Help with a lawn installation in VA

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Pinehilllandscaping, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Pinehilllandscaping

    Pinehilllandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I am looking to redo my lawn at my house this fall and was looking for some advice. A little background on the lawn if it will help. I bought the house in Dec of 2003 and the builder did a half a$$ job of grading so I do have a few spots that hold water. I will be adding topsoil to those areas before I start. The builder put down seed and fertilizer in April of 2004 and everything came up great then quickly died off by June of last year. I performed a soil test last fall and applied lime, 5-10-5 fertilizer (recommended by the soil test) and then used a slit seeder to reseed a portion of the lawn, then followed that with a spreader. Grass came in pretty good, but not very thick. Everything was looking good this spring but with not much rain the lawn has quickly turned brown and is looking ugly. The part of the lawn that was undisturbed by the builder or myself is very green and looks good, although there appears to be a lot of Bermuda in this area. The soil in the yard is also very sandy, which is proving to be diffucult. The soil test last year stated I should apply the lime at 105 lbs/1000 sq ft and fert at 50 lbs/1000 sq ft. I put down about 600lbs of 5-10-5 and around 800 lbs of lime last fall and an additional 400-500lbs early spring.

    My plan this year is to have another soil test performed, then apply the lime I need in mid August, followed by the fertilizer around the beginning of September, then in mid September renting the slit seeder again and seeding the entire lawn, then going back over it with the spreader and overseeding at a heavy rate. The total square footage is around 60,000 sq ft.

    Does this sound like a good plan or should I try something else? Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give as much info as possible.
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I would incorperate some organic matter into the soil or if that's not an option,I would start topdressing it with well aged weedless compost or weedless screened steer manure every month.But if you don't have proper irrigation and are depending on rain to irrigate your lawn,it won't work.
    Also that sounds like a whole lotta lime for a sandy soil,you need to build up and bulk up your soil 1st with compost,topper,planting mix,or manure before starting a lawn if you want that soil to retain the water it gets .Most contractors remove the good topsoil and leave you with subsoil that can barely support life,adding lots of lime and fertilizer wont replace that.It wont do anything to improve the soil structure,the fert will help the grass grow,but you gotta feed the soil too..Also make sure you are useing a top quality seed.And a topper after seeding.Install an irrigation system too if you can.
  3. Pinehilllandscaping

    Pinehilllandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I had thought about bringing in some topsoil to mix in with the soil but I'm thinking that is going to be a expensive option, but maybe the only one? As far as the watering, with a Acre and a half in full sun all day, it's hard to keep it well watered off of my well. If I were on city water I would just let it eat, but for now I try to water the areas closest to the house.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    IN many cases the folks who can bring topsoil can do a blend of topsoil and organic Matter in the truck so when it gets delivered, its already mixed and ready to makes all the difference....
  5. Pinehilllandscaping

    Pinehilllandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Ok. So bring in a mix, spread it out evenly and then I take it I should til the soil to incorporate the mix? Should I put out the fertilizer at the same time and then mix everything at once?

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