they are using the rotting roots as tunnels also! Then the Voles run in them as well. The grass is so not level in our yard due to all the issues with critters and rotting roots…

    Rosey, Yikes, the elk make ruts in the ground when walking? The deer leave a little hole but nothing major for us to deal with but as you say, the Moles sure do make tunnels for us. The only dirt around here outside of a bag, would be clay and I sure don’t want that in our yard! I have enough in certain spots to deal with so no thank you to that dirt…

    Dave, I so wish I were near by! I would take a bag or two of that good soil! I am thinking that we could go into our woods and dig some good soil to fill those holes but then, that would leave a hole. Hum, we don’t go into the woods much though, so my brain is thinking. Nothing but clay soil locally here to pick up by the truck load and I don’t want clay in my yard as the little we have is too much for me…

    Tina, I don’t trench my beds but when we do dig a hole and add new plants and other small digging projects, we save the extra dirt. I have run out of extra dirt a few years ago and have resorted to bagged dirt. It is not dirt but more compost then anything. Some holes we have filled two times now! I have been known to fill a hole with some gravel then soil as the top few inches for the grass. But only in areas I know will never have plants in them. But that is not too smart as the gravel can rise to the top in time with rain falls. I reckon we will just fill holes as we find them. I tell ya, the grass is so uneven it is frustrating to me when mowing. The mower is a bumpy ride for sure. Hum, maybe more gardens and less grass. I know that is your motto….

    Marnie, Clay with coloring? Now that would really get me mad at the supplier and place selling it! We could probably find a source to load up the bed of our truck then I would have to decide where I would want a pile of dirt to be located as there is not a place to hide it in our landscaping. Ugh…

    Jean, I guess I am lucky that I seem to have some creativity in my brain. When we grew up, we did not have a lot of money for anything but the essentials so we had to use our imagination in making broke things work. It is amazing what you can come up with when you get the mind to working…

    Lzyjo, Yep, those trees we had stump grinded, well the chips were in the holes as well and in time they do break down. Most of the trees are in the flower garden area so not a big deal as we mostly keep on the walking paths and they are firm, well, for now anyway. The areas in the grass are our problem areas so we are constantly filling holes. You can do as us and add dirt to the hole as it sinks to the center of the earth. Or just put a planter on top of the hole!

    Lola, the main reason I fill those holes is due to us getting hurt. I don’t care about the places we never walk but in the grassy areas of the yard, even if we don’t walk in them much, we do push a mower at times and therefore, they need to be filled and firmed up. We have cut down 12 trees in this area and it will take us years and years to get them all filled as they rot under ground. Some rot quicker then others and it is a never ending battle for us with the pot holes. I did not see the car in Atlanta but don’t doubt it as they are once again getting a beating with rainfalls this week…

  11. This reminds me of a song I used to like called "Potholes in my lawn".
    What a difference after your "repairs", it looks great.

  12. Catherine, I have never heard that song before but am assuming, they too had potholes in the Garden! LOL. It was a difficult job to remove the sod and get it back in place but all is better now....

  13. We have several of these "potholes" around our property. I always manage to find them when Sophie decides to drag me along on her leash:) Good idea to fill them in; one of these days I'm going to have a sprained ankle!

  14. For a while there, I thought you'd say you were putting your pots in holes for overwintering container plants. Such holes as you've mentioned are also caused here by abandoned underground mines. Houses have been known to be lost due to the ground caving in underneath them.

  15. Rose, you should fill in those holes! You or Sophie may get hurt if not. If nothing else, just add dirt to the hole as is and sprinkle grass seed on top for a quicker repair job!

    TC, I do have some pots in holes. Those would be the hosta to keep the Voles from eating the bulbs. They seem to be a favorite for them. If the Deer are not getting the tops, the Voles are getting them from beneath! lol... OMGoodness, loosing an entire house to a pot hole! I reckon those are sink holes. Hum, do they have such a homeowners insurance for house loss with mine holes? Scary thoughts there...

  16. We have sink holes down here. They have been known to swallow whole houses & even took part of a dealership {Cadillac no less}.
    A lady was siting at her kitchen table one morning & realized the trees were getting shorter. Guess what!!!! her house was sinking into a sinkhole. She got out but nothing else. That was about 15 miles from me.
    One never knows.

  17. Lola, Oh my goodness, I am glad she got out of the house safe! That is some scary stuff kind of like a Halloween Story! Yikes...