Help w/ dead yard

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Mikegyver, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,810

    Well the title says it all pretty much. The yard only has a small patch of St aug in one corner of the front yard (side and back are fine). The yard is irrigated (though probably not enough) and just will not grow the grass. He put out seed and nothing came up. I gave him an estimate on sod and the price was astronomical. So I need an alternative. I was thinking of tilling in topsoil and drill seed but I have no idea if this would work and if it would how to do it.
    Anyone have some ideas?
    Mike
     
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,511

    Maybe you need to have a soil sample analyzed. Is there a lot of shade? I don't know much about growing grass in Texas but I do know it has been very hot and dry this year. You can't just grow grass by throwing seed on top of dirt. The soil has to be broken up and the seed should ideally be raked into the soil a bit, and then it should be kept damp for weeks.
     
  3. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,810

    Exactly. I do not think the customer was watering enough. Either that or he was not watering long enough when he watered. It only gets like the midday shade (has tall trees to the east and west) so that may be part of it. But all the other grass around him (in his yard and the 100+ neighbors) is fine so I don't know what to do.
    mike
     
  4. StihlMechanic

    StihlMechanic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,133

    He sounds like some of my customers. The cities around me are on water restrictions. They are not adjusting the irrigation duration to compensate for the restrictions and the turf, especially SA is dieing. I wouldn't do any sod or seed for him unless the irrigation aspect was handled. I try to educate my customers.
     
  5. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,810

    I try. And try. And try to educate customers. I cannot make them do anything!
    Mike
     
  6. StihlMechanic

    StihlMechanic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,133

    Its tough. These are the clients I will drop when the time is right.
     
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    St. Augustine does not have a viable seed....so I am not sure what he was trying to grow but it was not it. SA is either through plugs, sprigs or sod...no other option that I am aware of.

    If he did not disturb the soil - seed germination is not going to happen.

    I cost is the only factor and the guy wants grass. Get common Bermuda seed.......lightly distrurb the soil in the spring....apply seed...water....and watch out. It should grow well assuming the location is a full sun area and the customer has not dumped something on the soil and contaminated the soil.

    Good luck
     
  8. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,810

    What can i plant NOW so that its green through the winter? I was thinking rye would work.

    @StihlMechanic....Please understand this is in one of the high-end neighborhoods in our city. Like i said he has at least 100 houses in his neighborhood if not 200. 95% have a lawn service. He is my first yard in that neighborhood...its a keeper for now.
    mike
     
  9. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,321

    Some annual ryegrass will work, but will die when temps rise in the spring. But it will get the quickest cover through the winter but be ready to plant something else next spring.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,810

    Gotcha. Should i till and all? What depth?
    mike
     

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