need help with dirt install

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    A customer has a bed that has some undesirable ground level plants, weeds, and dead stuff in it. It's about 8x16 or something. It's about 6-8 inches too low and u can see some unsightly concrete on the side of his house where there should be dirt. So needless to say, he wants the level raised.
    My question is, what is the best way to do this?
    I was planning on renting a tiller to just til up all that junk in the bed. Should I spray it with kills all first or something though or will the tiller be enough to destroy the plants? Furthermore, should I till the plants and then rake and scoop out any roots or plants I can to ensure for less chance of them popping up through the new dirt?
    Another thing; How do I level it? Should I get one of those small flat tools that u press down on the soil or should I just put the dirt at 2-3 inches above the desired level to plan for settleing?
  2. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    Have you considered a flower bed retainer? I just finished a job that I had the same thing going on. I removed all the shrubs and roots and weeds, made the retainer and backfilled. It was about 20" tall. I also used gravel along the inside lower part of the wall to allow water to drain away from the wall It came out very nice. Now I'm reconstructing a deck that is starting to rot away. My next job is re-grading the entire front yard! The property has dips and holes all over the front yard so he asked if I could regrade the yard when everything is finished. I'm hell on a loader. :) I actually build alot of offroad r/c car race tracks.
  3. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    What type of weeds are growing? If there weeds with a complex root system I would recommend spraying first. Are you certified to spray? Don't want the weeds to come back! With the dimensions you gave, you'll need about three yards of soil. I would recommend a combination of clean soil and compost. Drainage along the house is important. You must keep water away from the foundation. To check your grade you can use a simple level for this or a string line with a bubble.
  4. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Wow, that sounds like a really big job. What do u use to tamp it down or level it? So is the retainer like a little wall that goes around the bed? And is that 20 inches or?
  5. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Sounds like a good idea to use the compost. The customer knows a lot about plants and is planning to do that part himself so he's having the dirt brought in to. Should I call again and ask if he wants me to add some compost to it? How much of the stuff should I purchase for him to help the beds be ready for new installs?
    So to keep the water away should I just put a layer of those white rocks against the house? How high and deep should the layer be?

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