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Level out a lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bruces, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Had a prospective customer call regarding overseeding.

    I went out to look at his lawn and found that the grass was fairly good considering the lack of rain we've had here, but the lawn was extremely rough. He described it as walking on golf balls, and it felt about like that. It seems that the low areas need to be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches higher.

    What would be the best way to level the lawn out some?

    I thought about aerating and then bringing is some dirt and use some kind of drag harrow to drag the dirt in to the low spots to level out, then overseeding, with the thought that the existing grass should survive.

    We are talking about around 4,000 sq ft.

    Ideas, coments?
  2. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    situation like that

    cut the lawn shorter, take it down at least an inch. this way it is actualy easier to see the actual contour of the surface.

    Core aerate if you like.

    Bring in screened top soil, if you only need to raise low spots an inch or two then I would mix peat moss in with the soil and spread out for the low areas. Using a grading rake rake it out smooth. Roll it with some weight. Go over with more soil where needed. Apply seed and cover lightly with peat moss. If you have soil left over use that mixed with the peat.

    Then the usual watering instructions.
  3. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Find someone to blow soil on it. A mulch blowing service in my area offers compost/soil blowing in fall for overseeding/topdressing. It will be much smoother and you can probably make a nice mark-up with no labor on your part other than arranging the service.
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    6' ROTOTILLER on a good sized tractor!

    Then rock-hound it and hydro seed.

    Extreme, but it will give the BEST results.

    You'd be surprised at how homeowners "LIKE" to have big machinery improving their lawn. They feel guilty when your going out and doing something they CAN do, but if you bring in big equipment and do it right, they feel very satisfied! Why? Because they don't have the guilt. They KNOW that they aren't capable of doing the BIG stuff.

    Just my observation over the years.
  5. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    Probably need to level it out with some topsoil as described above. But I wanted to make a comment about the possble cause of this problem. I once asked the local horticultural extension agent what kind of fescue was best to use around here. He said "Oh there's too many to mention, just do some research - but avoid like the plague Kentucky 31." He said it would form clumps and make for a very rough lawn. I have since observed this many times. They still have big piles of bags of K31 seed in all the hardware stores. This is the original pasture/grazing form of fescue and is usually considered the least desirable for lawns. But there is still lots of it out there. It is possible to seed it so thick that it is not a problem, but I have encountered many lawns where the mower just bounces around and it is kind of like walking on golf balls. Just an observation.....
  6. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,143

    I've noticed the same thing from time to time. They give that awfull sigh, followed by "well, I think about it."
    In their eyes a wheel barrel, two shovels, and a rake isn't worth 30-45 buck an hour.
  7. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    LOL my customers don't sweat, they have the A/C running in April through October. They aint doin it.............:p
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I have all too often gone in and given a "Quickie Job" price, as thats what I "read" that the customer wanted. Not that my quote was cheap, but it was a job MUCH cheaper than they eventually ended up contracting with another company.

    I'd be like going in and giving a price for carpet cleaning. Thats what they call you out for, thats what you bid.

    Next thing you know, you don't hear from them, yet you see a few carpet vans in their driveway and they're getting NEW carpet.

    My price $400

    New Carpet $4000

    Same applies for our business. I often joke with my friends about just how much money people have sometimes. With intrest rates the way they've been, people are re-financing and Home Equity loaning and have $20-30K burning a hole in their pockets!

    My lesson.....

    Never try to "estimate" your customers willingness to spend big!
  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    So do I ! :D

    For me it's a Buck and a Quarter a day for comfort! Why sweat!
  10. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    Washed river sand.
    Pull it over the area and screed till level.
    May take a couple days to settle.

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