sod planted on sand - advice please

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by GreenWestCoast, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    The newer versions of KBG and/or Ryegrass can be just as strong and resilient as June grass if NOT babied... correct cultural practices for establishing strong healthy turf requires timing,,, of fertilizer and timing,,, of leaving it alone...

    I don't know if you've ever pastured cattle on your farm,,, but it is easy for me to understand how the pasture would decline if it were treated like city folk treat their lawns... :)
     
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    My point exactly. I curse the well meaning people that think grass needs "topsoil" to grow so they put 4 or so inches of red clay on top of sand. Sand is normally found in beachfront areas at or below sea level. The salt contaminates the clay and then you have real problems. In sand, any salts are quickly leached through and the sand does not turn into a sticky, compacted, poorly drained mess.

    I have seen bermuda and zoysia root systems go almost 12" deep in sand. In clay, the roots stop at around 2-3". Which makes me wonder why someone would want to take a sand base and throw 4 or more inches of "topsoil" on it.
     
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,918

    I had to laugh at your 4" of "topsoil." In Michigan, at least in this corner, EVERYBODY wants "some black dirt." Apparently it is the #*&@$ answer to every lawn concern anyone could ever have. Just put it down at 2"-4" and repeat next spring. I have seen everything from used diapers to shredded kitchen garbage bags in this stuff in people's yards.
     
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    Glad you can laugh. Diapers? Kitchen trash bags? Ewwwww!. There are only one or two landscapers and I refer to them as such not in quotations as I normally do that will not use "topsoil" on their jobs. They are in agreement with what I believe. The mention of red clay will cause one of them to resort to language that would make a sailor blush. The other makes a sand rootzone for turf. He says you cannot grade mud.
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    That is why I support my local construction yard in their intelligent mixtures of loam,,, to provide the alternative to the "Red Clay Idiots"... :)
     
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    There is no such thing as loam here. Therefore, the smart thing to do is not to layer or transpose sand to clay and never put clay on top of sand. For the people that argue, there is my white shirt test. If their topsoil leaves a rust stain on my Lands End Oxford, it is red clay.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Have you ever considered tilling or multi-pass aerations on these red clay lawns???
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    Does not work. What does work is correction of soil chemistry. Red clay that is inland is very easy to deal with. Just correct pH, bases, and NPK. Clay that has been put where it does not belong is a different story. Soil has to be acidified and sodium needs to be removed. A third wrinkle is added when coral is put where it does not belong inland and red clay layered on top of it. Treatment is similar to clay placed on beachfront properties. That is why I insist on a soil test. Red clay might be acidic or it might be full of salt and alkaline.
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    See,,, we don't have any of that hassle... KGB, P. Ryegrass , and Fescue species are a perfect fit for our climate and soils... In fact the connection is so perfect that many times you drive around Wisco and the ditch grasses look so much better than the "Manicured Lawns"...
    Hang in there,,, We're all rooting for you,,, even if in Hawaii... :)
     
  10. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    I have seen bermuda take seed naturally in giant piles on sand on pavement and establish a hell of a root system.

    Golf course green's are grown on sterile and well drained sand medium.
     

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