Having my first house built

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by scott015, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. scott015

    scott015 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Hey guys, I am sorry if this is a little off topic, but I rememember coming here a while back when I thought about going into the business, and you guys are all very very knowledable!!! So I thought I would ask the experts.

    Anyway, I live in Mansfield, Texas...(Dallas-Ft.Worth area) and my house is to close on November 15. They are gonna sod the house yard thats NOT fenced in with Bermuda. They said it will be dorment. Do I need to do anything to this once I move in? I want to have the best yard in my neighborhood... since its so late in year, will the roots set in??

    Also, the backyard...since they are not sodding it, should I get some winter rye grass seed and throw down for now so my good top soil doesnt all run away in the first rain?? I want to put some bermuda down in spring.... or should I just put bermuda down now?

    Also, I am wanting to get a tree for my front yard... they will give me 1 tree...but it is litteraly a stick with a few leaves... I saw in Lowes ad that they have 20gal trees for $70... is that a good size tree? any tips on when/how to plant tree

    thanks guy, any info you might have would be GREATLY appreciated and again, I am really sorry to be a little off topic, but you guys seem like my best choice!!! thanks again
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    In reference to your sod I would recommend that you water it just enough to keep it moist until the winter rains take over. I would refrain from adding any fertilizers or soil amendments until the spring. This will allow the sod to keep a dormant state throughout the winter.
    In regards to your back lawn areas I would plant any type of winter grass that you can till under in the spring when it dies off. This will add organic matter to your soil, and then you can cuff and level off any uneven areas.
    I would think that if you were able to have them purchase a deciduous tree you have found at Lowe’s or any other Home Center for that matter you will have a 60/40 chance of a healthy specimen. It will definitely be better than what they are going to offer you for the same money – LOL!!!
    I like to mix our planting beds with organic topsoil (75% GRADE A TOPSOIL – 5% COMPOST – 20% PEAT MOSS) to achieve a “mounding” appearance for planting. This helps to encourage the horizontal root growth that trees and ornamentals will normally produce.

    Plastic container or fiber pots are all CAREFULLY removed from the root ball. Any roots found to be encircling the root ball are cut with vertical slices to loosen the compacted root ball at this time to promote horizontal growth patterns.

    For trees and ornamentals, shallow planting holes are dug that are two to three times as wide as the root ball or root spread. Wide shallow holes encourage the horizontal root growth that trees and shrubs normally produce.

    Planting hole depths are determined by the conditions for drainage. In ornamental beds with well-drained soils, the planting holes are dug only as deep as the root balls. In ornamental beds with poorly drained soils, the planting holes are dug 1 – 2 inches shallower than the root ball and the exposed crowns of the root ball are covered with mulch. Planting holes are NEVER dug deeper than the root ball depths. After the holes are dug for planting, loose soils will compact over time causing trees and ornamentals to sink as the planting bed settles. To avoid this, widen the tops of the planting holes to increase the aeration of the soil.

    When the planting holes are dug and the plants are properly placed, the specimens are backfilled with organic topsoil (75% GRADE A TOPSOIL – 5% COMPOST – 20% PEAT MOSS) to within 6 – 8 inches of the soil surface, or 3 / 4 of the planting holes on the smaller container stock.

    A two-year fertilizer tablet (21 grams of 20 – 10 – 50) is placed approximately 1 inch from the tips along the side of the root ball.

    The planting holes are now completely back filled, tamped to help prevent the settling of loose soils, and then watered using proper technique.

    All newly planted trees are staked and guyed at this time to ensure a straight camber.

    Hope this helps answer some of your questions.
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I cant believe that in 73 views everyone has agreed that I hit the nail on the head -LOL!!!

    Anyone have anything else to add??? Shall i consider a change of venue and start a consulting firm -LOL!!!

    BTW, Congratulations Scott on your first home, I forgot to mention that previously. :)

  4. cp

    cp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    Yea I agree.:p
  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Some might disagree with you on staking the trees. I've seen too many trees staked when planted that are now strangled by the wire the idiot used to do it with. I've read and seen where others just let the tree mature on it's own so it can become stronger and adapt to the environment.
  6. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    I would ensure that if they are putting in any plants that you know a little about the plants growth habbit. Many put plants in the wrong location and fail to plant at proper distance. It looks good for a few years then it turns into a mess.

    Do a little research and don't put a plant in the full sun that needs part shade. you might want to pull a soil sample from your turf area and your beds. It will cost you a couple of bucks. your local extension office could help.

    If you pick up a tree from lowes ensure it's healthy. Many people buy trees that are diseased.

    Since the turf wont take root this late in season I would put out rye and then spring put out your turf.

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