I need help with a totally destroyed customer lawn!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by kcpoolguy, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. kcpoolguy

    kcpoolguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hello everyone, I am not a lawn guy, I am a pool guy, just to get that out here first!

    I am finishing up a huge pool for some friends and they want to to fix their yard that I totally destroyed putting in their pool.

    We are in Kansas City if that helps and they have fescue.

    I have graded the yard back to half way normal. They want seed and not sod. Its hard clay right now, and I dont know what to do before I seed, I was just going to verticut the dirt then put seed down then a layer of hay. They have a sprinkler system so they can keep it watered.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks, Jeffrey
     
  2. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,476

    I would get a load of black dirt and spread it on the yard. I'd forget about the hay, that is a big pain in the rear. Thats just my opinion
     
  3. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,216

    Jeff:
    Firstly, rake out the clods, rocks and big chunks of roots, sticks and other debris. Put it in you truck and haul it to the dump. Next buy a big bale of spagnum peat moss and break it up in your wheel barrow and scatter it on the bare clay surface. It will help enrich the soil and keep it loose. Go to Lowes and buy enough seed (5lb of Rebel III fescue) for 1000sq ft of soil. You'll have to determine how much. Mix it in with about a bucket of sand and put it in a spreader. Those cheap Scotts will do and go back and forth then the other way to get a lot of seed down. You might even put in a little annual ryegrass--no more than about 2-3 lbs. This stuff will come up quickly and die when the weather gets hot and by then the fescue will be up. You could put down a little starter fertilizer(LESS IS MORE on this starter) and finally rake the seed and spagnum with the back of a rake and cover lightly with straw. Tell your clients to water it two or three times a day as it must stay damp. The fescue will start to come up when the evening start to stay above 50, Tell that to your clients. If you have a spreader and the job is not too large then you'll get by for about $100-125 in seed, straw, spagnum peat and fertilizer. Also****remind your clients that the new grass is annual rye and that it is there to shade the new grass and DO NOT MOW IT and stay off of the grass area for two months--probably won't have too but that will give them a time frame. If you don't he'll be out there mowing and will kill the new grass that is just startinig. This isn't the best time to sow grass. People can be harmful if you don't tell them what is right before they try to make the decisions. Good Luck.
     
  4. kcpoolguy

    kcpoolguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks for the fast reply!

    So I dont need to verticut it at all?

    Where can I get a big thing of peat moss?

    And last, what does the sand do to help the seed?

    Thanks again for the help!

    Jeffrey
     
  5. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,216

    Jeff:
    You can find a bale of spagnum peat moss at Lowes--Get the big bale. And, the sand is mixed with the seed so that it will be spread more evenly. Just mix the two together in a wheel barrow or you could use a handheld seed spreader if you have one. Otherwise, just use the sand and seed mix in the regular fertilizer spreader.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Remember that spagnum is very hydrophic until it soaks up the water.
    So once the stuff is wet keep it that way, as stated.
    I prefer to use composted materials as seed cover.

    Long term - mixing in a lot of OM and sand into the clay will be helpful.
     
  7. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Smallaxe is right.

    Peat moss is actually not the best choice for use as a seed cover.
    It does repel water to a certain degree...and it can actually "float away" :cry: during a heavy downpour of rain, especially if some work isn't done to incorporate it some with the existing soil media.

    I'd look for a facility around you that is selling ( ONLY state certified) COMPOST and pick up a yard or two in the back of your truck.
    The nutrient-levels in this will be MUCH, MUCH higher than peat moss.
    But, again, it's always a good idea to rake any "additional" soil-type medium into the existing soil somewhat...because the grass will, of course, have to "get used to" the clay that's there, eventually, right ?!?

    And don't worry..... the (natural) high temperatures of the aerobic decomposition processes will burn up any-and-all *"weed seed" that may have been embedded in the manure / leaves / or whatever.

    (*THIS IS the key reason WHY compost vendors are now being "certified" state-to-state; to help separate the shyster "manure-dumpers" :hammerhead:...away from the LEGITIMATE business of composting !!)

    :waving:
     
  8. kcpoolguy

    kcpoolguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks again everyone!

    I found a compost place! What do I need to do to the ground before I put the seed down? Can I just mix it with the sand and spread it on top on the clay? Or do I need to verticut the clay first? Then lay the compost on top of the seed?

    Have a great day everyone!

    Jeffrey
     
  9. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,216

    Anything you do to loosen up that clay will be good. Mix in you organic material, peat moss, cow manure--anything. Just vericut the all together. Sow your seed and cover it with your straw and water, water, water. Once the peat gets wet you can hold off of watering except for about two times a day.
    Roy
     
  10. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Posts: 907

    Can you post a picture....?
     

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