20,000 sq ft of renovation/hilly backyard.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by csmlawn, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. csmlawn

    csmlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    First off, this forum is an excellent source of information... glad to be here.

    Now to start off - I have a project renovating a 20,000 sq foot hilly backyard that is low in pH and lacking in topsoil (sandy soil). I've already killed off the current vegetation, which was mostly weeds of every variety and have cut the lawn as low as possible, bagging up all clippings. One thing that I've noticed, since this site is farely new construction (1.5 years old), and the septic field is in the back yard, I've noticed a pretty good amount of slate rock. The homeowner has picked up much of the rock, but there's a pretty good amount still present. My next step is to break up the compaction of the soil (very compact and hard) and introduce compost (till in) to the soil. I even have pulverized lime to try and get this yard back to something that will sustain plant life other then weeds. Once I get the compost mixed in I'll smooth it out and overseed. My questions are:

    1. Since I'm going to be semi tilling the ground to loosen up the soil, there's no reason to arrate... correct?
    2. Is tilling the soil going to cause errosion issues where it is hilly? Should I just arrate the yard instead of breaking up the surface with the tiller?
    3. Slit seed or broadcast? Which would seem more beneficial with a tall fescue?
    4. Straw mulch... is it needed. I'm not a fan of straw since it blows all over the place and is never weed seed free? Any other mulches recommended to keep the seeds from drying out once they are watered in good.
    5. Irrigating at night and in the morning? Is this enough since the homeowner will not be home during the day? Don't want the seed to dry out.

    Here are pictures of the back yard...

    Pictures are from primary grade job just to give you an idea of slop and lot type...

    Pictures of the front yard after one season.

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


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