Preparing Land with Crusher Run Underneath

   / Preparing Land with Crusher Run Underneath #1  


New member
Dec 15, 2021
Craftsman YS4500 & Husqvarna DRT900
Hello everyone. Glad to be here, first post and all. Figured I would ask the experts cause I need some good, practical guidance.

Short version: I have a slender plot of land (30' x 400 ') that was mostly a railroad track until about 100 years ago. Tracks are gone now. Since then it's been covered with soil and is overgrown. I can clear it, no problem, but eventually I'd like to plant root vegetables and I'm concerned with the layer of crusher run underneath the soil. The soil layer is about 4" deep at the start of the property and gets deeper to about 10" at the back. I've conducted a soil test with Virginia Tech and should get the results back shortly.

After clearing the overgrowth, would you attempt to till, knowing the small stones are not far below the surface? Or would you add soil as a top layer and then amend/till, so as to avoid the little stones? Or maybe another option I haven't yet considered?

Thank you for your time and thoughts, I really appreciate it!
   / Preparing Land with Crusher Run Underneath #2  
Has the stone underlayment been removed? Not sure what would have been used. Here they used lava rock.

If it is only 4" below the surface root vegetables aren't going to like that much.

Welcome to TBN. Curious to hear your solution!!!
   / Preparing Land with Crusher Run Underneath #3  
Don't till up the stones, what you have is a nice base for raised beds. I've been adding 10 - 20 yards of compost to my 12'x450' garden every year for the past 25 years, it's now 12" higher than the surrounding ground, (it's a giant raised bed). The soil looks like potting soil and well drained. The original ground was very heavy clay.
   / Preparing Land with Crusher Run Underneath
  • Thread Starter
@ovrszd Great question. Never determined if the underlayment was removed, but I too have found lava rock on-site so you might be right. If present, at least it would aid in drainage.

@JJT That is a cool approach and something I’d be open to trying. Definitely don’t want to have those stones scattered into the planting layer if I can help it. Assuming there would be a hefty upfront cost for bringing in enough soil/compost mix for the initial season.
   / Preparing Land with Crusher Run Underneath #5  
I'm fortunate to have a neighbor with a few horses, he delivers two loads of hay/saw dust/manure every week. I turn the pile once a month and every spring have more compost than I really need.