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Renovating a landscape

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    OK, I now have two lawns that I want to till up and add compost as we reseed in the fall. I plan on renting a big tiller and just going at it,

    What are my concerns, I know to get lines marked but like how much compost do I want per K to get a real good soil back down. Also, I know I want to roll it to get it smoother too, I want these to come out perfect so any advice would be great.
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Tell us how big an area, right tool for the right job kind of thing.

    If it is turf now I would suggest a sod cutter. The clumps of grass in the long run are an absolute pain when trying to get things smoothed out, get rid of it first, as far as how much, it depends on how deep.

    You need to get a certain mindset on this, you are not going to do this again probably ever on this site, take the time to do it right. About half way through you are going to say to yourself, this is rediculous
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Calculate desired percentage of OM for a given volume of soil

    Not real sure I'm following your logic here.

  4. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    Oh yeah sorry, it is only about 2K, there isn't much of anything there now. They had bermuda back there under full shade so there is a piece here and there and that is it.

    The second one is currently fescue, just crappy, I figured if we are going to reseed then we might as well tear it up good rather than use an aerator.

    We say we want about 5% OM correct? So, if I were to get one of those tillers they use for small gardens, I guess that is a good way to put it, not a little mantis, but the ones you got to hold with both hands and walk behind, they will go down what a foot or two? Sooo.... your going to make my head hurt...

    2' of soil, 100% clay now, then 5% would be 2/5 = .4 OK, I think I am already screwing this up... any help?
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Yea right, you wish. 8-10" at best for a good rear tine tiller.

    How many cubic feet of soil is there in a 2000 square foot area at a 10" depth?
  6. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    3-4 cubic yards of compost tilled into 2000 square feet
  7. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    so double that of a topdress, I do about a yard per K topdress, I thought it would be more to get it where I wanted it.

    Oh, by the way, how many times/how long, does it typically take to get a lawn to the % you want it? I know every lawn is different, just didn't know if anyone found themselves a time frame.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You didn't answer the question DGL. :nono:
  9. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    Deep you are one busy man...On renovations I like to get rid of the old crap..If I have the room and the job Is big enough a good man on a skid steer can shave that old sod /weeds right off...then you dump It right In your dump trailer...Now to get the lay of the land right (smoother)...you can skim that with the skid steer as well...this Is just If you have the room...or you grade It by hand rake on small tight yards...forget about the roller...you will only use a roller when you seed. A soil test before and after may be a good plan a well. till that compost In good and add a little extra...make sure there are no weed seeds In the compost or Your seed Itself...after all is detailed and seeded...set up a watering program...see If the customer will make sure the seeds stay moist during the germinating period.
    Try and show us some pics of the property...It will help a lot

    Good luck

  10. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    OK, I am doing the front yard on one of them Tues. I can get pics then, I had my camera, I don't know why I didn't take any pics, OH wait, yeah I do, it was pouring. I just got the measurements done and the bottom fell out.

    I won't be able to get a skid steer or anything else back there, on either of the lawns actually. If I did go that far I would have to take out fences and these yards literally only have about 5 of space until I get into the other persons yard, and their fence. That is why I just wanted to use a tiller, spray round up, or burnout, on the existing grass a little earlier to make sure it dies and then tear it up and put down the seed.

    The second lawn is the same way, the front is a ditch with a 5X5 section near the house, and the rear is littered with raised gardens. Then trees block any good passage. In the back wild strawberries have taken over, I told her to wait until fall, as I have many others, before we go killing everything because we can't grow fescue in this heat, I think it was mid 90's today, I am not going to ask the customer to seed a lawn that might get half the seed to stay alive. I would rather wait a few months and they are happy with my suggestion.

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