Aerating & sanding bermuda grass

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by lawnfire, May 12, 2001.

  1. lawnfire

    lawnfire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I have a customer that wants the lawn aerated, and sanded. They are under the impression that if you aerate, and then sand, the sand will fill the plugged holes, and benefit the lawn. I am not familiar with sanding, and aerating. I want to take on the job, but what should I do first, sand, or aerate, or do as the customer ask?
  2. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    the aeratation is to decompact the soil surface (it pulls plugs up to 3 inches deep out of the ground n' drops em right there ...... on our putting green we remove em' but most people just let em' break down on larger turf areas ) ....this allows the top dressing (we use yellow sand) to mix with the existing soil which helps promote better root growth for a healthly lawn ;->
  3. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 121

    lawn fire,

    aerate first sand second. Get a good understanding from the customer what they are looking for. Are they wanting sand because they were told they needed it, or do they know what they are talking about. If they are wanting sanding to level out their lawn and get rid of thatch. this is what you do.

    Scalp to 1/2 inch. aerate deep. sand with river sand and smooth it out as if you were icing a cake. Water like crazy.

    If the customer doesn't have an irrigation system, I would be careful, because that hot river sand can kill a lawn just as quickly as it makes it nice. Find out if they plan to reel mow or not. Are you mowing their lawn? If not, make sure they either have a weekly service, or are mowing on a weekly basis themselves. There is a fine line that you must walk if you are topdressing a lawn.. Turfco makes a topdressing machine that everyone around here is using--it runs about $5,500. If you want me to put you in touch with a buddy of mine that owns a sanding company here in the metro area let me know.

    You really need to fully understand this process before you take it on. A very profitable service if leveling is what they are wanting.

    just reply here or email me at if you have any questions, or would want to sub it out
  4. redcis

    redcis Banned
    Messages: 7

  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I never recommend sand. Main reason is sand and clay make concrete. A better suggestion would be organic matter put down for the residential lawns. Golf courses are managed much better and the turf gets EVERYTHING IT NEEDS. Unlike residential lawns.
  6. georgialawn88

    georgialawn88 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    i know this is a decade old thread but man this guys clueless
  7. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    About which part? I haven't done a whole lot of leveling myself, but the few I've done I used the sand compost mixture from Green Bros.
  8. Yup, very clueless. All sports turf here is Topdressed with sand. Only thing Topdressed with topsoil is St. Aug.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,675

    Sand added to clay as a soil amendment can produce a very hard dense soil--unless at least 50 percent of the mixture is sand. Otherwise the clay particles fill the voids between the sand particles and the result is even more dense than before. Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/Amendments 2.pdf

    Sand as a topdressing is different...I think...only a small amount is added, and it is mixed with the thatch layer, which is high in organic matter.
  10. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I've topdressed more than 200 lawns over the past 2 years with Black Kow Composted Cow Manure & have received great results but they were mostly S.A. turf. Concerning sand, I've also seen excellent results but mostly on Zoysia. It takes a hard & lumpy footing & turns it into a soft spongy cloud like walk. I'm going to start focusing on the sand in a huge neighborhood of all Zoysia. Last year I'd either go to the sand mines & pick it up by the ton or have them truck it in to me. I'm trying to study kiln dried sand today because it: 1.Would weigh less & 2. Could be spread thru a simple broadcast spreader for smaller areas that I can't fit the Eco-Lawn applicator into. I just read that Quikrete offers 100' bags of course dried sand at Lowe's (a ripoff at $12). Trying to find a local sourse for bulk dried sand is going to be a challenge. Eventually I might very well be better off contracting one of the sand silo's to contain the dried sand & just have them come fill it up when I get low. (Might be a huge expense) Anyone else have some experience?
    Attached is a pic of an additional screening process necessary to remove all the mulch bits & rubbish that will suspend themselves on top of the turf. I'm trying to compensate for the extra time & expense involved by increasing my rates from $55/yard spread to $60. This process is much like a flour sifter & in turn makes it powdery. Right now it's going out as fast as I can can screen it but once I build up an inventory I'm able to turn it often to encourage drying which results in less bridging within the spreader.
    Amazing how a $70 sheet of expanded metal & a 2x4 across the front attached to my existing tilted dumpbox makes a perfect screener. Not pictured is one made from landscape timbers & 2x4's but it was too low & rickety.
    If anyone cares, Pictured is the spreader collecting the debri & then I just go & spread it out on a vacant lot. Better yet, Now I'm just using a tarp attached to the bottom of the expanded metal to keep the junk separated from the good stuff which works great. Then when the tarp builds up I detatch it & drag to the side to empty.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013

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