New Lawn Installation Questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by matthew horner, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 696

    First, I just want to say thanks for all of the advice. I'm very thankful for this forum. Often times I find myself spending WAY too much time just researching, all on lawnsite.com


    I just have a few questions. I'm getting ready to do a medium size installation (1/4 acre). This will be fescue.

    My questions: The type of soil? that is there right now is sand and cay, mixed, in different layers. In one section it will show sand, then clay, another, clay then sand. I know I need to do some work with this in order to obtain a successful lawn. I guess for me to plan this out, I wonder how much good soil, in inches, fescue needs to have to develop a good root system? I thought of scraping an inch or so of clay/sand and hauling it away, and bringing in 2 inches of composted topsoil to replace this, throughout the property. I could do this with a skid steer. But if I can get away with just bringing in an inch of good soil, and tilling it in, i'd do that. I need to take a soil sample, and my local agriculture extension office takes about 3 weeks to do so. I wonder if there is a kit I can buy that is faster and of the quality that I can get good, readable results?

    Also, there are surface roots from nearby (15 feet) trees. Should I attempt to avoid these with the rototiller and just get as much topsoil on top of them. Additionally, what should I look for in a topsoil to grow fescue in.
    THANKS
     
  2. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    If you put top soil over the roots you aren't accomplishing any thing just prolonging the inevitable. You need to plant some sort of ground cover. JMO
     
  3. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 696

    i don't understand. I am installing grass. Why do you suggest I plant groundcover?
     
  4. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    I mean under the trees . If you dont the roots will just keep resurfacing.
     
  5. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 696

    Oh ok. The roots are way out, and interferring with MY PLANS (imagine that). I am going to pine straw up to the dripline under the trees. The roots may be leftovers from a massive tree removal that was performed on this property a while back. Any ideas on how far roots would extend from the base of a healthy 15 year old dogwood?

    Still looking for What the fescue needs inches wise of good soil, and advice on soil test kits.
    Matt
     
  6. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 696

    also, after I grade this, should I roll it to look for spots that will settle?
     
  7. gramps

    gramps LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    I have seen soil test kits at Lowes. Good luck.
     
  8. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    My rule of thumb is that roots go out as far as the tree.

    You will need at least 3 in of good soil for the grass to survive
     
  9. GrassFearsMe

    GrassFearsMe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 340

    go with 4 inches at least you got some crappy soil for grass to grow in right now add more soil.
     
  10. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 696

    thanks. So I should'nt roll this ( i mean with a lawn roller) to find soft spots?
     

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