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Get grass growing in swale

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by rjaero19473, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. rjaero19473

    rjaero19473 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hi all. I am a total newbie when it comes to lawn care or even getting grass to grow, so thats why I thought I would ask the seasoned professionals their opinions before I start getting bids from landscapers in my area. We moved into a new house in northern Alabama in November and have a 3 acre lot that has a low point in the middle. Our lot is at a lower elevation than most of the surrounding land, which was once a farm, so during heavy rain all the water has to go down somewhere, and thats through our lot. I saw that water would run through prior to when we started building because the high grass through the middle of the lot would be bent over after a very heavy rain. During construction I had the builder put a nice large swale through the middle of our property to contain the water during heavy rain, and let me tell you, it was a great when it did rain. Our other neighbors don't have a swale and their backyards were flooded, but other than our swale we had no problems and our lot was dry within a day, meanwhile they had standing water. So, now for the grass talk. Since the swale was graded during construction we have no grass, and during the two heavy rainstorms we've had all the topsoil got washed away and ended up in my neighbors yard. After the rainy season this spring I want to pay a professional to come in, grade the swale, and get some hearty grass growing in there so next fall when the rains come back we don't have erosion problems. The one thing I notices was that after the heavy rain there was pile of concrete and bricks that was uncovered, so sometime in the past someone dumped construction materials in our lot and covered it up. I'm not sure if we should dig it out, or just cover it up with top soil. I included two picture below of our swale. When I call in a pro what should I tell him to do, or what should I expect him to say? I want to make sure the job is done right and I'm willing to pay for it, but I don't want to pay over and over again. I appreciate any help you can provide. If you know of a good landscaper in the Huntsville, AL area please send me their contact info. Thanks! Bob



  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,722

    No need to be perfect. Two or three underground drainage tubes would work nicely. Otherwise just add grass, removing only as much rock as needed so that you have 4 inches of soil over the debris. Be careful with the elevation--laser leveling would be sure the slant was correct. Then plant grass. Wait for day temp to hit 65 degrees. Easy, this isn't rocket science--but you are in Huntsville. You probably ARE a rocket scientist. I am thinking you are in tall fescue country. Is it irrigated? A top-quality disease-resistant tall fescue blend with Rebel IV, and about 10 to 20 percent bluegrass would work very well.
  3. rjaero19473

    rjaero19473 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    RigglePLC thanks for the response. I don't think of myself as a rocket scientist, but I do work on rocket design and other boring stuff like that. I had put down some Revel IV in our front yard and it came up nicely. Right now I'm looking at getting a garden tractor that I can hook a tiller up to. I was thinking of getting some top soil and amendment, tilling up to aerate, and then planting some seed. I have several hundred feet of garden hose that I bought in preparation of watering the new grass. I'll need help getting the topsoil brought in and graded,as well as some straw to cover the seed (is the straw even needed?), but the tilling and seeding I can handle. I just wanted to check with the pros on the forum to make sure there wasn't something I was missing. I appreciate the feedback.

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