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How do I install a lawn?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by westernmdlawn, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    Guys - I know, this question sounds rediculous. Thats because I am new at this and am trying to learn as much as possible. Here is my question: From start to finish, step by step, how do you do a new yard installation. I'm talking about for a home builder. Will the construction company expect me to do all the grading and earthwork, then finish grade, seed and stuff? In other words, do I need to sub out a Dozer to get the yard roughly where it needs to be, then do the yard install? Help! Thanks in advance for stopping to help a newcomer - love this site!
  2. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 348

    Generally, a landscape contractor only does the finished grade. Usually the general contractor is in charge of doing the major grading and earthwork. Although I have had some calls from builders to do the major stuff too. Not many though. For the most part they hire excavators to do the major stuff. But hey if you can make a buck at it, why not right. So step to step what we do is. Lay finish grade. Fertilize and seed with brillion seeder. About half the time we finish grade and hydroseed. Fertilizer is mixed right in with the hydroseed. Not to complicated. Good luck.
  3. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    So, laying a finish grade consists of filling in low spots and scraping down high spots, getting rid of all rocks and bumps, and then having a finished grade that looks like it was done by hand with a rake basically? So, how about seeding more specifically? When do you seed with a brillion seeder and when do you hydroseed? What is a brillion seeder? Do you mix the Fert and the seed together in the seeder machines, whichever one you use? What time of the year can you plant grass? Do you guys generally include coming back and watering the grass each day after you do an install? Please tell me everything you can think of! Thanks Guys!
  4. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 348

    The customers have a choice of having it seeded with a brillion and strawed, or hydroseed. The difference is price. Hydroseed is usually an extra six or seven cents per square foot. Hydroseed always come up alot faster then with straw. In the hydroseeder itself you mix the fertilizer the seed and the mulch. I usually sub out hydroseeding. A brillion seeder is something goes on the three point hitch. You fill it up with grass seed and as you roll along with it it drops seed and plunges it into the ground. There are all kinds of seeders out there, you have to use the one the works best for you I suppose. You dont mix fertilizer in with brillion though. We always spread that before we seed. I never include coming back and watering the lawn after the install. It states clearly in out contract that the lawn is only guranteed if it is watered properly. Make sure you give them proper watering instructions also. As for grass seed we generally use a mixture or rye grass and kentucky blue grass. Spartan grade A. Fertilizer we usually use something like 18-24-12. Around here we only plant grass in the spring and fall unless they have sprikler systems, then we will sometimes do them in the summer. We never do lawns after october 15 though. Hope that helps
  5. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    Awesome! That helps alot! So how do you handle the situation if the customer doesn't water their lawn, so they call you back since it is dying. But they tell you they have been watering it? How can you guarantee a lawn to grow if you are not the one coming and watering daily. That seems like the only way to know that it is being watered properly. Also, what does "Fertilizer we usually use something like 18-24-12" mean??? Is that a ratio of fertilizer to something to something?
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I take a camara, and if its dry I document the time of day, and date. Then I knock on the door and tell my clients that they will void guarentee if they do not follow watering instuctions. Check it often as possable and next time its dry send cert letter to client informing them that I found it dry again and that they have voided the warrenty just be sure to keep it well documented and take pictures. I find that the ground cracks really fast after an install and I take pictures of the cracks with a pencil or something to reference the size of the crack.
  7. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Since you are up the road a piece and will likely want to use Fescu I would do these steps:

    1. Wait til August and do a Chemical Kill (Roundup Pro/Fusilade)
    Wait 10 days and retreat if nec.
    2. Cut dead stuff down low and bag
    3. Core Plug Aerate.
    4. Compost/Seed Mix either top dressed, Hand spread orr Blower truck application 1/2-1" thick
    1 cy Compost=300 SQR FT

    Note: There are cheaper methods involving slit seeders or seeding after aeration, but optimium results I have found by doing this method. Also, you can seed properties later into the season (NOV) using compost because it retains sufficient heat to allow germination. Will need a weed control with first fert app.
  8. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    Strawbridge Lawn: You are talking about how to seed and install a new lawn when there is currently pasture, or wild weed growth right? I was talking about if you start from fresh dirt, no growth. I am very interested in both though, since both situations could arise. Thanks guys for all the valuable help!
  9. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 348

    I do the same as older then dirt. I usually check up on all my jobs once every month. Take pics with the digital camera if it is dry. Call them and tell them that I noticed they havent been watering. As for fertilizer. 18-24-12 is the number on the fertilizer bag when you go to buy it. First number is how much nitrogen is in it, second is phosphorus, and third is potassium. Nitrogen is like heroin for grass. Make it spring up and gives it color. Phosphorus helps the grass to grow a strong root system. And Potasium helps ward of disease.
  10. ryan cooper

    ryan cooper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    you should do a ph test to see if the soil is to sour{high acid level} grass like sweet soil .usually lime will balance the ph.if your doing it from seed ,1st measure the area,get the required amount of seed,if your working with clay type soil gypson works well,along with tilling and adding ammendeties,saw dust,peat moss,ect.mix everythimg up in about10-13" keep soil wet,spread seed out use a light roller to tuck the seeds in the soil.....some people say use straw but one good wind and it will blow away,use burlap and KEEP THE SOIL MOIST FOR ABOUT 2-3 wks

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