Lawn Renovation Help Needed

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by fire11, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. fire11

    fire11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I've been mowing lawns commercially part-time for about 4 years now and have recently bought my first house. The house is wonderful but the lawn needs quite a bit of help and I'm requesting the group's help knowing where to begin.

    The lawn is mostly fescue but is very thin and splotchy already. The topsoil is very shallow, compacted and rocky and any rain causes erosion of what little sandy topsoil I've got because I'm on a hill without good drainage. It's got a low-rent sprinkler system that will run either the front or the back but not both at the same time. To make matters worse, on this small yard there are 13 full-grown trees so I've also got a problem with heavy shade.

    Here's my plan but need the group's suggestions for more info and also to learn about timing. I've already thinned out the trees up to about 8 feet, but will probably be more aggressive to let in more sunlight. I don't see any reason to invest in topsoil or seeding until I fix the erosion problem so I'm planning to install a french drain to the creek behind the house. Then, I'm going to need quite a bit of topsoil to enable long-term growth and don't see a reason to test the soil before adding to it substantially. I can't afford to fix the entire problem right now but will probably begin a once or twice a year soil topdressing plan. At that point, I think I'll be ready to slit-seed with a fescue mix like Super Shade and lots of water.

    My questions for the group are: Is this a good plan of attack or should I amend it? It's January and I'm wondering about starting now or should I do something different until Fall? While I want it to look nice or at least get going in that direction, I need to budget myself too! I really appreciate any comments or suggestions from the group!
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Sounds like you have a good basic plan.

    If you don't want the fescue, then I would use roundup on the whole yard, wait two weeks, bring in your materials for amending, and then go rent a Toro Dingo with the soil cultivator attachment to till the yard nicely.

    Do it all at once for uniformity, or find a reputable supplier so you can do sections at a time and achieve uniformity.

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