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help: problem lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Bryan Wilson, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Bryan Wilson

    Bryan Wilson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    I have a client that has a lawn that was installed Fall 2002. The base is mainly sand, topped with about 1/2" topsoil and then turf laid on top.
    The grass grows very poorly. During the Summer the soil dries out within a few hours. We are restricted to watering twice a week. Over the next 2 years the grass kept thinning out. About 2/3 of the lawn is in shade. Moss started to grow almost immediately. Last spring I applied moss control then power raked. I topdressed with more topsoil and reseeded. The seed germinated but by late summer the lawn started thinning out. This spring the moss returned with a vengence and most of the reseeded areas have thinned out.
    Is this lawn doable or am I wasting my time due to the sand base?
  2. lawnartisan

    lawnartisan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    im confused sand means fast drainage , but now there is moss which I thought meant too much surface moisture? Is there too much water now in the cool season and shade, and then when its hot it cant hold enough water? You got me, Im still a rookie. Maybe perenial rye for the winter mixed with bermuda for the summer heat. then each grass goes dormant according to season.
    If its sandy and there is fast drainage how often do you fertilize? Nutrrients wash away fast in sand. Maybe thats a factor to the thinning? I have heard that sometimes that the only answer for sandier soil. Or you could till the whole think up; grass and all/ with a thick bed of compost and reseed again. compost here is cheap. about 18 bucks a yard for a supplier. I dont know how big this yard is. Or you could keep top dressing with compost or topsoil (something organic without sand) every spring and build it so water retains better the next summer than the last.
    As far as moss goes you got me, heck I dont know im a newbie still in this business. But my mom has it in the shade and I thought moss is due to moisture. what about ph, can that be a factor, i know most plants like it slightly acidic, maybie its is too high or low. i think you can buff the soil with stuff if thats the case. well sorry for the babble i wish you luck.
  3. mdm property services

    mdm property services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    moss can be caused by several reasons, not just poor drainage. Highly acidic soils, poor drainage, poor air circulation are just a few of the conditions that favour moss. sandy soils are susceptable to leaching, maybe you have a chemical deficiency? there are many factors that are involved. Try doing a soil test. if there are lots of trees, try thinning them out to improve air circulation....try overseeding in spring and fall to thicken the turf. In a worst case scenerio, strip or remove the grass, cap with a few inches of organic and reseed or sod.
  4. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    you could also top dress with organic compost we aerate ad topdress overseed and it does wonders in both clay nad sandy soils

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