Renovation - Top soil vs aeration timing?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by bondlawns, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. bondlawns

    bondlawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I have several spots (~ 500 sqft each) that I seeded with fescue in the spring that never really seemed to take off and died (even with plenty of water). Other seeded areas did great. When I took my fertility samples it was evident that I have some very compacted soil (soil probe will go in only a 1.5-2" wet or dry.

    I really think that I need to add some topsoil because the way it is washing out and how poor the grass did. My question is should I aerate first then come with topsoil a few weeks later then seed? It just seems that adding topsoil would negate the benefits of aeration. However, without adding topsoil I don't think the seedlings will be able to crack the hard clay, and if they do I doubt they would last through next summer.

    Your comments are appreciated. Thanks!!
  2. FINN

    FINN LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Posts: 280

    Aeration alone may not be enough to break up compaction. If it's as bad as you suggest it might make better sense to rototill these spots in question and incorporate the topsoil as you do. Go to a 6" depth if you can. Aeration is for maintenance. In this case you need to get something to establish before you can maintain it.

    It will be more work but with much better results.
  3. bondlawns

    bondlawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Thanks for the help Finn.
  4. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    Test the soild see what it needs. Aerate the #$%^&*( out of it and then seed over it. Grass will grow nearly anywhere if the food and water is there. Save the time and cost of top soil..Aerate 5 / 6 times and then slit seed to help break up the cores..Get food and water to it you will get grass.
  5. Dr Green

    Dr Green LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    And on top of that....apply lots of gypsum. it will help condition the soil .

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