new lawns soil is too soft

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by pivotalrex, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. pivotalrex

    pivotalrex LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I had a new lawn installed 4 weeks ago. the landscaper used 4 triaxles of birm (filler dirt) and 2 triaxles of topsoil for approx 8200 sq ft of lawn. he used a rye/fescue/kbg mix and the front has come in very good, the back is a bit spotty but I will address that next spring. I watched him go over the areas repeatedly with his bobcat and it was packed down when he finished.

    My problem is that every time it rains, which has not been much this fall, you literally can not walk on the lawn for 3-4 days after until it is dry. If you do, you sink about 4-6 inches.

    Now I know you will probably say to just stay off the lawn, which I have but the deer don't seem to care and now I have a ton of tracks that are 4 inches deep and I'm assuming that my only choice next spring is to fill in all the spots with addt'l topsoil.

    Long story short, will the soil eventually harden up? Any advice/help with this would be appreciated. Also, is there anything I can spray to keep the deer off my lawn? it's starting to look pretty pathetic in the front for a new lawn with all of the holes from the deer tracks.
     
  2. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    In my lawn if I tear through the root base I'm going to get stuck, no if's and's or but's. And it has fairly high clay content. You need to get a root base established to knit it all together. I'd consider throwing straw or pine straw on it just to protect it from heavy rain.

    For the deer I'd try finding some kind of repellant scent and maybe some motion activated lights. Somebody was telling me about a model coyote with a tail that moves in the breeze. it repels geese, I don't know about deer.

    I'm in the country and put up a barbed wire fence years ago. The first night I'm pretty sure a deer hit it, and sprung it some bending the posts, but it didn't get through.
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    hmmm, it's always been my opinion that lawn traffic causes soil compaction...

    Which isn't usually desired, but in this case...

    Now before you get too far, you'll want to study what this is I am about to suggest, I have little idea if it's good for new lawns, all I know is people do it. Anyhow, I think you may wish to consider hiring someone who 'rolls' lawns, it's like a steamroller but it's made for lawns, attaches to some kind of a machine... They might rent this as well, you may check this out also.

    That's what I would look into, lawn rolling (and yes I think it sounds funny, but I am serious, rolling the lawn).
    Have to find out if it's ok to do in your case, you'll want to speak to someone who has experience in this particular affair.
     
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

  5. chrisexv6

    chrisexv6 LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 58

    I have this same issue....26 yards of topsoil were put down in my yard. The grass has come in VERY nice, but the ground is soft underneath.

    I figured it had something to do with an immature root system at this point......going to wait it out until next spring to see if it feels any better. I too thought about using a lawn roller on it, but was worried the grass is too delicate (about 5 weeks old at this point).....if its still soft in Spring, I might research further to see if rolling it is OK to do.

    -Chris
     
  6. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,510

    stay off the lawn it is new be glad u got top soil. most don't get it you need to wait at least one year the more rain we get the more it will firm up the rain will perculate throught the top soil and reduce the pore space. it takes time rye grass is considered juvenile until it is 3-4 years old it takes time.
     
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,837

    No don't wait get seed down right now and pack it in good for the winter
     
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    For the deer problem, try this:
    (It's gross, but it's worked for years for me at the small orchard I have)

    1) Ask your local barber to save a medium-size bag of swept up hair for you in a plastic bag.

    2) Bring it home and keep it in a cool place, like the garage.

    3) Get some old small knit stockings (that have 'runs' in them or whatever), and shove a few of them 1/2 way full of hair with your gloved hand.

    4) Hand them in inconspicuous spots along the treeline along your yard's border.

    If after a while you find that the deer become 'immune' to the scent of the hair, try mixing a combination of Elmer's glue and blood from the butcher's shop with it!
    Bambi will not come near! :waving:
     

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