How would you handle this?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Tallkracker, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Tallkracker

    Tallkracker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I have a flat 2.5 acre lot no obstacles. Soil is Very Very compacted sand with no grass and even very few weeds. The owners obviously wants grass there and they do not have any water supply there other than mother nature. What do you recommend for handling this? My thought is to till it all with a tractor and add at least a few dump trucks of top soil maybe 1" worth, and then either hydro-seed or broadcast seed and rake in. I think the things I need to do for sure is break up the hard ground and also add top soil. Any recommendations for this? Also what would be a reasonable price to do this? This is a job a little bit bigger than I'm used to.
  2. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    In order to get 1" of topsoil - which is not enough - on 2.5 acres, you would need about 336 cu yds. which would be 34 - 10 yd dump trucks. Do these people have a lot of money? Contact your local Extension Office and see if they can recommend a dry land grass for that area and that type of soil. If it's compacted sand - must have a lot of fines in it - compost may be a better solution.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    LOL...I was gonna say...a few dump trucks?
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    compost does a soil good.
  5. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    What type of soil do they have? What is soil PH? you will need to know these things before you begin.
  6. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    How about a big dessert garden and some fake turf? There are other options.
  7. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    Whether you add soil or compost (the better option) you should incorporate it into the existing soil (4-6" deep). Creating layers with different soil textures will create rooting and moisture problems.

    A seed mixture with a high percentage of fine fescue would be good for this site. It does well on droughty, infertile soils. Be sure to educate the customer on what to expect when trying to establish a lawn with only Mother Nature for watering. Be sure they pay you in full when the seeding is finished not after the grass has germinated. No matter how well you educate them about the growing conditions and expected results they will blame you for anything that goes wrong.
  8. Tallkracker

    Tallkracker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Yea I am really hesitant with doing this job, because I am afraid that if the results are not desirable due to the circumstances of the project, I do not want to mess up the relationship I have with my best client. I think I might just do a referal to another company who I trust and who is better equipped to handle this job.
  9. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    I would stray from just topsoil. Most shredded topsoils are called "sandy loams" which...contain more sand. So, to get a proper ratio of sand to loam you'd have to apply even more topsoil to get close. Compost in large quantities would be the way to go. I do not know how much you pay for it compared to a topsoil...but even if it is more expensive it will take less to do the same job.

    Try to talk the homeowner into seeding or hydroseeding versus sod and divert some of that expense into a sprinkler system. tough project, all around, though.

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