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paradoxer411
06-19-2012, 10:15 PM
I have a cleint who wants me to smooth out their lawn, and I don't know how I should go about in doing so. The lawn is not severely bumpy, but it is noticable while mowing. I only have a push mower, so i cannot pull a roller; I only have a 75 pound carpet roller available to me. What should I do?

Dr.NewEarth
06-19-2012, 10:48 PM
Rent a lawn roller from the Home Depot or some place such as that. Call for their prices.
You can buy one for about 100 dollars.

When you get back to cutting the lawn, if you aren't already doing so, change the direction and path you cut on every other week.

paradoxer411
06-19-2012, 11:56 PM
Rent a lawn roller from the Home Depot or some place such as that. Call for their prices.
You can buy one for about 100 dollars.

When you get back to cutting the lawn, if you aren't already doing so, change the direction and path you cut on every other week.

Do you think if I just got the lawn a bit more moist I could just use the 75 pound roller I already have?

jsslawncare
06-20-2012, 12:00 AM
Use sand to level the lawn.

paradoxer411
06-20-2012, 12:11 AM
Use sand to level the lawn.

What kind of sand would be best?

Dr.NewEarth
06-20-2012, 12:51 AM
Your roller will probably do. Why is the ground bumpy?

paradoxer411
06-20-2012, 12:57 AM
Your roller will probably do. Why is the ground bumpy?

I am not sure, probably just because of the winters here in Iowa...its not moles, I know that. It doesn't seem like ruts either, so I think its just because the lot is old
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Dr.NewEarth
06-20-2012, 01:03 AM
Can you aerate, top dress it, level it and reseed it?

Dr.NewEarth
06-20-2012, 01:08 AM
It's hard to actually say what to do in each situation. If you believe the roller will fix the problem, then experiment.

Lawn compaction can create weed problems like dandelions and plantain, depending on the soil conditions. So, aerating would help with this as well as making the grass healthier.

paradoxer411
06-20-2012, 01:10 AM
It's hard to actually say what to do in each situation. If you believe the roller will fix the problem, then experiment.

Lawn compaction can create weed problems like dandelions and plantain, depending on the soil conditions. So, aerating would help with this as well as making the grass healthier.

I am going to try and roll a section of the lawn this weekend. Thank you
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andyslawncare
06-20-2012, 01:33 AM
How would a 75 lb roller help a depressed/compressed lawn. It was either caused by tree stumps settling, bad sod or sprinkler install, or poor moving habits. Not rocket science, and you didn't even list the type of turf.

paradoxer411
06-20-2012, 01:47 AM
How would a 75 lb roller help a depressed/compressed lawn. It was either caused by tree stumps settling, bad sod or sprinkler install, or poor moving habits. Not rocket science, and you didn't even list the type of turf.
I am 14, sorry for my lack of experience. I will go study up on types of turf and report back to you immediately. Go find some other posts to pick apart to make yourself feel like an expert. All I am trying to do is figure out how to even out someone's back yard so they can play soccer. Thanks for your help though, now I know who to turn to when I need assistance.
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32vld
06-20-2012, 07:41 AM
Do not roll the lawn it will only compact the soil which will only cause problems and require you to aerate the lawn.

The lawn is bumpy?

How is the lawn bumpy?

From ruts, moles, erosion, traffic wear?

Or does the lawn have a lot of empty spots that act as mini pot holes?

They will make the mower bounce as you go across the lawn also make the lawn feel uneven when you walk on it.

Best thing to do is to use a core aerator that leaves plugs on the surface of the lawn. Don't remove the plugs. Just let them break down and mow as if they are not there. They will disappear in a week or two.

Then top dress the lawn with a 1/4 to 1/2 of compost.

Also you need to seed the lawn after the aeration and before the compost is put down.

These three things will help even out the lawn. Areas that are lower then 1" will need to be filled in with top soil before you aerate, top dress, and seed.

Many landscapers don't own aerators or top dressing machines so they rent them. Being your 14 you will have to have your dad help you with the machines and getting the correct amount of compost and seed and starter fertilizer. Good time to do a soil test to see if the ph is correct as well.

Smallaxe
06-20-2012, 09:51 AM
Most likely the bumpiness occurs from empty spots that act as little valleys as 32 has mentioned... I agree that your best shot is to aerate and topdress, but I would add dragging a chainlink fence over it after aerating thus using the plugs as topdressing of sorts...

Let us know if the roller works... my problem with rollers is that if the ground is soft enough to roll, the tractor leaves ruts and even manually sometime your feet can leave depressions... good luck...

jsslawncare
06-21-2012, 12:44 AM
What kind of sand would be best?

I use play sand. It doesn't matter what type of grass it is. Aerate, sand it, over seed and move on to the next yard. Just don't use dirt/soil.

32vld
06-21-2012, 09:54 AM
What grows in the sand at the beach? Not much.

Sand does nothing improve soil condition. Even when the soil has to much clay the soil will be improved better by adding organic material.

Smallaxe
06-22-2012, 07:42 AM
What grows in the sand at the beach? Not much.

Sand does nothing improve soil condition. Even when the soil has to much clay the soil will be improved better by adding organic material.

Sand should work just fine for smoothing a surface... OM doesn't do anything to smooth a surface... why is sand a problem???

jsslawncare
06-22-2012, 08:36 AM
What grows in the sand at the beach? Not much.

Sand does nothing improve soil condition. Even when the soil has to much clay the soil will be improved better by adding organic material.

You're right, but no one's planting grass on the beach front either. And grass grows easier thought sand instead of soil.

32vld
06-22-2012, 09:51 AM
Your way you are not growing grass through sand but in sand.

This lawn is uneven due to dead spots. Filling dead spots with sand is not a good planting medium.

People buy potting soil not potting sand.

Large particle sand when mixed with fine particle clay is the same as sand and Portland cement. The mix up tight because the fine particle clay easily fills the voids in the sand.

To loosen up clay you need to add enough sand so the soil is 50% sand 50% clay. That's a lot of sand to put down and nothing was added improve the soil. A healthy soil needs organic material and microbes. The soil in away is alive. A proper structure supports life within it that supports lawn and other plant growth.

This is why a top dressing layer of compost or compost and top soil mix is better then using sand.

The fact that sand is cheaper and rakes out easier does not make it the best material to put down. It may be best for the LCO to reduce physical effort to put down sand and still charge the same money.

You want easy then that is why God made rental companies so we can rent top dressing machines.

Top soil, compost, will fill low spots just as well as sand and improve the soil by adding organic matter where sand won't.

Smallaxe
06-23-2012, 11:51 AM
One thing sand will do is cover heavy clay soils and put off the dried up cracking problem... Even a 1/2" of sand can be added to cool season grasses w/out affecting the existing turf... not to say that some rooting may occur in the sand itself, but it is already rooted in the current soil, so not an issue...

This Portland cement thing is really becoming a cliche' for a lot of people who give no thought at all to OM in the soil... It's got to be 50% or nothing is another crazy idea that makes no sense in the real world... My solution 'after the fact' is to apply sandy compost, preferably after aeration... my solution before the fact is to till in sandy compost and slope the grade to a french drain type scenario equal to the drain in a garage floor...

32vld
06-23-2012, 08:11 PM
One thing sand will do is cover heavy clay soils and put off the dried up cracking problem... Even a 1/2" of sand can be added to cool season grasses w/out affecting the existing turf... not to say that some rooting may occur in the sand itself, but it is already rooted in the current soil, so not an issue...

This Portland cement thing is really becoming a cliche' for a lot of people who give no thought at all to OM in the soil... It's got to be 50% or nothing is another crazy idea that makes no sense in the real world... My solution 'after the fact' is to apply sandy compost, preferably after aeration... my solution before the fact is to till in sandy compost and slope the grade to a french drain type scenario equal to the drain in a garage floor...

There is no sandy compost. You put down sand or you put down compost.

Adding organic matter is the way to improve a soil. Top dressing with 1/2" of organic matter and aerating every year will continually improve the soil. Eventually the soil and organic matter will mix together.

jrs.landscaping
06-23-2012, 09:26 PM
There is no sandy compost. You put down sand or you put down compost.

Adding organic matter is the way to improve a soil. Top dressing with 1/2" of organic matter and aerating every year will continually improve the soil. Eventually the soil and organic matter will mix together.

Why can't you "cut" the compost with sand? This is what I do with my compost pile, I let it rot down and then mix it 3/1 with screened sand.

ztman
06-23-2012, 09:49 PM
I have a cleint who wants me to smooth out their lawn, and I don't know how I should go about in doing so. The lawn is not severely bumpy, but it is noticable while mowing. I only have a push mower, so i cannot pull a roller; I only have a 75 pound carpet roller available to me. What should I do?

I dont know if you tried your 75lb roller yet, but I think you will find it will not make a noticable difference. I use a 970lb roller to get rid of frost heave, but the roller wont cure a bumpy yard. I think the other fellows are right, you will need to top dress to get the desired result. Good Luck

cgaengineer
06-23-2012, 10:52 PM
Solid clay soils here and they are not concrete after topdressing with sand...in fact you can actually dig in them now. The sand+clay= concrete is bs. Sand is all they use around here for topdressing.
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Smallaxe
06-24-2012, 10:03 AM
Solid clay soils here and they are not concrete after topdressing with sand...in fact you can actually dig in them now. The sand+clay= concrete is bs. Sand is all they use around here for topdressing.
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But there are pier-reviewed research papers from prestigious universities that say what you guys are doing , is impossible and you need to stop before all of GA is one big parking lot made of concrete/adobe... :)

cgaengineer
06-24-2012, 10:09 AM
But there are pier-reviewed research papers from prestigious universities that say what you guys are doing , is impossible and you need to stop before all of GA is one big parking lot made of concrete/adobe... :)

Yeah I know...what people fail to understand is that even though we have clay based soils, they are not 100% clay. If my Sand topdressed lawn was concrete can someone tell me why it's full of earthworms?
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Patriot Services
06-24-2012, 10:10 AM
If I didn't mix with sand the cost of topdressing would be prohibitive here. The topsoil available is crap. Somebody said the same thing about mixing sand with clay and it didn't create concrete.
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cgaengineer
06-24-2012, 10:27 AM
If I didn't mix with sand the cost of topdressing would be prohibitive here. The topsoil available is crap. Somebody said the same thing about mixing sand with clay and it didn't create concrete.
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Your lawns just haven't fully cured into concrete yet...give them a few more weeks...months...years :)
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paradoxer411
06-30-2012, 04:01 PM
Ok, so I have tried the roller, and as said above it really didn't make much of a difference. Due to the fact that the lawn isn't very large, I feel that I could top dress by hand, and probably use a hand aerator(not afraid to work hard to keep from spending too much money). I am going to be making around $2000 here in the July month, So i may use some of that money to invest in this equipment and top dress. What compost or top dressing material could I buy at Lowes or Home Depot? Could somebody also give me sort of an all around guide for the actual top dressing process? There hasn't been much rain here in Iowa, so I feel like I would have to water a lot during this whole process.
Thanks!

cgaengineer
06-30-2012, 04:24 PM
Ok, so I have tried the roller, and as said above it really didn't make much of a difference. Due to the fact that the lawn isn't very large, I feel that I could top dress by hand, and probably use a hand aerator(not afraid to work hard to keep from spending too much money). I am going to be making around $2000 here in the July month, So i may use some of that money to invest in this equipment and top dress. What compost or top dressing material could I buy at Lowes or Home Depot? Could somebody also give me sort of an all around guide for the actual top dressing process? There hasn't been much rain here in Iowa, so I feel like I would have to water a lot during this whole process.
Thanks!

Search my old posts
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Smallaxe
07-01-2012, 09:43 AM
You're purpose was to smooth the lawn inexpensively... no surprise that the roll er didn't work, so go onto the next step... get a truck load of your desired topdressing material, i.e. sand w/OM and wheelbarrow it about the yard and with a shovel, iron rake, and steel tined broom rake, level the lawn a correctly...

If it turns to concrete, let us know and I'll send you the money necessary, to dig it all up and bring in some super topsoil... Don't forget the OM as being a necessary component of any and all soils...

cgaengineer
07-01-2012, 10:11 AM
You're purpose was to smooth the lawn inexpensively... no surprise that the roll er didn't work, so go onto the next step... get a truck load of your desired topdressing material, i.e. sand w/OM and wheelbarrow it about the yard and with a shovel, iron rake, and steel tined broom rake, level the lawn a correctly...

If it turns to concrete, let us know and I'll send you the money necessary, to dig it all up and bring in some super topsoil... Don't forget the OM as being a necessary component of any and all soils...

Lmao! ;)
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Patriot Services
07-01-2012, 12:03 PM
All this talk about about concrete yards. Did everybody suddenly start topdressing with Portland Cement?
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cgaengineer
07-01-2012, 12:08 PM
All this talk about about concrete yards. Did everybody suddenly start topdressing with Portland Cement?
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No, sand+clay=concrete I hear. Mine hasn't cured yet...and by the looks of my lawn at 100+ temps it appears that it either has not cured or Bermuda likes growing in concrete.
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paradoxer411
07-01-2012, 08:59 PM
Just Did the math, the yard I will be leveling is 56ftx78ft, so It's 4,368 square feet. I am thinking that the bumps may be about an inch and a half at the most severe parts, so I am going to need around 20 cubic yards of top dressing material. Time to figure out how many bags I am going to need...Thanks for all the help guys

cgaengineer
07-01-2012, 09:05 PM
Just Did the math, the yard I will be leveling is 56ftx78ft, so It's 4,368 square feet. I am thinking that the bumps may be about an inch and a half at the most severe parts, so I am going to need around 20 cubic yards of top dressing material. Time to figure out how many bags I am going to need...Thanks for all the help guys

You only need about 5 cu yards. You are really filling in low spots only and dragging sand over the high spots. Don't buy bags, order a truckload.
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paradoxer411
07-01-2012, 09:13 PM
You only need about 5 cu yards. You are really filling in low spots only and dragging sand over the high spots. Don't buy bags, order a truckload.
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I'm 14, and my Dad doesn't live with me. I am basically on my own here in this whole project, and i'm not going to order in a whole truckload.

Patriot Services
07-01-2012, 09:37 PM
So how do you propose to move all those bags?

Now let's discuss how much your going to lose in profit buying by the bag. Have you priced a 2cu ft bag of compost at HD? Have you even discussed how much this is going to cost your customer? This is not a cheap service. Hence the reason most guys don't offer it and most customers won't pay for it.
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cgaengineer
07-01-2012, 10:45 PM
I'm 14, and my Dad doesn't live with me. I am basically on my own here in this whole project, and i'm not going to order in a whole truckload.

Than figure your job costing several thousand dollars. If you can't order a truckload at a fraction of the cost of bagged sand and compost the job is too much for you. Sub it out to someone who can handle it and do it right.

I would not even consider bags as an option...because they ain't.
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cpllawncare
07-01-2012, 10:54 PM
Why would someone ask a 14 year old to do such a job anyway? I certainly wouldn't

Patriot Services
07-01-2012, 11:02 PM
By the truckload of anything is easier=cheaper=more profitable. You have it delivered and dumped on a tarp in the driveway. Then you use a wheelbarrow to move it where you need to. Working in small areas from one side to the other. A landscaper rake is good. I use a wide pushbroom to work it in. A chainlink fence drag can be used too. You do have tools right?
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cgaengineer
07-01-2012, 11:02 PM
For 20 cu yd you will need about 260 bags of sand. Which comes out to be about $910 worth of sand. If you purchased bulk sand by the truckload you would pay around $475.

You don't need 20 cu yds anyway.
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cgaengineer
07-01-2012, 11:04 PM
Look up "fake rake" and a "lute"

http://turfgrass.com/planting/rake.html

A 10-12' 2x4" with a handle in the middle makes a nice leveler.

And just so you don't get screwed over, you should be charging no less than $160 per 1000 sq ft including materials.
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cgaengineer
07-05-2012, 07:19 AM
Wonder if this fella is still loading/unloading bags of sand?
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Duekster
07-05-2012, 08:31 AM
For 20 cu yd you will need about 260 bags of sand. Which comes out to be about $910 worth of sand. If you purchased bulk sand by the truckload you would pay around $475.

You don't need 20 cu yds anyway.
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That math works with 200 pound bags of sand :waving:

Try 1040 bags of sand

cgaengineer
07-05-2012, 08:33 AM
That math works with 200 pound bags of sand :waving:

Try 1040 bags of sand

I thought the number seemed low!

20 cu yards is 520 cu ft, two cu ft per bag is around 260 bags. Is a bag of sand not 2 cu ft?

I have not bought a bag of sand in many years.
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Duekster
07-05-2012, 08:45 AM
I thought the number seemed low!

20 cu yards is 520 cu ft, two cu ft per bag is around 260 bags. Is a bag of sand not 2 cu ft?

I have not bought a bag of sand in many years.
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Mulch is often 2 Cu, sand 0.5 Cu @ 50#

cgaengineer
07-05-2012, 08:47 AM
#

Mulch is often 2 Cu, sand 0.5 Cu @ 50#

I went off another posters measure above...based on 2 cu ft I was correct...I should have known, two cu ft of sand would be heavier than 50 pounds!
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Duekster
07-05-2012, 09:47 AM
I went off another posters measure above...based on 2 cu ft I was correct...I should have known, two cu ft of sand would be heavier than 50 pounds!
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Like I said, your math would include the use of 200# bags of sand.

Patriot Services
07-05-2012, 01:28 PM
I think he realized he was in over his head. :usflag:

cgaengineer
07-05-2012, 11:10 PM
I think he realized he was in over his head. :usflag:

Let's hope so!
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