Roto-tilling question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by greenback, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. greenback

    greenback LawnSite Member
    from L.I.
    Messages: 175

    my friend wants to roto-till his front yard only. the yard is probably 40 x 20 approx. his lawn is half and half with sun/shade so i was going to lay down a mixture of seed. after tilling and raking has anyone ever just put done the seed and not lay some top soil on first. i know this job is going to be a b@tch but it will be me and two other guys.

    this will be how i will go about this:
    top soil (if needed-would anyone def. suggest this??)
    seed like a b!tch
    let my friend take care of the rest....i will fertilize at least once.

    any input will help, thanks
  2. greenback

    greenback LawnSite Member
    from L.I.
    Messages: 175

    forgot to mention, he received an estimate of 300 from a landscaping company. i am just going to make him pay for the roto-tiller, seed and fertilizer.
  3. DJL

    DJL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    Iif I was your 'friend' I would go with the other company. First of all, if you have to ask those types of questions it seems as if you have no idea what you are doing. Second, the cost savings is not going to be significant. I'm going to assume a GOOD sun/shade mix for that square footage is going to cost you around 50-60 bucks. I'm also going to assume you have to rent the machine which will cost you around 80-100 bucks for the day. Cost of fertilizer, not sure I don't do fertilizer. So it'll be maybe 100 bucks more for someone who knows what they are doing to do it right the first time?

    Seems like a no brainer, you get what you pay for.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The first thing I would do, is use a cultivar that you know is going to be useful. Is there irrigation? Probably not, or it would've been mentioned. What's in there now? Weak Grass? Weeds? Dirt?
    Anyway, what I would HIGHLY recommend, if there is no irrigation, is turf type tall fescue. This stuff can't be beat for drought tolerance, because it grows such a deep root system. Now, don't confuse this with the junk tall fescues, such as Kentucky 31 mix. This has to be a TURF TYPE. Anyway, this by far is your best bet, and if you find a blend, such as Lesco's Teammates Plus, you are even better of, because it has a small bluegrass % (about 10) in it. The reason I ask if there is weeds and such in it, is because if there isn't too many, I would just recommend slit seeding it. Much easier, less work, and generally a better success rate on your germination. If your grade is already ok, well, you're all set. If not, then you will want to till it, rake it out - ensuring that it is level, put your seed in, rake it in, apply starter fert. RIGHT AWAY, and water, water, water. With the TTTF, you want to use 8-10# per M, so count on 10# for your area. And like I said,... DEFinitely use starter fert. right away, something like 18-24-12. Then, hit it again in 2 weeks. As long as your friend keeps it damp, it'll grow. The only thing is, is what have your temps been like over there? Here, it's still too cold. We've had temps in the 50's and 60's, but the soil temps are just not warm enough. Oh, another thing with TTTF, is that the germination temps are 5-10 degrees higher than most other cool season cultivars. Generally, everyone will have mowed their lawns about 3 times as you are seeing grass start to come in, when it's done at this time. Good luck with it!
  5. morturf

    morturf LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 476

    $50 or $60 for seed for 800 sq ft. Man i wanna be your seed supplier!!
  6. greenback

    greenback LawnSite Member
    from L.I.
    Messages: 175

    i bought the seed for 25 bucks, seems like a no brainer not to get my lawn seeded by you. i am not doing this job for a profit, i am helping my friend. he is paying for everything from the seed to the tiller.

    thank you runner for your response
    i just wanted to see what kind of response i would get, seems like no one really likes helping others. thank you.
  7. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    Greenback- one thing that will make your job easier is to rent/borrow a sod cutter. Strip that stuff off, then rototill and it will make your life easier when you are grading. Just my experience.
  8. greenback

    greenback LawnSite Member
    from L.I.
    Messages: 175

    i was thinking of renting one of those, i have used one before and it worked real well. i just stopped by hi shouse and i think i will be able to get by without tilling, just rake real heavy and then cultivate so the seed hs somewhere to sit. the area is not even as big as i thought, a 20' x 7' section and a 6' x 2' section. there is one section that is totally dead and has a lot of thatch. should i remove that section completely(5x5 section) and put down some soil and seed?
  9. greenback

    greenback LawnSite Member
    from L.I.
    Messages: 175

    the job is done. i took some pics after everything was finished besides seed and fert. i did not get a chance to get the before pics but i will show after pics in a bout a month or so. i ended up using a dethatcher and it came out nice. i will post pics after i download them off my camera. thanks for your input, especially you DJL....:D :D ;)
  10. greenback

    greenback LawnSite Member
    from L.I.
    Messages: 175

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