Preparing To Plant Lawn By Seed Please Help

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by pazookie, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. pazookie

    pazookie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I am not a professional but am trying to do a big job by myself and would REALLY appreciate some help... Heres my situation: I have started cleaning up my father-in law's backyard, which was pretty much his personal landfill (It was tainted with all sorts of garbage, old remodelling trash, pieces of broken wood, scrap metal, cloth items, plastic tv dinner trays, shredded tarp/plastic sheets and bags, and such, pretty much every aspect of trash that you can think of before I started working on it) I removed pretty much all of the debris but am now left with about a 15'x15'x6inches of sand (from a previous swimming pool), the roots of a very large tree infesting everywhere (pretty much an inch or two below level of the cement pathway that goes along the house on the perimeter of the backyard and small debris from all the trash and twigs and leaves from 10+ years of no backyard care at all. I have filled up about 30 (42 gallon) bags with all the junk/dirt from the back yard and feel like im at a standstill, I dont know how to get rid of the sand and im not sure if I can just spread it around the whole backyard and lay topsoil on top of the dirt/sand mixture. Any help AT all would be apreciated.
  2. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I'm sorry for this.....Criminals have nightmares about being caught, Finance guys, fear losing it all, and us turf guys fear going on your estimate.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Spread the sand out and add topsoil or just compost. Perhaps work up the ground where you can, but it sounds like you are in heavy competition with tree roots. 2" is not alot to work with but it can be done. Plan on overseeding often and blow the grass clippings back onto the turf when you get a period of no tree litter. Eventually the turf creates its own microenvironment, but water alot because that is where the competition with the trees really hits hard.
  4. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    You'll want to bring in a bunch of clean topsoil & work from there. Probably make sure everything is smooth first because it will make spreading the dirt much easier.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Ok for one thing, seeding a lawn under a mature tree with invasive roots is not a good idea. Nor is it a good idea to do that this time of year. If you must do it try and wait a few months and seed in late Sept/Oct. Right now, you are doing damage to the tree by exposing it's feeding roots and changing the soil level in the root area. You need to get topsoil over those regardless if you seed or not . Topsoil as well if you seed.
    I suggest you find an alternative to planting a lawn there. You will have tree roots competing with the grass and coming up through it, and shade. both make it hard to establish grass.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I should have mentioned as well - spread the sand around only if you can get it very thin. <than1". Perhaps move it under the tree and leave it that as Sheshovel suggests. Is this yard actually forestted or just one big tree or so?
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334


    If a lawn is the only thing you want, perhaps removing the tree, bring in some high quality topsoil or compost, and till it all in once you spread that sand around. Keep in mind, once you till your likely to have a weed explosion so sod might be a better option.

    When you plant a new tree to replace the one you just cut down, make sure you plant it right.

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