Need Grass by August

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exess100, May 2, 2004.

  1. Exess100

    Exess100 LawnSite Member
    from N.Y.
    Messages: 24

    I have a customer that has about 100x100 yard. The yard was rotor tilled last year and then had a sprinkler system put in but no grass. He wants to see a carpet of grass by August. Other than hydro and sod, what r my other options here and should i rotor till again and put topsoil down? How should i prep it for seed? I am on long island and the yard has alot of trees. Thanks for ur advice.
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    If it was tilled last year, don't worry about tilling again. Use a pulverizer to break up the crust, then seed. I'm not a big fan of spreading topsoil for a new lawn, it really doesn't do much, and probably isn't very cost effective in the long run.

    If they want a "carpet" of grass by August, it's do-able. Make sure it's watered correctly, and it can be done.

    If the trees are large and cast a lot of shade, make sure the seed mix contains red fescue, it does the best in shade. Sunny areas, use an 80/20 or a 70/30 mix of bluegrass/ryegrass.

    When you seed, use a starter fertilizer. Or just put down Penn Mulch and forget about straw. PM contains a starter fertilizer. We've used EnCap Mulch, but will probably go back to Penn Mulch in the future.

  3. Exess100

    Exess100 LawnSite Member
    from N.Y.
    Messages: 24

    Hey Dan,
    Thanks for the reply and advice. We are very new to this and learning. How should he water the new lawn? 3 times a day for 2hr's? what is the diffrance if i use a pulverizer and not arate? Is tilling like the same thing as arateing? How would i figuar out how much mulch or fertilizer i would need, is there a formula to use? Thanks again

  4. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    Go out and buy nurse grass it germinates in 3 days. That guy will wonder how his lawn is full in one week. You use it to protect the seed you are laying it only lasts a year. But by that time you seed will be mature and growing.
  5. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Boy, you've got a lot to learn....

    After seeding, the lawn should be watered 2-3 times per day for ~10-15 minutes per zone, until the grass germinates. Once it's germinated, you can cut back to probably 2 times, but up it to ~20 minutes. I'm guessing on times here, not knowing how much flow is put out.

    A pulverizer is an attachment for a tractor/skidsteer that breaks the top layer of soil. It is not the same as aerating. Aerating (the correct way) takes "plugs" of soil and leaves them on the ground. The sole purpose of aerating is to help relieve compaction. When I refer to tilling, I mean roto-tilling, where the soil is literally tilled to a certain depth, usually 6-8 inches.

    As for formulas, the standard referance for fertilizer is pounds of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet. The label on a bag of fertilizer refers to the NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) value. These numbers are percentages of each nutrient contained in the bag. So if you have a triple-12 (12-12-12), there is 12% N, 12% Phosphorus, and 12% Potash in the bag.

    Generally, when seeding, you want around a half pound to a pound of Nitrogen per 1000 sf. Use a starter fertilizer and a little math to determine how much fertilizer you need.

    As for mulch, check the label on whatever mulch you get. It should have application rates printed on it.

    Do a search in this forum and the commercial landscaping forum for more info.


  6. Exess100

    Exess100 LawnSite Member
    from N.Y.
    Messages: 24

    Your damn right i have a lot to learn!!! So i'm tryin to learn it. LOL Thanks again for ALL of the info.
  7. Get a soil test now, do nothing until results are back! Bare ground stage is the best and quickest time to correct any soil chemistry problems
    D FLEX advice is on the mark!

    dense turf in shade is a problem, especially by aug.

    water 2-4 times per day for a total of .1" of water. soil must stay moist, but not too wet you can't walk on

    use penn mulch or similiar product

    @ 50% creeping red fescue, 5% bluegrass and remainder hard and chewing fescue

    don't believe you will find sod that will survive in shade

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