Mountain Home, Arkansas turf types?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Randy Scott, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    This is for you Arkansas guru's, or surrounding areas that would have the knowledge. We need to check with the County extension yet, but thought I'd throw this out for now.

    The in-laws just moved to Mountain Home, Arkansas and they have a new home that has basically no lawn. The soil is, as they describe, since I have not been their yet, very rocky and some type of clay I guess. Apparently they use river bottom sludge/dirt for topsoil when doing lawns? The question he has for now is, what type of cheap and inexpensive grass can be used to get some growth going to help the erosion? Anytime it rains it just makes valleys through the whole yard. He just wants something to get established this summer as he will later terrace the property with retaining walls. The property is on a pretty good slope and just wants to control the run-off for now. I had suggested some bales of hay or whatever you guys have down their in the real bad areas that he knows the water runs quickly through to slow the rain waters down some, like off the edges of the drive etc..

    Is something like this feaseable for a temporary quick fix? I know the soil conditions are crappy currently, but is there anything that would be o.k. for a quick fix? (the trick question) He plans on a complete yard install following the retianing wall work and therefore doesn't care what happens to the turf at that point. He just would like something for now.

    Yeah, I know, he may be asking for the impossible, but I thought I'd throw it out there. He has a little bermuda in some areas now I guess. Let me know if you guys have any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks much. :)
  2. For a quick fix how about annual rye grass. Inexpensive and quick germinating. Should do ok in the poor soil. No trouble to get rid of when time comes.
  3. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    Bob is exactly right. Rye will germinate in 7-14 days depending on the soil temp. Clay soil is all we have around here, don't know about Arkansas. It really is quite manageable with some soil amendments. But the runoff I'm sure is quite high for your in-laws property. Once it becomes saturated the water just flows right over the top. Even with a decent stand of grass the erosion problems will occurs but just not to quite the same degree. The in-laws should consider retaining walls and some drainage work done.
  4. johnhenry

    johnhenry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Mountain Home, Arkansas beautiful area but one thing the soil grows best there in rocks:D I'm in the ozarks also.Soil will be to poor for rye grass .Because rye would be the answer.You will have to try a good quality fescue and proably will have to repeat the process a couple of times.If you are looking for a quick fix in that soil .There isn't one.Plus without improving the soil there is little chance any cheep quality seed will germinate.naturalawn is
    a member here.He is closer to you yet.he might be able to give you some ideas.He is pretty darn good and will be honest with you
  5. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    A lot of the upscale properties arround Little Rock are also very rocky. Most of the grass id bermuda, as far as a quick fix:confused: I guess some bales of hay would slow the erosion process until he can do something permanent.
  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Thanks guys!

    I know there is no easy solution. Just don't know much about that area of the country. I've been checking out the Arkansas County Extension website also this afternoon. Relatively good info there on grass types and recommended applications.
  7. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    Bermuda grass would be the best type to go with, if its in a sunny location. Bermuda does not like shade. Bermuda is a very tough ,hardy turf. It can also be mixed with tall Fescue for the shady areas. I dont know if the Fescue would grow well in the clay. Nothing will grow in the rocks, though.

    My suggestions is, for a temp, quick fix (hopefully), buy some Bermuda sod and put down. Probably cost around $1.25 per yard. If its in some shade (not mostly shade to full shade), it will thin out and not grow well, but it should do fairly well until the wall project is completed, if the project is done within the year.

    Contact naturallawn for his suggestions and advice. I think he lives in Harrison, which is near Mountain Home. BTW, Mountain Home is so gorgeous. Hillbilly country!:D
  8. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Hi Randy

    I live in Harrison just 50 miles west of "Lil Chicago" Arkansas. I used to drive a delivery truck there 5 days a week.

    There is a lot of red clay and more rocks then dirt. There is good top soil available but the contractors won't use it.

    About the quickest thing to do would be the annual rye, fescue does ok also, like was mentioned befor for full sun bermuda is great. zoysia is also available. Sod cost is $1.05 per yard for bermuda and 2.00 for zoysia. Or thats what it was last year. e-mail me for the phone numbers.


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