OK, so How do you renovate a lawn?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    Started a thread, "Renovating a landscape."

    I started the thread with two lawns,

    Lawn A:
    -Background
    - 4200 sqft. ​

    - Front 2400​
    - Bermuda lawn​
    - Obvious compaction​

    - Rear 2000​
    - VERY sparse Bermuda lawn due to full shade​
    - Want to turn into a fescue lawn​

    - Objective:
    - Topdress front lawn with compost (will be done on Tues weather permitting)​
    - In fall, tear up existing lawn, while lawn is mixed add in compost to a well desired mixture of compost and soil​
    - Reseed and have beautiful fescue lawn established, hopefully requiring minimum inputs afterward due to added compost at better levels​


    Lawn B:
    -Background
    - Front 2000, ​
    - Rear 2000​
    - existing fescue lawn/weeds​
    - front consists of long narrow strip near road, and patch near house​
    - Rear is overrun with wild strawberries, has raised garden beds throughout, existing fescue lawn​

    Objective:
    - Lawn is in bad shape with little grass and mainly weeds​
    - Lawn is roughly 20 years old and surrounded by pines and hardwoods​
    - Partial shade through out other than strip near street​
    - Want to tear up existing lawn, should be easier than lawn A as ther is no sod, and reestablish soil with compost and then seed​
    - Would like to change soil structure enough preferably that lawn will require minimum inputs in future​

    I don't know how feasible it is to actually change the soil structure, I have not gotten this far into this stuff, I basically have gotten down that topdressing over time will add OM to the soil. I figure if it is mixed in well enough that this "time" that it takes with topdressing a 1/4" every so often will be dramatically shortened. Both lawns are small with small access points so no large heavy equipment. I believe the best bet will be a large tiller.

    Any info will be greatly appreciated, I have not had the opportunity to perform a job like this before and have at least 3 already lined up.

    Thanks,

    Oh, I will try to have pics as soon as possible.
     
  2. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including but not limited to:

    living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly referred to as Gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.
    natural elements such as landforms, terrain shape and elevation, or bodies of water;
    human elements such as structures, buildings, fences or other material objects created and/or installed by humans; and
    abstract elements such as the weather and lighting conditions.
    Landscaping is both science and art, and requires good observation and design skills. A good landscaper understands the elements of nature and construction, and blends them accordingly.

    An early Greek philosopher known for his view that "all is water," spent a considerable time thinking about the nature and scope of landscaping. Some of his students believed that in order for human activity to be considered landscaping, it must be directed toward modifying the physical features of the land itself, including the cultivation and/or manipulation of plants or other flora. Thales rejected this notion, arguing that any aspect of the material world affecting our visual perception of the land was a proper subject for landscaping. Both Plato and Aristotle praised Thales' analysis as a model for philosophy. In the early 20th century, British philosopher G.E. Moore cited Thales' reasoning as one of the few historical examples of how philosophical inquiry has led to genuine human understanding and progress.

    This should have read lawn renovation.......

    any how RIP, SPREAD, SMOOTH,ADD,SEED,WATER, GROW. the simple mechanics of it are up to you.

    have you found a truck ot larger trailer to use, it sounds like you have some poo to move!!!
     
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Your missing one of the most critical components of any irrigated landscape renovation ..... your irrigation assessment.

    Also, if your going to renovate to this extent, get a soil test.
     
  4. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    kiril, I will asses the irrigation, ITS A WASTE, and the whole idea of water mis use is starting to become more clear as every day passes, another well goes dry here! or pulls salt!!!
     
  5. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    How have you determined that tilling and replanting will be more successful than aerating, topdressing and overseeding? K brings up a very valid point. You said last night that there is no irrigation currently -- will there ever be? The rip it out and start over option should be your last resort. Even if all the existing plant life has to go, changing the grade (tilling up) of the current turf is a large task. I would lean more toward a less intrusive approach. A Dingo with a power rake (Harley rake) would be an in-between approach. It would tear up about 2 or 3 inches, in which you could then incorporate your compost, regrade, seed and WATER.
     
  6. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    that Georgia clay is something else to get to grow grass, its like a brick and just as red, if the builder/ site prep guy left it hard and bare, He has the correct idea.
     
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Post was for DG, since I wrote it before I read yours, but I guess it applies to yours as well. ;)
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    If your going to till hardpan, do it right.

    http://www.deere.com/servlet/ProdCatProduct?tM=FR&pNbr=0022BP

    I also believe the less intrusive approach is the better approach if feasible. My mode of operation is to always look for ways to achieve the desired goal with the least amount of effort and money.

    Course you could do your clients and nature a favor and get rid of the turf altogether, especially for lawn b.
     
  9. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    sorry just venting, we are having water woes that are comparable to yours:cry:

    I think I mentioned a bottom plow, that's the only way, or double dig, that's a work out
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Nothing like dying landscapes due to lack of water to wake people up to the need for regionally appropriate landscapes.

    You did however bring up another very valid point that people almost aways overlook when managing soils ..... the quality of your irrigation water.

    We can talk about soils, fertility, microbes this, and microbes that until the cows come home, but at the end of the day without water and proper water management, nothing else matters.
     

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