rock under sod

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by skurtz78, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. skurtz78

    skurtz78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I am servicing several yards in a new neighborhood and every yard has rock right under the sod. The prep job was not done correctly and everyones yard is turning brown fast with the little moisture we have had and even the ones that water daily are starting to get brown with the 90+ temps we have here. I have been told that the hot sun heats up the rock under the sod and causes water to evaporate quicker than normal and the heat also causes damage to the roots. Even though the roots have nothing to grab onto. I want to know if you have heard of this and if there is any published information about it out there so my clients can get the yard replaced by the builder.

    I posted this under renovation first with no help. I thought I would get more hits in the mowing forum.
  2. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    Do some work for some of these contractors and you'll see a lot of things.
  3. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 953

    How thick is the layer of rock?
  4. skurtz78

    skurtz78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    it is just like if you were to walk accross an empty lot where they are starting to build a house and all the good topsoil has been romoved and there is nothing but rocks and compacted dirt on the ground. This is what the sod was laid on top of. I can not even get screwdriver to go into the ground in some spots.
  5. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Good question, I'll stay tuned to this post. I've got the same problem on a couple of my properties in new developments. It seems like the excavators did just a horse-sh*t job prepping the ground for sod. Of course, when the turf looks like crap, they'll blame "the lawn guy".

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Yeah, someone's pulling a fast one. Tell your customers to check their contracts with the developer or they can complain to the town. If there are enough complaints the town won't release the builders constructon bond until all complaints are settled.
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Some developer here was stripping off the topsoil and selling it to other contractors. I mean he was adjusting the grading and removing the unneeded topsoil. Then filling in the settlement areas with seashell mix. Also known as port dredgings.

    He got busted big time. Then posted bond and skipped town after draining his company's bank account.

    Just like in our business there are dirtbags out there pinching a nickle and getting 10 cents change. Sounds like you found one.

    To answer the question of how to fix it. bring in at least 4 inches of topsoil right on top of the sod then sod again. No lawn will grow over stone. Over gravel, maybe but even that would be dicey and need lots of fert and water.
  8. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    sounds typical. lots of builders do this. theyll scrape the topsoil off, then hardly put any back on when the house is complete. then we come in to finish rake and seed. if the rocks are humongous we just cover over them. not our responsibility to dig up every rock that the builder shoulda taken out. granted these are rocks that are very large, that a bobcat isnt even gonna pick up. then when the lawn comes in slow or burns like you say, the client usually points the finger at whoever put the lawn in. if i were to build a house from what i have seen, i would have a talk with the builder to make sure adequate topsoil was applied. some builders are really good at this, while others are not. just the name of the game in lawn installation.
  9. skurtz78

    skurtz78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I wish the problem was random big rocks but it seems to be small stones and gravel.

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