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steep bank, sod strip, ground cover install...your help please

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GarPA, May 13, 2002.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Have an existing commercial client who has a miserable to mow steep bank about 600ft by 40ft...about 40 degrees....I feel like I might be out of my league on this one...so would appreciate your opinion. I've used sod stripper macines b4 on banks and they do ok if theres not too much slope. Right??
    So after the sod is stripped, guy wants ground cover and couple of inches of mulch.
    Not interested in juniper but rather some sort of vine type plant..so ignoring the plant and mulch costs could you give me a wild ballpark dollar number to do this?(yes I realize this is a guesstimate) and the best technique to get the grass out of there?? thanks again for your help
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Is the whole 1/2 acre going to be removed? Thats a lot of sod to remove! I'd look at doing a round-up applcation then tilling it under with a tractor or skid steer tiller.
  3. prairie

    prairie LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 115

    If the intire 1/2 acre has to be removed you need to round-up the sod and till. If not you can use a sod cutter. If the thing is going to be on big bed you have your work cut out for you. We do need this info inorder to help you with what to do.
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    yes guys, he wants the entire 1/2 acre removed...not an ez job...thats why I said I might be over my head on this given the slope of the bank...I have no intention of operating a skid steer on it...just don't have that much skill on one of those..thanks...ps ..tilling it could be a real bear trying to hold on to the machine?? maybe I should sub this job to one of the 'big boys'
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    I won't say that tilling isn't a bad idea, but I will say that you could probably get away with just spraying the hill, planting, and then mulching.

    The problem is the ground cover idea. It will take a lot of time and a lot of money to plant a area that big with ground cover, and the succes rate may be low. Is the area in full sun? If so, many of your vines and groundcovers such as myrtle, ivy, packysandra, etc aren't going to do well. Also, if you use ground cover, you won't be able to get a good thick layer of mulch down and will need softer ground to plant in, so more or less, you will have to till or dump top soil down the hill.

    I would stick with either a juniper or maybe a contoneaster. You could rent a two man auger and really bang them out. Then, mulch. For insurance, you could then put some granular pre-emerge down to stop any grass from growing or come back a while later and spot spray/hand weed anything that grows through. I've had good succes with this method.

    Sit down and talk to the client. I'd price the job out 2 times, one price with the cost of tilling, one price without. The difference in price may convince him that the risk of some grass growing though is worth the savings. I've had very good luck with just spraying and not tilling. Just figure in one or two return visits to do some spot spraying/hand weeding in a few areas where the grass comes through, and most of all, explain to the client that grass may come though again but that you will take care of it.

  6. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Look around in rural areas to see what is growing on (and in) the fence lines. Might be trumpet vine or common daylilies. Whatever it is--- is what will survive well. Since this is a large area some bio-diversity might be more successful. Plant several different things, each in a large drift across the slope. That way, if one sort of plant is a failure but another is a vigorous success, you and the client will be able to adjust the planting accordingly.
  7. prairie

    prairie LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 115

    I'll do it for the client I'll charge them about $30-50k for the job depending on what typ0e and how many plants are going in.
  8. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    Both Steveair and Lanelle have hit the nail right on the head. You don't want to operate machinery on that slope. Pricing this is difficult but using Steveair's way it is the spraying costs plus labour to plant ground cover. Not nearly as pricey as tilling.
  9. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    30,000 to 50,000 dollars???

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