New lawn installation.. How much good topsoil?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mrusk, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Well i am slowly working my way up from the bottom! I did a couple lawn installations last year for contractors that just wanted a quick, cheap job. Well now i have some customers that want a top notch lawn so i figure i'd ask you guys for advice.

    This lot seems to have crumpy soil. I figure once i get all the neccesary grading done, i will harley rack all the rocks out of it. It will take two passes to get it good. Then i figured i'd spread 2'' of topsoil over the area. Last i figured i'd hit it up again with the harley rake down enough to mix the top soil in with the native soil.

    Is 2'' of top soil enough or do i need more?
     
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    You should add compost or amendment as well..what do you mean by "crumpy?
     
  3. Ollie3

    Ollie3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    I'll have to agree with Sheshovel.

    Ollie.
     
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    No topsoil. Work up the existing soil deep. and plant with a god mixture of seed. By adding topsoil your training the roots to stay shallow where the "good" soil is. and thats makes for a bad lawn.
     
  5. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578



    He indicated that he would be mixing up the top soil with the existing soil.

    The stuff already there might be as good as the new stuff.

    Ammendments would be a good idea as needed.
     
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Waste of time and money, grass will grow in pretty much any soil with a neutral PH

    And he's gonna be mixing the top with a Harley rake so he's still only gonna be mixing the top couple inches
     
  7. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,795

    bingo bring in soil only if you need to bring it up to grade ............... test the soil and see what it needs or doesn't.
     
  8. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Ok. So how do i test the soil to see what amenedments it will need? Adding amendments is way better than adding an extra 3k in topsoil and $1200 in labor onto the estimate!

    Matt
     
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    PH Meter measures the acidity in soil to see how much lime to add if needed
    Cost $15
     
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    To get top notch results..requires top notch work and top notch soil..you sure can't hurt by adding organic matter to any soil.Most likely the soil that you have to start with is NOT top soil because that wast scraped off when the builder put in the pad for the home.SO I highly recommend improving soil structure and organic matter content by adding well aged weedless compost for new seeding.
     

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