PDA

View Full Version : patchy dry/ sandy lawn????


l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 01:36 AM
I have a patchy sandy lawn that I am thinking of aerating, over seeding and putting a top coat of about an inch of top soil/ compost mix does this seem proper. or are there any suggestions. Last fall with the dry weather we had the lawn all torn up and some top soil brought in and over seeded but it didn't really take in some spots very patchy. Any suggestions would help thanks.

Dr.NewEarth
05-13-2011, 01:43 AM
You meant top dress with soil before you seed. This sounds like a logical plan.

Smallaxe
05-13-2011, 10:07 AM
The patchiness is just a function of the seeding process an more topsoil and a redo this time of year isn't the best thing to do... Overseed the patchy areas and topdress with compost, rather than bury whats growing... The aerator will out right kill little seedlings that did survive... You know that, correct?

l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 11:12 AM
My plan was to aerate and then overseed so the seed gets into the plugs taken out and then spread a top coat of top soil/ compost mix......I wish I could upload a picture. it is very very sandy soil got so dried out from last year. You can dig 2-4 inches and its all sandy and dry and hard. It filled in pretty good however you can see where the lines are from the drop spreader and the yard is completely covered just very patchy hard to describe. I thought right now was the best time to do this. Thanks for the help. any more comments and recommendation would be very helful

Smallaxe
05-13-2011, 09:00 PM
Your plan is to bury the seed to a greater depth than is sensible, since Grass Seed should be about a 1/4" under a High Moisture Holding Material...

Hence the FOLLY of aerating for seed bed... Thank you for making my point abundantly clear... :)

Oh, and Good Luck BTW...

Patriot Services
05-13-2011, 09:11 PM
Aerating for the wrong reasons seems to be a common problem on here.
Followed closely by improper seeding practices.

l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 09:15 PM
Ok I am looking for advice I am not saying I knew excatly the right thing I am asking for advice on what to do not to prove a point. Is there somone that can give me the right way to do this type of fix. Like I said it is very very sandy soil and grass seed will not germinate in sand we all know that. Thats why I want to aerate(plug holes in ground) and then to top dress with 1/2 inch or an inch of good top soil/ compost. I am just asking for advice thanks...

agrostis
05-13-2011, 09:15 PM
My plan was to aerate and then overseed so the seed gets into the plugs taken out and then spread a top coat of top soil/ compost mix......I wish I could upload a picture. it is very very sandy soil got so dried out from last year. You can dig 2-4 inches and its all sandy and dry and hard. It filled in pretty good however you can see where the lines are from the drop spreader and the yard is completely covered just very patchy hard to describe. I thought right now was the best time to do this. Thanks for the help. any more comments and recommendation would be very helful


Fall is the best time to grow grass. Sandy soil with no irrigation...Wait until September 1

Patriot Services
05-13-2011, 09:23 PM
What species of grass? Loosen the top layer with a rake. Top dress with a 50/50 mix topsoil and compost. Seed with a spreader. Use a leaf rake on its backside to place seed 1/4 inch under soil in good contact. Water to keep seed damp not flooded.
Posted via Mobile Device

l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 09:23 PM
Yea But until then the yard will look like crap haha. What is the best way to do it now. I know that spring is also a great time to plant grass. What is the best way to go about this now. I am getting my bob cat over and everything next week what is the best way to do it next week. Thanks.

Patriot Services
05-13-2011, 09:26 PM
Well if you can't wait for seed to germinate and grow then splice in some sod pieces.
Posted via Mobile Device

l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 09:26 PM
I will use what ever type it will take I have a lot of kentucky blue grass with tall fescue mix. I will also use starter fertilizer. So you think I should still aerate, minimal amount of top soil compost mix and overseed. Shouldn't I overseed before placing the soil so the seed will go into the holes.

l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 09:30 PM
spicing means to plant good grass into the lawn every so often but My whole lawn needs this. the lawn was completely torn up last fall, some crappy loam was placed down and with the heat dried it all up. The seed grew decent but patchy all over the place.

Patriot Services
05-13-2011, 09:33 PM
IMO aeration will not fix your problem. Sandy soils just tend to fill the holes right back in. Seed accumulating at bottom of plug holes will not germinate and grow properly. Sandy soils need the organic matter on top of the crap soil. The leaf rake will get the seed just under the surface where it needs to be. BTW a quality compost in the mix will not require the starter fert. I have grown Bermuda, Zoysia , Bahia and Centipede this way. The principle is the same regardless of species. Again moisture control through the germination process is essential as Smallaxe pointed out.
Posted via Mobile Device

agrostis
05-13-2011, 09:35 PM
Sod is the best way to do it now.

l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 09:58 PM
Ok so is aeration just out of the question at this point. I have a great connection 15$ a yard for a compost top soil mix which is cheap. So I will just spread a very thin layer of what about a 1/5 inch throughout with good compost mixed in and spread a lot of grass seed. I will overseed first and then overseed again after the soil is applied and rake it in like you said. So that is what you suggest. Thank you i appreciate all the help I am getting from everyone. and also just keep the lawn moist not puddled.

Patriot Services
05-13-2011, 10:03 PM
Yes I would say no to the aeration. I would like to see at least an inch on the topdress. Are you sure of your topsoil connection. When I here cheap topsoil it usually means laden with weed seeds.
Posted via Mobile Device

l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 10:07 PM
It is from a farm. very dark rich stuff no rocks or roots in it at all was very impressed with this stuff a lot of people are selling just screened loam for 25-30/yard with no compost this stuff with compost and top soil mix. I have also heard of split seeding is that a reasonable thing to do. Can you list the exact steps like I said its very very dry soil and very spotty everywhere. I will brign in the 1/2 inch or so of new fresh composted top soil

l&slawncare1990
05-13-2011, 10:16 PM
Screened top soil/ compost

Smallaxe
05-13-2011, 10:23 PM
It is from a farm. very dark rich stuff no rocks or roots in it at all was very impressed with this stuff a lot of people are selling just screened loam for 25-30/yard with no compost this stuff with compost and top soil mix. I have also heard of split seeding is that a reasonable thing to do. Can you list the exact steps like I said its very very dry soil and very spotty everywhere. I will brign in the 1/2 inch or so of new fresh composted top soil

Once you're done putting down soil ammendents, rake in the seed at the proper level, soak it down and keep it moist... That's all there is to it...

Patriot Services
05-13-2011, 10:32 PM
Ok good looking stuff
1. Bow rake the bare areas just to loosen the top surface.
2. Topdress with a layer of the good soil mix. Don't be stingy here more is better. This creates a nice nutrient rich, moisture holding bed for the seed to germinate and grow.
3. Seed using a spreader set at the seed manufactures setting for new seeding.
4. Use back of leaf rake to gently set seed just below surface of soil.
5. Water daily to dampness in AM.
6. Second split seeding at 10 day mark.
7. Resist urge to mow until 3" high.

How is the rest of the yard? A light topdressing of the entire yard could only improve the health of the soil. Florida is nothing but sand and this is how we create the best lawns.
Posted via Mobile Device

l&slawncare1990
05-14-2011, 12:14 AM
Thanks. I am in massachusetts and the entire lawn is the same. I tried this on another area put the same soil down a week ago water the hell out of it but no sprouting yet and it seems as it it is so compacted and the grass does not want to poke through is this due to over watering or what is my issue haha. I will even thatch the lawn just so the tines dig the soil a little if you think that will help... But split seeding what is that is there a machine or just spreader seeding again

l&slawncare1990
05-14-2011, 12:25 AM
ALso I have one of those split seeders and drop seeders from sears that tows behind my mower will this work. I have a scag wildcat i just bought with a front end thatcher as well. I can use all my stuff to make it work.

Smallaxe
05-14-2011, 10:55 AM
This is just a joke, correct? You're trying to see how many bizarre occurences Lawnsite people can handle...
Very funny... :laugh:

32vld
05-14-2011, 12:29 PM
Thanks. I am in massachusetts and the entire lawn is the same. I tried this on another area put the same soil down a week ago water the hell out of it but no sprouting yet and it seems as it it is so compacted and the grass does not want to poke through is this due to over watering or what is my issue haha. I will even thatch the lawn just so the tines dig the soil a little if you think that will help... But split seeding what is that is there a machine or just spreader seeding again

KBG takes about 14 days to germinate. and it's only just been in the 50's at night where I live for the last week.
Patience.

Rake in a 1/2 to 1" top dressing of compost/topsoil over the whole lawn if possible and rake in the seed the whole yard.

l&slawncare1990
05-14-2011, 05:52 PM
First of all I am asking for a few pointers "SmallAxe" what the hell is your issue just stay away if you have nothing helpfull to add. I appreciate all the help from everyone else. I just got hoem watered the lawn again and starting to see sprouting. I guess everything I had done before is working out. I will take all the advice and see how it works. Thanks again to all the helpful people.

TurnerLawn&Landscape
05-14-2011, 06:07 PM
if you want it to look good now lay down sod.....otherwise overseed the patchy areas, get a soil sample and make the necessary amendments, and then overseed the entire lawn in the fall........if they soil is that bad y not bring in enough brand new soil to do the entire yard? another thing you want to do is know what kind of grass is growing in this yard, so you can put down the same type of seed and have a "uniform" look

StBalor
05-14-2011, 06:21 PM
If your lawn is really sandy you should actually start with 3-5 inches of compost/soil mixture. then till it into the top 8-10 inches of your lawn.
then spread the seed, starter fert and keep it moist.

But since you said you had topsoil brung in last year i am assuming this is what you have done.

The part of Maryland i live in we have very sandy soil. And i can tell you from experience if the grass does not have enough substance for the roots to grab hold of the grass will not last. When i 1st moved into my house i spread 200lbs of grass seed on the side and front of my house. very sandy soil, it grew but any little pressure on it would pull it right out of the ground. just walking on it would pull it up.

l&slawncare1990
05-14-2011, 06:27 PM
yea top soil was brought in and started from scratch last year. I think I need to bring in an inch of topsoil compost mix and seed and starter fert the crap out of it and thats the best way. I was going to aerate but I was talked out of it haha

freddyc
05-15-2011, 12:10 PM
yea top soil was brought in and started from scratch last year. I think I need to bring in an inch of topsoil compost mix and seed and starter fert the crap out of it and thats the best way. I was going to aerate but I was talked out of it haha

I'm located about 8 miles from you.

You seem to be bouncing all over the place. From your postings, it seems you are expecting too much too quick, grasping at a quick fix and trying to hurry though it.

Growing grass takes patience. Its been cold this spring and only now are the temps getting where they need to be to get better results.

Without seeing the property, its impossible to help you. We don't know what kind of sun is in the area, the soil condition and whether or not the existing conditions will hamper your grass growing. We also don't know what type of grass you put down, what seeding rate you used or what type of watering its getting.

The only input I have is that you need to learn patience and then methodically go through the steps to get a good lawn.


The replies here go over all the basic steps but every lawn is different. A lot of times your results depend on the detail and that really boils down to water, fertilizer and sun. Adding a starter fert to your program can improve germination and initial results. If you expect to see a lawn growing in a week with the temps we've had then you're dreaming. Even rye is stubborn at these temps.

One more thing--- adding a bunch of fertilizer at the time you spread seed is a pretty good approach to failure. That's why starter ferts have very little nitrogen. Using a tremendous amount of starter fert is a waste of money. Using some is a good thing.

If you had topsoil brought in last year and it doesn't help then I suggest you have a bigger issue--that, or crap was put down.

l&slawncare1990
05-15-2011, 01:00 PM
Thanks for the reply. Yes I understand i was antsy and in one week I am now seeing results. Last year really shitty soil just light brown sandy loam was brought in. I am going to bring in dark rich soil with compost in it. Seed and starter fert. That seems to be the only way and the best way at this point I will also aerate and overseed in the fall just to get it ready for next year but for now I will bring in a thin layer and seed. if any other suggestions Id love to hear it. Thanks again and as for the soil now its just very dry and sandy very light in color almost like dust.

l&slawncare1990
05-28-2011, 11:18 AM
I am finally able to get the top soil/ compost delivered to me by monday I hope. I had another question as to weather or not I should lay down straw on top. I know its getting late in the year but with all the rain and everything i was unable to work and the loam from the supplier was mud and no good so needed time to dry out. Should I still be ok. Thanks.