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Do's & Don't's for installing new lawns

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JRSlawn, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. JRSlawn

    JRSlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    I was wonder your steps of installing a new lawn.
    1. Rock hound the whole yard and level it out.
    2. Spread top soil.
    3. Put down seed
    4. Put down starter fertilizer
    5. Straw blow all the straw down
    6. Water it
    7. Clean up

    Is there any tips or trick ( Do's or Don't's) you guys use when you are installing new lawns.

    I can't wait till the weather breaks :D
    Thanks for all your help

    Jeff Smith
    JRS Lawn & Landscape
  2. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    Unless you are laying down 3in of good top take a soil test. Grass seed needs 3in of healthy soil to thrive into a grate looking lawn. imo
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I think the answer to that probably varies widely. I usually rough grade first, then rock rake it if its real rocky, then rip with a scarifier, and rerock rake, then seed. I have found simply rock hounding the soil isn't enough. They don't loosen the soil enough just by themselves. As a result the grass is slower growing and takes longer to fill in. With the rippers I can mix the soil and loosen it down to 7 inches. The yards drain better and they are easier to level. But this is just me.
  4. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    If you are in the Transition Zone I would not persue broad scale
    seed renovations. Here along the east coast summer temps of 90+ for days and weeks pratically nurn fescue blends planted in thespring. Heavy watering does not even guarantee survival.
    If you choose to do it in the spring explain this to customers and do your best to ensure seed is raked or topdressed completely over to help roots establish deeper intially. The deeper the root structure of new seed the better chance of summer sutvival of Fescues.
  5. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    If you can get the client to spring for top soil, great. Around here people are tight-a$$ enough that we won't ever be able to sell top soil when seeding.

    That being said, I don't think bringing in top soil will do much. It really creates too many hassles than it's worth. A lot of times, the rough grade is so close to the maximum allowable on the house, that top soil realy isn't an option unless you remove 3-6 inches from the entire yard. That gets to be REALLY expensive.

    All lawn install customers need to fully understand that it really takes 2-3 years, minimum, before you have a good, healthy stand of grass, with proper fertilization and maintenance. And sod really doesn't gain you much at all except a better looking lawn the first year. It generally goes downhill fast after that...

  6. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,389

    Mine are simple.

    1: level
    2: sod
  7. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    Mine are simple.

    1: level
    2: sod

    Couldnt have put it better.

    I rip the hell out of it with an eliminator rake.
    Grade where needed.
    Hydroseed or seed straw/fert
    Get Paid!

    If you dont use either a tooth bucket or the elim rake before rockhounding you end up in general with a crappy seed bed.
    See plenty of part timer know it alls who just turn up with a rockhound and run over it once........
  8. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    Spread top soil.

    Put down seed , take a spring tine rake and tap the seed in,making like rows in a garden.

    Once you have completed tapping it in, overseed it again.

    Shake the straw loosely over the yard and water in.You should be able to see the ground through the straw.

    Best germination ever.


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