Posting for Tom Panks ROUGH LAWN

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Eric ELM, Apr 5, 2001.

  1. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    Tom Panks
    Junior Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Posts: 0
    Rough Lawn
    Hi Eric- I am new here and have been reading the posts.
    My Problem is a lawn-20 yrs old-that last year after snow melt got very bumpy behind house. Now the side and front yards are bumpy. REAL bumpy. There seems to be like worm droppings on the bumps and foot pressure won't push the bumps down even tho the snow is still on the yard here and there. (We get 100 to 200 inches of snowfall here) A heavy lawn roller wouldn't flatten the lawn last year so I want to "upgrade" this time and soon.
    What are your suggestions? Yard is about 35,000 Sq FT. with trees in both evergreen and diciduos. Many flower beds in old English style and under soil-(below the sod) is sand/gravel.
    Thanks- I would post this but don't see a way to do that just yet.

  2. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 166

    Bumpy? What do you consider Bumpy?
    If there's still patches of snow on the ground then the ground is probably not dethawed all the way yet and a roller won't do you much good for another couple of weeks.
    I had about an acre between the house and the barn which used to be a field (I'm suspecting) with a lot of BIG Bumps.
    The bumps measured about 4-6 feet from tip to tip with a 18" to 24" dip inbetween.
    A good friend let me use his Bobcat to straighten it out somewhat.
    Smaller bumps should roll themselves out once the ground is warm. I built a lawnroller out of an old watertank, 1/4" steelplate with a 3' diameter and 4' wide. That baby will smush the bumps pretty good.
    Depending on the condition of your lawn (because this idea WILL make a mess of it), you can drag a 'grading box' or a matress behind your tractor to take of the high-points and move the dirt into the lowspots; this will require a lot of work afterwards.
    Good Luck
  3. Tom Panks

    Tom Panks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks for the come back Catcher-
    No frost here- when the snow is 3 feet deep and starts falling in October the ground stays warm.
    The bumps are 3 to 5 inches dia and 1 to 1 1/2 inches high and hard; too hard to flatten with a foot print. This aggravation seems to be spreading annually. If walking across the lawn your foot would be on at least two of these bumps at once- that's how dense they are. I suspect a desease or bug.
    I too have built a roller out of a 12 inch concrete culvert, cut off at 4 feet. Weighs about 300 lbs.It flattens them a bit but they seem to rebound.
    I am considering ripping up the whole thing with a rototiller after I de-bug and Round up it. But am still open to some advice.
    Thanks Again
  4. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 166

    Well, having some-sort of droppings on the relatively small bumps, did you ever dig up a few bumpy spots to see what you found underneath?
    When working with a roller you'd want a bit more weight than that, preferably something you can fill with water.
  5. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    You would probably need something heavier. 300 lbs spread out over 4' wide isn't enought weight in my opinion. A roller from a place like Farm and Fleet that is 4' wide filled with water is around 600 lbs. They are not that expensive either, or go to a rental place and get one for a day.

    BTW, I see you figured out how to post now, good deal. :)
  6. Tom Panks

    Tom Panks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thank You Eric-
    But we still have the problem of some sort of desease/bug.
    I will await further replies on this and meanwhile, hope for some sun and warm WX so we can do Yard Work!
  7. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Hi Tom,
    It is not a disease or bug, at least not one that I have ever heard of. The above surface mounds that you are seeing are worm casts and they can get pretty hard. The cast is made of mucus, secreted by the worm, and dirt. This mix hardens and gives the cast an almost morter like consistancy. Generally they do not represent a problem on home lawns because home lawns are cut so high that you never see them. On the golf course it's not a problem because anywhere it would be noticable would be cut every day at a hight that would eliminate the cast.
    My best advice to you is to go to your local golf course, tell the course superintendant the problem you are having and ask him if he will take a look at your lawn. Most will be happy to do so, generally on their way home from work and don't forget to slip him/her 20 bucks or so. The best time to catch him/her will be on a rainy day at about noon, lunch time.
    Good Luck,
    Jim L
  8. Tom Panks

    Tom Panks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks Green1 - I will do as you recommend, it will be worth the tip.
  9. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Sounds like an insect problem...june bugs? Just passed my pesticide certification and recall a symptom like you are referring although unsure whether it was June bugs or Chinch bugs, but anyways there are insects which will bore along the top surface of the soil and leave mounds. Check with your local cooperative extension. These insects will do much damage and leave mounds larger than a worm casting. I really do not believe we are looking at worm castings here as first of all they should be left as they are beneficial to the soil as well as so minute that if you stepped on them they'd disaapear.

  10. Tom Panks

    Tom Panks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks Scraper-
    I think you are close to the answer here. I have been taking samples by scalping off the bumps and finding a hard mass of roots- Dunno if they be grass roots or not but then under this ball of roots is a tiny tunnel. This is really weird and I will get help out here soon as they can break away.

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