Need Some Help

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by LandFakers, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    So I got a call today from a women who had a tennis court ripped up in the spring, the contractor who did this seeded it, but by the looks of the current "grass", it was one of those contractor mixes used to sprout fast. Well its all sparce weeds and dirt at this point. Its a 5000 sq ft rectangle, so my plan would be to come in and power rake it multiple times, then aerate the area, then seed, then straw/hay it. Now I have never done anything like this so would it be a job that I would bid at (time)+ Materials, and labor rates at 60/ guy or is this type of thing going for more like 35/guy? I know it will vary greatly upon area but I am not very knowledgable in this at all. I have to rent the aerator for a couple days for my mowing customers so I felt might help to get the seeds in the ground. Again guys im not necessarily asking for the "What would you do it for?" Threads, Id like to know if my process is a good way of doing things and if my bidding formula would be correct. Thank you
  2. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,755

    Rent a slice seeder. Might take you an hour or two tops to do a double pass.
    Rental cost+seed cost+ your time = what you should charge
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    Getting you have 6 weeks before frost? Warm soil temps? our soil temp is 59--warmer than usual. A neighbor put in seed on new lawn about 7 days ago and watered well. His new grass is up to about a half-inch tall in spots. (Scotts "Turfbuilder Sun and Shade".)

    I suggest: power rake and rake up the residue. Lime as needed. Apply starter fert, plus seed, followed by dragging to work the seed into contact with the soil. Omit aeration unless soil needs it. Use the residue of dead grass to cover the seed like straw. Use double the usual amount of seed--just to be sure. That is cheaper than straw, and easier, too.
    Be sure to use a top-quality seed that has around 50 percent perennial rye. Not enough time for bluegrass to establish much. You don't want cheap seed due to disease susceptibility (such as red thread, dollarspot, gray leaf spot and rust). Make sure the seed has endophytes for insect resistance.

    Soil temperatures--perhaps slight cooler than my area.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I agree with your comments here... Unless,,, there is already severe compaction of clay soil I believe that the bid includes unnecessary activity... I would not quote it as laid out,, becuz the client just got done paying for that process and you're going to charge it again...
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    I like your method ok. Many things difficult to tell without a photo or more info. I would add the power rake or slit seeder step others recommended to all the steps you listed. Also, I would bring in 1.5 yards of compost and distribute it as evenly as possible after you seed. That is only enough material for approximately 1/8" 'layer' so you will not be changing the elevation much. Drag it or lightly rake with upside down leaf rake to bed the seed. Just walk back and forth with upside down rake trailing behind you. This is a relatively small and manageable area. It is late in the year, it is going to need some water everyday that it does not rain for 3-4 weeks after you drop seed - a few minutes just to keep surface damp.

    In terms of price per hour, that has to be your call. These kinds of jobs always take more time than it seems in prder to do it well. You're looking at 35-40# of seed, about 2 hours total of running around getting things and returning others, Around an hour each with aerator and power rake, 20 minutes to seed, around 90 minutes to topdress, 30-45 minutes to put straw down, maybe 45 minutes to clean up the site and move stuff out. If it was me, I would figure 2-3 hours total to check on progress over the next 3-4 weeks. Your mileage may vary.
  6. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    honestly it sounds like the lady never watered it....and if you don't water after its seeded with the exception of hydroseeding, you get weeds...but ya, just using a slicer seeder making two passes should do the trick, as long as she waters it every morning.

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