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planting sod over hard soil

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by wildstarblazer, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,046

    I have a job that has really hard soil. Hardpan I guess you can call it. I don't know how it got that way but when I tried to plant some bushes it was like trying to go through concrete. So I had to raise the soil and plant in it as you see in the picture. Most of the soil around here is sandy with more clay about a foot or two below.

    In the fore ground they want sod planted, about 2 or 3 pallets worth's area that you can't see in the picture.

    Question, what can I do to break up the soil and make it good enough to plant sod?
    Thanks for any help..

    100_0001 (1014 x 570).jpg
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,281

    Till it up and then put top soil over it
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Why? Test the soil, add any needed amendments, till as deep as you can.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Definately till in some compost and even larger particle sand... this looks like Limestone Fines, from the picture... if it is like that, you may very well want to remove some of it and bring in new dirt... I have never tried to overcome limestone fines with compost... but we have used it to stablize ditches, driveways, stones, and such...

    Do you know what kind of structure you have with that stuff??? our fines seem to create a 'platy' structure, much like clay,,, only worse...
  5. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,281

    He said it's hard and looks like solid clay to me.

    Either way defiantly put two inches of topsoil down.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You say it looks like clay .... I think it looks like sand.

    Again, why?
  7. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,281

    Always have put down topsoil. Wether for seed or sod. I feel it helps the sod roots grow ahold better.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,553

    Kiril is right, and you just said it was sandy. If it were clay you should see big cracks when its dry, and sharp clumps, if dug up. Heavy sprinkling should make it soft. If you can grow weeds and trees you can grow grass, (provided there is sun and moisture). Soil test, till, lay sod.
    Do not add sand to clay soil, as it makes the result even more hard. The clay fills the pores between the sand granules--becomes more dense.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Again, why? Tilling will be more than adequate to prepare any soil for seed or sod. Further, adding topsoil without properly preparing the soil on site will generally lead to more problems than not.
  10. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,281

    I said it looked like solid clay.

    But for future references would you recommend putting topsoil on clay? I deal with alot of clay in my area. Topsoil is somewhat expensive, so it's cost me some bids

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