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Desperate....how to fill and firm up holes/yard for wedding reception

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by GardenMom, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. GardenMom

    GardenMom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7


    I am just a regular person in need of help, so I thought maybe someone could help my husband and I.

    My son is having his wedding reception in a backyard (a friend of his) in 3 months. We went to see the yard and it needs a lot of work. There were gopher holes everywhere, including old ones. It looked like swiss cheese. There is also a lot of soft dirt on the surface from the gophers.

    We are nervous about trying to fill the holes and firm the soil for the tables and chairs.....as well as get rid of the gophers.

    I have done quite a few Google searches and read that half sand/ half soil is a good option for filling the holes.

    Here are 3 photos. Thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions!



  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    In So Cal do you have watering restrictions?
  3. GardenMom

    GardenMom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Each area is different. Where I live, we have moderate restrictions....no watering during the day or long periods of time etc.
  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    You need to see if there is an exception for grass seed. I know you do not get much rain. You can plant bermuda seed in your area. It should cover in a two months.

    Pull a soil sample send it to the ag extention tell them you want to plant bermuda. Level out the lawn some. Rake in the grass seed in the bare areas, fertilize like the Ag report says and keep it moist but not soaked.

    You can back off the water some as it matures. Should be ready to cut in about 6 to 8 weeks and look pretty good in 3 months.

    Do not have any idea what to tell you about the gophers and I know notta about California's laws on that either.
  5. GardenMom

    GardenMom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7


    I have some seed that I used on my own lawn. It's the Firecracker LS Fescue and it looks great. Can I use that?

    The lawn won't actually be seen much during the wedding reception due to having tables (covered in tablecloths to the ground) and chairs. They will be placed close together.

    My biggest concern is the holes.
  6. GardenMom

    GardenMom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Also, all that soft soil up on the grass from the gophers.....can that be used to fill the holes or do we need to remove it.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,669

    What kind of grass? Bermuda? Tall fescue? Is it irrigated?
    My opinion--from 3000 miles away. Step one: call an exterminator and get rid of gophers--otherwise you will just get more holes.
    And yea, if you can get a dog to hang out on the lawn that will discourage the gophers. Maybe you can even convince your neighbors to walk their dogs on your lawn, that would be enough to scare the critters away. Stop and clean up 2 weeks before festivities. Small dogs that like to dig are best. Terriers, dachshund, beagle schnauzer. But coordinate with exterminator--if he is using poison baits--no dogs. Traps--maybe.
    Try to fill the holes with a mixture of sand and water. Tamp it down the holes as far as you can. Smooth out the top by raking it smooth, spreading out the excess soil.
    Sandy dirt will dissolve back into the grass after a few irrigation cycles. Fix big bare spots with rolls of Bermuda sod. Cut patches to fit. Small bare areas, use seed. Perennial ryegrass comes up quick--2 inches tall in two weeks--if time becomes tight, (but it will not withstand dry spells or temps over about 95.)

    Firecracker LS is excellent--a bit slower to establish itself. Fescue sod is a possibility. Be prepared to place small squares of plywood under table legs. Have it rolled if you want it more firm than you are able to achieve. Heels are risky--have the bride wear flat shoes--maybe white golf shoes would be best.
  8. GardenMom

    GardenMom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7


    >>>> Be prepared to place small squares of plywood under table legs.<<<

    That sounds good, but then what about all the chair legs?

    The invitations are going to include a small note that flat shoes are suggested.
  9. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    How about putting down a couple inches of topsoil then sod the yard?
  10. GardenMom

    GardenMom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    We can't afford to. Thanks though.

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