A little more advise please
Alright everyone... I'm excited to say that I minimal loss this spring. So far everything is budding out, just a few more to go. Even the ones I planted last fall that were totally brown and I dug up to repot last month are breaking bud.
Anyhow, here's what I have done so far this spring. I've dug up everything and potted them that were in low areas of the yard where water gathered. Everything that I planted last fall in my field has been dug up. I pretty much have a clean slate now and I would like to do it right.
For those that have followed my posts, a month ago I decided to do a pond to take care of my drainage issue. After countless hours meeting contractors I've decided against this. They wanted around $8,000-$12,000 to dig a 100' x 50' pond. Which is a very small pond & would only take 2 days to complete. Plus their is a good chance I could hit rock 8' deep which means I would have to have clay hauled in and that would increase the cost a lot more. I've also had a few other people out to see what they think about the drainage issues from regrading to tile drains and they are also just as high wanting nearly $2-$4K a day over several days. I don't make 4K a month, I'm not about to pay someone 4K a day. So I did contact the professionals as everyone suggested, but unfortunately I can't afford them.
To rent a small excavator it's $300 a day... so I would like to try to fix this problem myself, but would like your opinion before I get started. The problem has been identified as not only clay, but hard compacted subsoil starting about 3-4' down which is allowing the water to move horizontally instead of vertically. The water finds the path of least resistance (the hole) and fills it. Just thinking about this logically, I would have to create this hole on a larger scale then reverse it. Meaning dig a large hole, let it fill with water, then pump the water to the street.
I'm having dirt hauled in this week to raise all of my planting beds 1' above the soil. This will fix my drainage issues for the plants, but I would still like to physically get rid of the water. I'm thinking of digging a 100' long x 10' wide x 2' deep. Swale/Ditch/creek/moat/watever you want to call it with a couple french drains running into it. Then build a small bridge to cross over to a small 40' x 40' area that will have a pergola, fire pit, shade trees, etc. My goal isn't to keep water in this ditch, but to remove it. I'm planning to hook up an hydraulic ram pump that will send the water 200' away to my culvert. hydraulic ram pump is just a motor-less pump that I can build myself that uses just a couple check valves to push water up hill and requires no electric/gas. I kind of like the idea of crossing this ditch to the pergola area. Another easier option would be to just delete the pergola area and dig a smaller hole roughly 10x10x8 with drain pipes running to it (and hope) I hit rock so it drains. If it doesn't, hook up an hydraulic ram pump. With the mini excavator I'm renting, you can't dig a pond.