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matesusa
05-27-2003, 07:02 AM
Hello everybody,

Got a question for you guys...

Bidding on sod installation and the site is on gravel pit. no topsoil, very hard and rocky. no lawn, just some weeds. some grading and leveling will be required. area is about 5500sf. couple of trees in the middle with some roots on surface. no steep hills.

Now if i add let's say 4" of topsoil and sod on top of it, it'll raise lawn like 5" above existing sidewalk. how do you guys go about that?
do you excavate the whole area 5" down before bringing in topsoil and sod???

DaddyRabbit
05-27-2003, 07:26 AM
4" would be too much topsoil for sodding work. I would go w/an inch or maybe even 2 but no more. If you go more you will suffer too much indifference in height as opposed to the sidewalk as you've already pointed out.

kris
05-27-2003, 07:39 AM
excavate the area ..add soil and sod

matesusa
05-27-2003, 07:47 AM
DaddyRabbit, you would add just one inch on top of the gravel? i worry if i'd do that, lawn would slowly die off. i don't even know if my tiller would be able to break that gravel little and even if it did what good would it do? nothing grows in gravel, right, so would grass roots even go down in it eventually?
ground on that property is so hard i can't even stick my screwdriver in it.

matesusa
05-27-2003, 07:51 AM
kris, does excavation seems inevitable in this situation?
and if necessary, what equipment would you rent to do all of it?

kris
05-27-2003, 07:54 AM
Use a skid steer ... you mentioned some tree roots .. you may not be able to excavate as deep around those trees. Do what you can.

matesusa
05-27-2003, 08:00 AM
what attachment(s) would you use? in my area i can only rent Bobcat 773 with toothed bucket...:cry:

kris
05-27-2003, 08:05 AM
Tooth bucket is all you need ... hopefully the 773 has enough power. I jumped in the green houses new 773 yesterday and was not impressed. I would use our 863 ..the biggest we have at the moment for tough digging.

matesusa
05-27-2003, 08:09 AM
that's what i'm worried about. that it won't have enough power to excavate that damn packed gravel. thanks a lot for your inputs though, guys.

DaddyRabbit
05-27-2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by matesusa
DaddyRabbit, you would add just one inch on top of the gravel? i worry if i'd do that, lawn would slowly die off. i don't even know if my tiller would be able to break that gravel little and even if it did what good would it do? nothing grows in gravel, right, so would grass roots even go down in it eventually?
ground on that property is so hard i can't even stick my screwdriver in it.

LOL, no, this is only after prep. I have never installed sod w/out prep work. Sorry for the confusion. Harley Rake=Prep

daveainthere
05-27-2003, 09:35 PM
sounds like you might damage/kill those trees by excavating the existing area..(or suffocate them by adding top soil AND turf) check out something called re-fracturing or is that called fracturing. I saw an arborist use this tool once to cure compacted soil. BUT this sounds sorta not practical. maybe work with the environment and plant some hardy turf, (I don't know your area).

stxkyboy
05-27-2003, 11:08 PM
Why dont u just excavate around the existing sidewalks and then gradually slope it down to the level of the sidewalk when u put in the sod??? seems a lot easier

matesusa
05-28-2003, 02:41 PM
ok, here's what i thought i'll be proposing to do.

i can't get harley rake around here so i think i'd try my best to till the area (minus around trees where eventually just bark it) then move some of the gravel from around sidewalk away out to the open area, spread couple of inches of topsoil, smooth it out and lay sod.
i've got barreto 13hp hydraulic walkbehind tiller do you think it'll break that ground. i've never tilled anything that hard.

jfenton
05-28-2003, 10:47 PM
raise the sidewalk

Green Pastures
05-28-2003, 10:49 PM
Excavate and add 4" of soil, use a bit of "Turface" in the soil, then sod.

paponte
05-29-2003, 12:37 AM
WOW! If there are too many tree roots, your not excavating anything. The easiest way would be to top dress the area with topsoil (couldn't say how deep, sight unseen). You would want 1-2" above the tree roots to ensure the sod takes. Grade out the areas, and slope it towards the sidewalk. Unless you want to make a huge project out of it, it sounds like you would be needing either a 4 in 1, or a grapple in order to remove the roots.

matesusa
05-29-2003, 03:11 AM
those are some interesting posts from you guys.
1.what is Turface?
2.can i get away with just spreading about 3" of topsoil over existing area without doing anything with current ground? i know i'll be creating soil layering which is not good (area is sloping little away from house and sidewalk right now).
3.also how many man hours would you estimate it would take to spread 50yrds of topsoil manually? the only rental skid-steer here on the island is not available until couple of weeks from now :blob2:

DaddyRabbit
05-29-2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by matesusa
those are some interesting posts from you guys.
1.what is Turface?
2.can i get away with just spreading about 3" of topsoil over existing area without doing anything with current ground? i know i'll be creating soil layering which is not good (area is sloping little away from house and sidewalk right now).
3.also how many man hours would you estimate it would take to spread 50yrds of topsoil manually? the only rental skid-steer here on the island is not available until couple of weeks from now :blob2:

1) Have no idea.
2)Yes, sod will do fine
3)Trust me on this, 50 yds manually would be suicide. I have laid more than my share of tons of topsoil and there is always the "manual labor" aspect included into it. I can operate 4in1 buckets or scrape blades, box blades as good or better than the next guy and always have to hand rake after the skid steer/tractor work to get that finished grade look as well as correct depth. The biggest time killer in your job should be getting the soil delivery back to back and on time.