When to start

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by AndyTblc, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,476

    Alright, I'm going to redo my lawn this spring, I am going to rototill down 2 inches, because I have underground sprinklers, then bring in black dirt and use the kubota and the D.9 mini dozer and level the whole yard out so there are no dips dunks and dinks. When do you think is the right time to start, correct me if i"m wrong, but this is what I think is a good time, i've never done this before. I plan on starting it when the weather is in the 50's and when it won't freeze anymore so the grass can start growing. Any more information you could pass along.
     
  2. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Posts: 174

    Seed or sod? Makes a difference on when you can start. Use compost if your adding anything to the soil. If you have a set of as-builds for the irrigation system than this would help you work the compost 4-6" deep. Never seen a D9 mini dozer! I've operated a Cat D9 dozer for years and I don't think you want to use that on your yard.
     
  3. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,476

    I'm going to reseed, and I can't go down that deep, because the water lines. The D.9 dozer isn't mine, neither is the Kubota, it's one of my friends. This dozer has I think a 16hp motor on it. I don't know the full specs on it, but I sure can find out. But I'm going to use it to push some of the raised dirt to some of the lowered dirt where we had a cement mixer come in. You'd have to see my yard to see what I"m doing.
     
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Ok. First, flag all your heads. Do NOT rototill your yard down two inches. There is no reason for this, and the that much unsettled ground will REALLY give you undulations and uneven ground in settling. How much black dirt are you planning on bringing in? I don't mean quantity, because I have no idea how much area you are covering - but how deep are you targeting for? If t is more that 1/2 inch over the entire place, than you will not even have to do anything but add the top. If you have some leveling to do, this can be done by filling some low areas. Take your high areas down first, then you will have a better idea of how much actual filling you need t do. This can all be done without tilling. For the seeding, yon simply broadcast it and rake it in, or run a dethatcher over it to mix it. A slit seeder could also be used (two directions). Hit it hard with starter fert., hit it again 2 weeks later, and again 2 to 4 weeks after that.
    Now,...your irrigation setting are going o be a whole different thing. You will be watering for very short periods of time at first, but often....Just enough to keep your soil consistently damp. After the grass starts germinating (a few weeks - depending on the type of grass), you will let up on the number of times of watering, but water for a bit longer - to ensure you are reaching the root system. As the grass grows and matures, you will water less frequent but deeper. Do it right, and you will be mowing a nice lawn in 6 weeks.
    Now, if your lawn has mostly weeds and junk in it, that is a different story, which we would look into spraying it off, first (first, because much will be covered with black dirt - otherwise, I would spray after the seed is down). However, I am willing to bet this isn't the case for you, as you have a working irrigation system. If this is properly used, turf can be grown to hold down weeds considerably.
     
  5. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,476

    I have 3 different types of grass and I want it consistent, I don't have weeds in it or anything, it's all grass, but some areas pools water, and other spots are high, and need to raise some places pretty high to clear some stuff with the mower, my dad and I did this a few years ago after some of the grass stayed brown and could go back to green and it wasn't grubs either, It was diseased, and some parts of my grass is diseased. So my plan was to till it up, put a layer of fresh black dirt on the top, my intentions for the black dirt was to fill the high spots and get introduce some fresh soil that doesn't have the different grass. Because when I am using the mower it goes in the low spots then coming back up there is a big incline in such a little spot it scalps the grass. But I have my plans. I am just tired of the many different types of grass and it is a different color green, and one type of grass turns brown in about july and stays brown for the rest of the year.
     
  6. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 940

    I think a Cat D9 might be overkill, but it could be a very BIG yard as I recall that thing weighed about 50 tons.
     
  7. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,476

    this is a mini dozer, with a 16hp gas engine, from what I was told it is a D.9. I don't know the whole specs. I'll take some pictures of it.
     
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    If you are wanting one consistent cultivar, then you are going to want to spray all your existing turf off - possibly twice to assure you get it all. The tilling will be completely no sense in doing, though....It will do nothing (except stir up thousands of weed seeds toward the surface).
     
  9. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,476

    what kind of spray should I use, because I don't want it to be an all season one so the grass won't grow. One of my customers had another one of my friends who has some heavy equipment come in and till up the lawn and level it off, and it is one of the best lawns in the neighborhood.
     
  10. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Posts: 174

    One of the reasons I recommend people rototill a yard for renovation is because a lot of times the previous yard has been there for decades. Over this period of time the soil tends to become idle. Microbial activity is very low Even with an aerification program your only opening up if your lucky the first two inches of soil. Incorporating compost into the first four to six inches will boost your microbial activity as well as allow the soil to breath a lot better. In the long run for turf this is the way to go.
     

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