Installing and grading a new lawn??

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by UndreamedFool17, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. UndreamedFool17

    UndreamedFool17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I am looking into installing a new lawn for a friend later this summer/fall. the lawn is prob about close to an acre. existing lawn is full of crabgrass and clover, no quality grass. i plan on killing off the existing lawn. do to all the bumps and uneven ground, i plan to grade the yard with a bobcat as well.

    What i was wondering is what is the best way to go about breaking up the soil so that it can be graded? i have graded before but never an existing yard, always new construction. Should i use a bobcat bucket to tear up the soil or would a tractor and plow be better? what about a scraping blade on the bobcat?

    Lastly, any ideas on seeding, fertilizer and herbicides? the lawn is prob about close to an acre.
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,052

    For something that size renting a Harley Rake would work well. They are available front mount for a Bobcat or rear for a tractor. Need a PTO.
  3. UndreamedFool17

    UndreamedFool17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I plan on renting one my question with that is will it tear up soil that is compacted or will I have to use say the bucket to losen it up first?
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If you can get a tractor/plough and turn that over,, i.e. bury the sod,,, that is your best bet... You'll want to disk it level when you're done but that problem with chunks of sod everywhere will be gone...
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,052

    Without seeing it I can only guess that you will not need a bucket, plow, or disc. I have done it that way but it becomes a much bigger job. Last one I tore up deep was to incorporate hundreds of yards of sand, not merely to break up the surface. I went 16" deep on a baseball infield and about half that in the outfield.

    If you are dealing with a failed lawn the Harley should be fine. A big drag mat will help you finish it well after seeding (unless you are planning to hydroseed). Might want to look into why it failed though. Any pictures?

    PS did not see Axe's reply until mine went up. There you have it. Two directions. Pick the one that suits your conditions, equipment, budget, etc.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,449

    Hurry Undreamed,
    The best date to seed in Columbus is about the last week of August. Warm soil temperatures result in fast germination, cool rainy weather of fall (usually) is great for seeding.
    I agree; kill whatever is there; allow 10 days and then correct bumps. Then till just enough to allow the new seed to take hold. Add starter fertilizer. Sow top quality seed (suited for Columbus). Water every day for 30 days. Weed control if needed after about 2 mowings, or 5 weeks.

    Check the NTEP test results for Columbus, and maybe the states of Indiana and Illinois, states with similar climates. Do not sow any ryegrass unless that seed scored in the top 10, at least in the top 20. Red thread and gray leaf spot are tough on rye in warm climates.

    Consider seeding with tall fescue plus 15 percent blue if your temperatures regularly get above 90.

    The general rule, "If you used the word 'Yall' in the last 24 hours...don't plant rye."
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  7. UndreamedFool17

    UndreamedFool17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    @ foreplease, I believe it failed before due to nothing being done to it. There is no grass in the" field". I don't think it was ever event seeded. I looked at tye topsoil and it looks good inly abouy 2" - 3" though. We just bought a tow-behind sprayer for the turf tiger. So I plan to kill it soon.

    I have hydroseeded before but it was on a commercial level. is that wven something to consider on a residential level? I would think that would be very expensive. We plan to use a slit seeder.

    @RiglePLC, I don't think it will be possible to water the lawn in an inexpensive way. It is a large lawn and they use city water. The lawn is actually in upper Tn about 6 hours from columbus. The climate is pretty much the same other then lighter winters. Do u think it would be a good idea to lay straw?
  8. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,052

    If you tear it up in any of the ways being discussed here you will not need a slit seeder; those are used to sow into existing undisturbed lawns. That said, if you do not have awful compaction, do not wish to amend the soil, and are content with the existing grade, slit seeding work work fine after killing the existing lawn - without disturbing it further with any of the methods mentioned here.

    I was not suggesting hydroseeding. I only meant that if you have it hydroseeded then do not disturb the mulch left by that process by using a drag mat on it.

    Yes, some kind of mulch, such as straw, will help get the lawn established. Even more important without irrigation. Spend the time that you wait for seed to come up thoroughly cleaning out new sprayer. Chances are you will want to spray for broadleaf weeds later this fall and you want all traces of Roundup etc. out of your machine.

    I hope this helps. You have too many different steps and methods under consideration IMO.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The chances are that nothing was done with this area becuz irrigation was and issue, cost prohibitive perhaps... in that case, I agree with foreplease in that you do not want to put in heavy investment, tearing everything down to the loose dirt and seed that...

    Without irrigation,,, your chances of creating a worse mess is very good...
    In fact,,, if there was any living turf there at all I'd keep it and do the whole job as an over seed... Annual ryegrass every Spring...
  10. WildLake

    WildLake LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    a tractor with a box blade(w/adjustable teeth) would be perfect. You can lower the teeth deep first to loosen all the high spots and fill the low ones, then set the teeth for minimal or no penetration(depending on the ground) to lightly loosen/level the rest of the property for a nice seedbed.

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