View Full Version : New Lawn Installation Questions

matthew horner
03-19-2004, 11:45 PM
First, I just want to say thanks for all of the advice. I'm very thankful for this forum. Often times I find myself spending WAY too much time just researching, all on lawnsite.com

I just have a few questions. I'm getting ready to do a medium size installation (1/4 acre). This will be fescue.

My questions: The type of soil? that is there right now is sand and cay, mixed, in different layers. In one section it will show sand, then clay, another, clay then sand. I know I need to do some work with this in order to obtain a successful lawn. I guess for me to plan this out, I wonder how much good soil, in inches, fescue needs to have to develop a good root system? I thought of scraping an inch or so of clay/sand and hauling it away, and bringing in 2 inches of composted topsoil to replace this, throughout the property. I could do this with a skid steer. But if I can get away with just bringing in an inch of good soil, and tilling it in, i'd do that. I need to take a soil sample, and my local agriculture extension office takes about 3 weeks to do so. I wonder if there is a kit I can buy that is faster and of the quality that I can get good, readable results?

Also, there are surface roots from nearby (15 feet) trees. Should I attempt to avoid these with the rototiller and just get as much topsoil on top of them. Additionally, what should I look for in a topsoil to grow fescue in.

hole in one lco
03-20-2004, 12:32 AM
If you put top soil over the roots you aren't accomplishing any thing just prolonging the inevitable. You need to plant some sort of ground cover. JMO

matthew horner
03-20-2004, 12:35 AM
i don't understand. I am installing grass. Why do you suggest I plant groundcover?

hole in one lco
03-20-2004, 12:38 AM
I mean under the trees . If you dont the roots will just keep resurfacing.

matthew horner
03-20-2004, 01:05 AM
Oh ok. The roots are way out, and interferring with MY PLANS (imagine that). I am going to pine straw up to the dripline under the trees. The roots may be leftovers from a massive tree removal that was performed on this property a while back. Any ideas on how far roots would extend from the base of a healthy 15 year old dogwood?

Still looking for What the fescue needs inches wise of good soil, and advice on soil test kits.

matthew horner
03-20-2004, 01:35 PM
also, after I grade this, should I roll it to look for spots that will settle?

03-20-2004, 01:56 PM
I have seen soil test kits at Lowes. Good luck.

hole in one lco
03-20-2004, 03:36 PM
My rule of thumb is that roots go out as far as the tree.

You will need at least 3 in of good soil for the grass to survive

03-20-2004, 07:47 PM
go with 4 inches at least you got some crappy soil for grass to grow in right now add more soil.

matthew horner
03-20-2004, 07:54 PM
thanks. So I should'nt roll this ( i mean with a lawn roller) to find soft spots?