Huge yard to seed...need some help...

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by thefed, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 350

    So we got a call from an existing sutomer asking to install a new back yard (dug up for septic).

    It measures 150x120. It is basically gradded, but needs some leveling here and there. Customer specifiaclly requested no hydroseeding (I asked why...and no good answer).

    My assumption: (i've done small yards, and spots from stumps and such...nothing this large).

    To level the few ruts and such, it seems a tiller would do the trick...maybe about 2 hours of labor. I ASSUME I need to throw down some topsoil...maybe an inch or so? This would eb about 60 yards of soil. Spreading that will be a pain. I have no problem huffing some wheelbarrows, but that'd take a while. Maybe a small bobcat or something? What would one cost to rent for a day??

    Then I need to choose a seed appropriate for the area...NE Ohio, full sun all day. I know the seed typ will determine the amount needed... can anyone suggest a good seed for this situation (remembering it will be broadcast spead)...and about how much to expect to buy?

    Then the straw. I've never done straw in such a big area. How many sq feet to a bale of straw? And woukd it ALL need to be raked up, or just mulched wih the mower?


    Thanks for all the input. Thanks
     
  2. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 350

    To clarify, here's the way im leaning...

    till the whole lawn

    Then figure ot a way to work in the topsoil...maybe a bobcat and rake? Anything I could attach to my wimpy 17hp craftsman mower i use as a backup?

    Then seed, fertilize,and use about 15-18 bales of straw


    My biggest concern is the top soil...if its even needed. One inch all the way around would cost at least $1000. Would it be cheaper to ammend the .current soil? I think there's a lot of clay...but its hard to tell much... its Soooo wet right now
     
  3. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 350

    To clarify, here's the way im leaning...

    till the whole lawn

    Then figure ot a way to work in the topsoil...maybe a bobcat and rake? Anything I could attach to my wimpy 17hp craftsman mower i use as a backup?

    Then seed, fertilize,and use about 15-18 bales of straw


    My biggest concern is the top soil...if its even needed. One inch all the way around would cost at least $1000. Would it be cheaper to ammend the .current soil? I think there's a lot of clay...but its hard to tell much... its Soooo wet right now
     
  4. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    forget the straw its nothing but a pain for your customer and his neighbors. Take a soil PH test and make sure the acidity is around 6.5-7 if its alot lower ad lime if its alot higher ad sulfer, make sure the ph is around 6.5-7 or the grass will not do very well and may not come up. Once you have done that ad a good starter fertilizer and work it into the soil with anything else the yard may need then level the soil and seed with quality seed then roll the seed into the ground for good contact, water and wait. Make sure the daytime temp are staying in the low to mid 60s or higher and nite time temps don't drop below freezing.
     
  5. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 350

    wont the straw aid in moisture retention...as im sure they will not water as much as they should 19k sq ft of turf is a lot for a few sprinklers and an old lady moving them around (she claims she will water it enough!)
     
  6. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,216

    It might pay you to rent a small tractor with a till box. That's alot of yard. Do the soil test as someone suggested. Sow Rebel II fescue and bluegrass mix twice as thick as suggested. I'd wait until the night temps and ground temps are at least 55 or above as the seed will not germinate till then. Then the most important part is to keep it watered for two weeks which the roots implant. Unless you've got rocks, sand, or pure red-clay (even that has lots of nutrients) but packs too much, topsoil is probably not needed. Lime is needed for any starter fertilizer to work. So that PH is important and will be part of the soil test. If you've never done a soil test, use the County Extention Agency. Strawing will shade the seed and keep the birds from picking it up. Instead of straw and it will be a huge job is to cover it with spagnum peat moss and let it incorporate into the soil. No need to pick it up. It will help retain moisture. But the most important thing is to get some implements to help you out.
     
  7. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 350

    Thanks for the input guys...keep it comin'
     
  8. big_country

    big_country LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    Not to steal the thread, but someone mentioned using the county extension's office for a soil test, do you know how much it cost? Do they give you a print out on everything you need? thanks
     
  9. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    staw is nothing more than a pain in the wallet and a$$. I have been seeding lawns for over 15yrs and I have never used straw and never had a problem with the seed comming up and leaving a great looking yard. Remember this is spring time, its not hot and we get plenty of rain in most places and rolling the grass seed down into the soil keeps it from blowing around and helps it germinate much faster. If the soil has what it needs and the temps are warm enough you will have a nice looking lawn in about 2 weeks.
     
  10. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    18,000 sf lawn-harley rake it, spread 1/4"compro on it, seed it and go. I'd tell you my price, but may not apply in your area.
     

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