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Jiggy 67

Muddy boots and a ruined lawn

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The environment around my house leaves me no option but to set up on my back garden and specifically the lawn. Given the fact that global warming has led to increase rainfall (it hasn't stopped raining for a week now!!) I am conscious that the ground and lawn is sodden. I have put up with this in the past but it appears to be getting worse and I don't want to turn my lawn into a mud bath and ruin the lawn as I walk around the mount.

I am considering pegging out a large plastic sheet and making some holes for the tripod legs to fit through to the ground below it. As I am hoping to keep the mount setup for much of the winter, this will be almost permanent through the winter.

Does anyone have any experience of this??.....How did it work for you??....does anyone have an alternative solution (without involving concrete or slabs) or is there a retail solution anyone can suggest

Thanks guys

Darren

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You could try constructing a decking area from which to observe, and which could double as a seating area for every day use. 

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Grass protection mats are a simple solution. Often used to allow wheelchair access or childrens play area in a soft grass area.

https://www.matsgrids.co.uk/grass-protection-mats/55-grassmats-23mm-thick-100x150cms-5060423910794.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy6rI_MTz5AIVRIfVCh1HUAOYEAQYAiABEgIpMfD_BwE

Edited by johninderby
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1 hour ago, johninderby said:

Grass protection mats are a simple solution. Often used to allow wheelchair access or childrens play area in a soft grass area.

https://www.matsgrids.co.uk/grass-protection-mats/55-grassmats-23mm-thick-100x150cms-5060423910794.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy6rI_MTz5AIVRIfVCh1HUAOYEAQYAiABEgIpMfD_BwE

Interesting and good idea, got me thinking 

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I think covering the lawn with a (permanent) plastic sheet would be worse for your lawn, if I understand you correctly. The rain at least keeps the grass watered, which it wouldn't be under plastic. Also if it does rain before you observe the plastic will be slippery. Can't you make the location into a garden feature with hard landscaping for use during the summer, but easily converted to your needs in winter?

Ian

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I have used the grassmats type of product with success at home and at work. Some are rubbery. Some are a semi rigid plastic, rather like wire mesh in appearance. Some are rigid and interlock like lego bricks.

All of them allow drainage, and allow the grass to grow and give you a harder surface to walk on.

In some cases it has been a heavy duty mesh to prevent vehicle damage. In another a light duty mesh to bind soil over a rubber pond liner, around the pond edge.
The rubber mats are in use at home to provide grip on slippery concrete, and at work to provide a floor in a messy workshop.

A set of rigid tiles make a path to my observatory. At first they just sat on the surface. They are gradually sinking as the rain softens the soil.
After less than a year they are virtually invisible.

The rubbery or semi rigid are best for uneven ground. The rigid types are great on level ground.

Hope this helps, David.

 

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We really struggle with run off from local fields having to soak away via our garden, so at times like this we can be about 90% water and 10% grass. For areas that have to be walked on when the ground is wet such as the side path I put down a patch of artificial grass. Its plastic backed so stops the mud coming up but allows moisture to drain away.

The grass protection mats @johninderby linked too are a step up from this and perfect for the job if you want to spend hours at a time on it.

One other thing I did was set 3 small paving stones down, the correct spacing for the tripod legs and all leveled/aligned to north - that way setting up was a little quicker and even when the ground was mucky the tripod feet didn't start sinking.

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For several years I set up on a large plastic sheet with an old plastic coffee coaster placed under each tripod leg. It's not ideal I have to say but it worked. I even stretched out a long sheet of plastic to walk back and forwards to the house. 

Is a small area of paving an option? That's what I use now. It makes a huge difference. 

 

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It clearly rains more in some parts of the country than in Bucks. 🙂 My lawn looks rather brown in summer and it never gets boggy.  I have a line of paving slabs running alongside the 'observing' area of the back lawn, so that I can tramp to and fro on them or try to place the stool there.  Paving slabs can be a mixed blessing for tripods as they shift if you put your weight on the slab.

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The plastic heat will trap heat beneath it if you leave it out during the day. You cant believe how rapidly it will wilt, then kill the grass beneath it.

Would be some work and permanent but you could use concrete pavers. Some come 2ft by 2ft.

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I agree with the earlier comments. When I first started out I set up on the lawn and had all the issues you describe. It was a bit of work but I put down a square of 6 slabs which made all the difference. No more tripods with that sinking feeling, no dead grass at the end of the season, and no muddy footprints over the patio and back into the house.

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2 hours ago, johninderby said:

First the slabs then the obs. It’s a slippery slope. 😁

Absolutely!!! .......I really like John’s idea with the grass protecting mats....not cheap cos I think I’ll need 5 or 6 but worth a go , I’ll update with a result for those with similar issues 

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How about some pegged down weed membrane with bark or gravel on top.

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I’ve had a good look round and I’ve ordered 7 of the grass protection mats from these guys http://rubberco.co.uk they are not cheap!!!!....but these are the cheapest I could find (they are all the same wherever you look, just different prices) and will be worth it if they keep the garden in a reasonable condition 

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A once only spend of £100 on grass mats or........

£20 on shoe polish. £20 on grass seed. £20 on ear defenders - required PPE after treading mud into the house. £20 on carpet cleaning.
Same again a week later....

A word of encouragement. I have had no regrets about the spend on the garden and workshop matting. Fit, problems solved, then forget.

David.

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Makes me glad I have a concrete patio to setup on.  We've had the opposite problem here in our part of Texas.  We've only had 0.25" of rain over the last three months and are in a severe drought.

I'd probably try the concrete pavers made for parking lots to allow water to run through to the ground to allow trees to get enough water.  Grass would probably grow up and through them over time.

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First of all welcome from Land Down Under

Send the rain our way, have had hardly any last four years, rural area suffering, hand feeding live stock, been over a million fruit trees removed, fruit orchards near where I am

You have to study the sun, to get the full pitcher

Everyone is blaming global warning current climatic conditions

Current in sunspot minimum

What this means, northern hemisphere goes in extreme wet, even freeze if prolong longer enough

Southern Hemisphere goes into permanent drought, which we experiencing currently

If you monitor Spaceweather everyday, continual updates solar minimum 

https://spaceweather.com/

Had our first sunspot in the last 132 days yesterday

Use small concrete pavers under legs f your mount

John

 

 

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For those of you with a similar problem and considering solutions, a quick update, this cost £120 odd (I ordered one mat too many so would have been cheaper) they are all pegged firmly down (pegs come with the mats) and they work perfectly with no movement whatsoever. No mud, feet perfectly dry no matter the weather 

230637E3-964E-447B-8220-FE0A02E8783E.thumb.jpeg.855293ef009bfc703140ba607522cb38.jpeg

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Looks a lot like my doormat when turned upside down. 🙂

6B6BF539-E5C3-468D-9B8A-8AA203241D9C.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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17 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

For those of you with a similar problem and considering solutions, a quick update, this cost £120 odd (I ordered one mat too many so would have been cheaper) they are all pegged firmly down (pegs come with the mats) and they work perfectly with no movement whatsoever. No mud, feet perfectly dry no matter the weather 

Are you planning to leave them down all the time?  If so, keep us updated with how the lawn copes with them.

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13 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Are you planning to leave them down all the time?  If so, keep us updated with how the lawn copes with them.

I’ve had them down for about 2 weeks so the grass has grown a bit but not much as it slows at this time of year. I’ve spent about 5 nights out on the mats with no negative effects on the lawn. When I’ve done that previously without the mats it’s been a mud bath and ruined lawn

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