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Top soil to fill in dips and seed

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Elite LawnCare, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Hello, I am looking for some guidance to see if im goin in the right direction here. A customer has some low spots in her yard and would like them brought up with the rest of it. She also wants it rolled and aerated because its a bit rough. My thoughts were to either roll it with a 1.5 ton roller or a smaller tow behind roller not sure on the weight maybe 400lbs and than aerate the hell out of it all. After that I would put down top soil, roll, put down more top soil, roll again and rake to break the top up for seed. I would than over seed the whole yard with a broadcast spreader and than add starter fertilizer a week later and possibly some compost down the road. Am I on the right track? How much higher would I have to go with the top soil than the existing lawn do I have to go to figure in settling?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I have the task coming up this summer of aerating a fairly level and smooth lawn so that I can then rolled to be more 'perfectly' smooth and level.

    We will use the roller that fills with water and pulls behind the tractor, but we would do it -after- the aeration so the roller has some place to push the high points to.

    Did you plan to roll before the aeration? I'm not really sure how this is going to go so I would definately, like to talk this through.
  3. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Yes I plan to roll before aeration because one of the reasons you would aerate is to relieve compaction. From what I catch the roots dont like compaction and you would be compactiong the soil again when you roll after aeration. If I use the 1.5 ton roller I think that would take care of any hight points. Dont take my word for it I am not a pro. by any means just looking to get some experience the right way.
  4. Lawncop26

    Lawncop26 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    I would think twice about using that heavy of a roller. Maybe a waterfilled one at most.
    How deep are the low spots and what do you mean by rough? If the low spots are not that bad, maybe topdress to bring them level with the rest of the yard and then aerate twice, in two different directions, then seed. If the lawn is fairly thick, I would use a powerseeder, if it is thin, you can broadcast seed and have good seed to soil contact.
    Add the starter fert at the same time as the seeding. If you roll it after the aerate, your just compacting it again, and will need to aerate again. Let the aerate be your last step just before seeding.
  5. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    I agree with Lawncop. Stay away with a roller that heavy. You'll do more damage than good. If possible, go with light topdressings over a period of time to level things out.
  6. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Thank you for the replys guys. I kind of thoght that the heavy roller would be overkill. I have a smaller roller you put water in, but I found another one today that is quite a bit bigger and was told it weighs about 900 lbs full so for $219 I might just buy that. The one spot is 208 sq ft and needs to come up 2-3 inches and the other spot is 160 sq and needs to come up about 4 inches. I was thinkin to spread 5-8 #'s of seed per 1000 over the whole yard after I aerate and spread the top soil, does that sound about right? I would also like to spread some compost in the future. I do have pictures if that helps they dont really serve much purpose because you cant tell the depths of much. The first picture is the dip that needs to come up about 4 inches and the next picture is the area almost shaped like a big L that needs to come up 2-3. There is also that drain pipe I would like to hide a bit more, I dont think they burried it enof pic 3 and 4.

    Tony 007.jpg

    Tony 002.jpg

    Tony 005.jpg

    Tony 004.jpg
  7. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Picture one looks like you may have moss growing. If it was me I would try to convince the customer in a new lawn makeover. With those measurements your talking about - 2-4" - it would be better to till everything up with compost and regrade the yard. That's just my opinion.
  8. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    Topdress with soil to level the dips. Slit seed the whole area and apply starter fertilizer to get turf established in bare spots and to fill in thin areas. Come back in early fall and aerify. That should provide good turf coverage and be a cheaper option for the customer. The pictures look like it may have just been neglected for a while. Make another fertilizer application about 3 weeks after germination to ensure that the new grass gets established before the summer heat hits.
  9. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Yup definatly bit of a moss problem in that area. The customer is going to remove more limbs from the pine trees to get more light back there. I am gonna test for ph to see if it might need some lime. I am also going to spray the moss with dawn ultra and than rake it out when dead. Im thinkin about tilling the back of the property the whole length a few feet in from the end. The customer doesent want to spend the money for a complete redo. I think it will come out better than it is now(hopefully). Thanx for your time everyone
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    For me the issue is a "perfect level" , Compaction is not an issue. After busting up the clods and rolling for smoothness there is likely to be 'openings' where the plugs were pulled, still evident. By the time time these 'holes' fill in The lawn should be uncompacted.
    Does that make sense to anyone? There is not a compaction problem here, we are looking for a "perfect level" at this point.
    Thanks for a response.

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