Driveway was removed and not enough soil was added for new lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mikesturf, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    I have a customer who bought a house. For 2 summers we couldn't get the front lawn to stay green. I did a Google map search and it shows a driveway was removed where the grass won't stay green. I am assuming that the area needs to be dug up and more soil brought in. How deep should they go? Its full sun and will be mostly KBG with some rye.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Depending on what the material the driveway was composed of and how tightly compacted it is, you should be able to till in some decent compost about 8" deep... Removal of the subsoil may be necessary if the crushed rock limestone base is still there...
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,807

    You need a soil test. And an expert opinion on the texture of the soil--at several different depths. Acid soil is possible (not likely in Illinois). Sandy soil is droughty and infertile of course. Yellow or red subsoil is poor quality and low in fertility.
    And you need to decide for yourself--if the grass had enough water. Sunny spot? Was it hot in Illinois last year? LOL!

    And secondly, perhaps the seed is a mixture of blue and rye--and perhaps only the rye came up, and you have no bluegrass. And some kinds of inexpensive rye are light green.

    It might be easier to install sod--the high-quality types are very dark green types of pure Kentucky bluegrass. And the results are instant. Accept the check and go--same day. Not much soil preparation is needed. Do it tomorrow. Weather is good.
  4. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    Thanks guys. I don't want to get involved with any of that type of work. I was looking for information to forward to the client so he is not going in blind when working with a landscaper to revamp the area.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It wouldn't hurt then, to inform the client that he may be able to get by inexpensively by simply tilling it up with or w/out ammendments... the scaper might just upsell to make himself extra dough... :)
  6. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797


    It is very possible that much of it is rye.

    You can see a green color to yellow color outline where the driveway was. So whatever was done as far as adding soil and grass seed, it was done poorly. I slitseeded for 2 years, each fall and it didn't take well. Not sure if client didn't water or just poor soil or both. Thats why I like your idea of sod.

    I like the idea of turning this over to someone else to "fix".


    They have an underground sprinkler system also.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If the ground isn't corrected to 8" deep then it is likely a waste of time... you could add compost to the surface,,, which will help somewhat,,, maybe...
    If you don't look at the soil yourself and know what you're up against,,, you're both going into it blind and are at the mercy of the sub-contractor...
  8. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    Great point.
  9. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192

    You might just probe around. Could be just a lot of broken drive in there. I have seen that before.

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