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  #1  
Old 05-17-2018, 11:21 AM
DorkyDeric DorkyDeric is offline
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Default Diggin' Holes

So, I dug holes in my yard last week while MD'ing , and this week I noticed that you can see where I dug because the grass is brown and dying. I planted my shovel, dug a square so there would be a nice top layer to pull off and put back then would search for my find, either below that or in the roots of the grass, being careful not to tear them up too much. I do my best to replace everything as I had removed it. From general videos I have watched, a lot of times that is how the person would refill the hole they dug.

Any suggestions on better ways to refill holes to make sure grass doesn't die? If I were to get permission on someone's property, I would feel just awful if this were to happen. Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2018, 11:36 AM
GreenMeanie GreenMeanie is offline
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I usually try to leave a side connected so it still has life in it.
Also I leave it connected because I have seen mowers suck the plugs out.

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  #3  
Old 05-17-2018, 12:00 PM
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When the grass is dry cutting it can cause it to die. I cut a circular plug. Lift the plug out of the hole making sue that the dirt stays in the roots. If the target is in the plug i cut as little as possible to get it out. I then press the plug back in the hole and press it down with my foot so that good contact is made and it is in firm enough that a commercial lawn mower can not pick it up.

Only one time have i had grass turn brown and as soon as it rained you could not tell where i had dug.

Some folks will tell you to leave part of the plug uncut. I talked to two professional landscapers and both of them disagreed with doing that. they said lifting the plug with roots being used as a hinge die more damage than cutting a complete plug and gently lifting the entire plug out of the ground.

Removing dirt from the roots is far more likely especially when it is Hot and dry to kill the grass than cutting a straight up and down cut.

I have had park employees tell me that they wished every person with a detector took as good of care of their sod.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2018, 12:04 PM
RayK RayK is offline
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It also can depend on how wide of a hole you dig to how much shock the grass goes through. That is another reason for leaving one side connected the grass it does not get as much shock. Typically I try and have a good 6 inch wide plug or larger to reduce the impact on the grass.

Also, how much rain have you had? If the ground is fairly dry to start with it can effect the plug a lot. If the target is fairly shallow then stabbing and popping with a screw driver can save the grass. Look up Mudd Puppy's discription of his stabbing.

Ray
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2018, 12:16 PM
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halfstep halfstep is offline
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Plug size has an effect on the grass health as well. Too small of a plug can kill the grass. It's too much damage in a small area. A bigger plug will spread out the impact more.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2018, 01:23 PM
DorkyDeric DorkyDeric is offline
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Originally Posted by RayK View post
Also, how much rain have you had? If the ground is fairly dry to start with it can effect the plug a lot. If the target is fairly shallow then stabbing and popping with a screw driver can save the grass. Look up Mudd Puppy's discription of his stabbing.
Ray
Originally Posted by halfstep View post
Plug size has an effect on the grass health as well. Too small of a plug can kill the grass. It's too much damage in a small area. A bigger plug will spread out the impact more.
I live in Portland, and right now, we seem to be getting enough rain, but as the summer months begin, it will become dryer. I am wondering if perhaps I should carry a little water with me as it begins to dry out a little? Seems like a hassle, but if that's what it takes to make sure my digging doesn't disrupt things, then I am ok with that.

My plugs have been pretty big. On average, they have been about 4x4 inches. So, I don't think that would be the issue?

I will search for Mud Puppy's ground stabbing, can someone tell me how to search for that? I am new to forums in general and still learning how to navigate around them. I appreciate all of the help I am getting!
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2018, 01:38 PM
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The good news is that the grass isn't dead, just dormant from shock. Like when you lay new sod in yard... it may be green the day its laid, but it will go brown and then come back.

You can't always prevent it, but as said above, you can minimize it by keeping plugs deep and disturbing the roots as little as possible. Don't dig in dry, hot weather either. As long as the ground isnt dry and it gets rain or water within a few days it will all be good.

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  #8  
Old 05-17-2018, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DorkyDeric View post
I live in Portland, and right now, we seem to be getting enough rain, but as the summer months begin, it will become dryer. I am wondering if perhaps I should carry a little water with me as it begins to dry out a little? Seems like a hassle, but if that's what it takes to make sure my digging doesn't disrupt things, then I am ok with that.

My plugs have been pretty big. On average, they have been about 4x4 inches. So, I don't think that would be the issue?

I will search for Mud Puppy's ground stabbing, can someone tell me how to search for that? I am new to forums in general and still learning how to navigate around them. I appreciate all of the help I am getting!
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2018, 02:37 AM
Walrus350 Walrus350 is offline
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JD from JD's Variety Channel and Grommy Lommy cut some darn good plugs.

Have you tried coin popping? Kinda fun. Do it with a brass probe.

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  #10  
Old 05-19-2018, 02:40 AM
Walrus350 Walrus350 is offline
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Here's a video that may help.
The slit method is cool.

https://youtu.be/YzEZNWMXKDE

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  #11  
Old 05-19-2018, 12:26 PM
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This is all well and good for small objects like coins, but larger and deeper objects seem to require a popper plug.

The sod often can brown when there hasn't much rain. It will get dryer with air getting under the root system. The grass will recover after some rain. Nothing is truly damaged.

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  #12  
Old 05-19-2018, 12:29 PM
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I'm not a pro, but I cut my plugs with a hinge. I do three sides and flip the plug up. Do my thing, then flip it back down. I've dug dozens of holes in my yard and after a week you'd be hard pressed to tell I was ever there even if you knew where I dug.

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  #13  
Old 05-19-2018, 09:03 PM
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GLASSHOPPER1955 GLASSHOPPER1955 is offline
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Yes as others above said, cut a flap and there's no problem. Taking out a circular plug is problematic.

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  #14  
Old 05-23-2018, 02:40 PM
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PlasteredDragon PlasteredDragon is offline
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Originally Posted by georgeinsc View post
When the grass is dry cutting it can cause it to die. I cut a circular plug. Lift the plug out of the hole making sue that the dirt stays in the roots. If the target is in the plug i cut as little as possible to get it out. I then press the plug back in the hole and press it down with my foot so that good contact is made and it is in firm enough that a commercial lawn mower can not pick it up.

Only one time have i had grass turn brown and as soon as it rained you could not tell where i had dug.

Some folks will tell you to leave part of the plug uncut. I talked to two professional landscapers and both of them disagreed with doing that. they said lifting the plug with roots being used as a hinge die more damage than cutting a complete plug and gently lifting the entire plug out of the ground.

Removing dirt from the roots is far more likely especially when it is Hot and dry to kill the grass than cutting a straight up and down cut.

I have had park employees tell me that they wished every person with a detector took as good of care of their sod.
I also cut circular plugs, the bigger and heavier the better. Shallow plugs are too light, they get sucked out by mowers, they can't retain moisture and dry out, and they are more likely to cause root damage.

3 sided plugs still turn brown, and cause ripping of roots along the "hinge". Furthermore, three-sided plugs in my experience have more of a tendency to go in lopsided.

Recommend a probe and a slit for shallow coins.

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