Yard Redo

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by fastcat, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. fastcat

    fastcat LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    i have a costumer int the charlotte area thats wants to get his yard looking good his self. he has nothing but red clay hard as rock soil. he wants to do all the work his self and then i am going to maintain it afterwards so i told him i would talk to the guys on this forum and find the best way to do it.

    i was thinking he needs to till some sand or maybe compost or soil conditioner(fine pine mulch) in with the existing soil and the spread out 3-5 inches of top soil or dirt from bluemax ( www.bluemaxmaterials.com ) called lawnmax.

    what is your opinons
     
  2. SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    My Opinion: he needs to call me to come in and do it. j/k. I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time with this guy unless you just really want to. Even if he gives you the maintenance, that is only worth so much of your time. Just don't tell him about this site. Next thing you know we will have another home owner on here pretending to be a landscaper picking out brains.
     
  3. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    hahahah, that guy will get partially into the project then give up, just watch, the fact that he is doing it himself just means he has no idea what hes getting into, and or feels like his time is worth it to even attempt this job , stay out of this one and just watch the mess unfold ..... hahhaha
     
  4. fastcat

    fastcat LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    well i thought that since i am on here all the time it wouldnt hurt to ask a simple question. if he decides to start and give up thats his fault. anyone on here know if my idea will work or is there another way.
     
  5. SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    The lawnmax product is a good product, but the problem that a lot of homeowners have in our market (charlotte, nc) is that the irrisponsible builders/developers are taking rolling land and taking the topsoil from one lot to fill another lot so that it is suitable to build on. the problem is, there is no topsoil left, only the clay subsoil. You can only do so much to improve it. the best thing i can say is come in and incorporate a natual compost into the subsoil, then lay sod on top of it. Sod works best b/c it already has a certain amount of "good" soil with it. then if you are taking care of the lawn after the install, i would work into your quote enough compost to come in once a year and top dress the lawn. this aggresive approach will slowly improve the soil and turn it into another layer of topsoil. If you try the builders special of going in and throwing seed, fertilizer and straw, you will get poor results at best, which is the max of what most home owners are willing to take on themselves. Also, if you don't do fertilizing, i have a guy here in Charlotte that does organic fertilizers and gets superb results.
     
  6. fastcat

    fastcat LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    now thats the reply that i was looking for. thanks southern green scapes.
    locally i can get a type of hardwood mulch compost or mushroom compost. which would be better.
     
  7. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    gypsum pellets help break the clay down also, so add that to the mix.
     
  8. SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    Gypsom works great with repeated use and it takes a while before you see real results, but it is def. something i forgot that should be in the mix.

    I would go for the mushroom compost. typically the "hardwood" compost comes from someone who has a large dumping sight and anything and everything gets put into it. I can almost promise it will be more than hardwood, which means that you will get a lot of weed seed in it. A good example of this is a company that is towards the end of south blvd past hwy 51 down on the right. They have a huge pile that they make mulch out of and if they don't get the mulch out soon enough, they turn it into compost.
     
  9. fastcat

    fastcat LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    so we should put down around 3" of mushroom compost on top of the existing dirt and till it in then lay sod.
     
  10. SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    depending on how deep you till, 1 to 1.5 inches would be plenty. But do your calculations on that, b/c that is a ton of material. That is right at one yard for every 200sqft. and most small front yards are 6k to 8k sqare feet alone. That would be 40 yards of compost for 8k sqaure feet which would cost him probally around $35/yard. Do the math and that is $1,400 just for the front yard. Most home owners will not spend that to get good results. Plus can this guy run a tractor wth a rototiller and then take a box and level it back out. My guess is no.
     

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