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adding topsoil for sod, should i just

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JML, May 28, 2001.

  1. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    A customer of mine just had a pool installed in his backyard. The pool builders brought in like 2 inches of fill and covered the whole back yard with the fill. He wants the property re-sodded now. His budget can only afford 1.5 inches of topsoil. So should i just spread the topsoil on top, or roto-till it in with the fill dirt. Thanks in advance..
  2. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    You said just fill, meaning what?(mixture of clay sand concrete ect...)
    Based on what we do here on the west coast, our soils tend to be clay, so in this case, i would automaticly till in top soil, a non-binding agent(for clay) before I lay sod. Anyway, I just do it automaticly. Before putting top soil(rather than spend money on top soil) can't you mix in an organic material. We have had excellent results when working with poor clay like soils mixing in a product called "tillow". Organic matter in soil for at least 15 years. Down side to using something like this is you have to be careful of salt content. "Tillow" is a by product of the municple water treatment program.(sewer sluge, rice hulls and coffee grounds) In 15 years of using this product, neve, I mean never had problems. Like I said earlier, watch out for the salt content.
  3. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    If he can't afford a proper base material, then he can't afford sod.

    If it is high clay content, 80 % or better, then you need to ammend the soil with organic matter or your sod will not root properly. 1.5" of topsoil is not nearly enough to alliviate compation. You want to till in at least 4" of topsoil/peatmoss mix to be certain that a good base is available for rooting in. This is even more criticle arround a pool where traffic on the turf is likely to be high.

    I would try and convince him to spend more money on top soil and soil ammendment and then overseed. You will almost certainly end up with happier customer in the long run.

    Good Luck,
    Jim L

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