Topdressing of my own lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by cgaengineer, May 27, 2009.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    As some of you know I did a manure topdress a few weeks ago and I was impressed with the results.

    On Memorial Day we had 6 yards of river sand delivered and we topdressed the entire front lawn along with the two sides.

    Lawn Prior to scalping:


    Turf density prior to scalping (scalped to 1/2")


    Lawn during scalping:



    Sand application:




    It rained just as we were finishing:


    I have a few spots to repair due to yesterdays torrential downpour (1" of rain) and plan to get
    another yard of sand to repair these areas.
  2. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    Looks absolutely terrible.... (kidding) That lawn has come a long ways and is really shaping up. Nice work....
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    Thanks A,

    It actually looks terrible now after some of the sand washed away from the buckets of rain yesterday!! Im going to broom/rake it tomorrow...if I need more sand I will get another yard or so...I'm not giving into the rain gods!!
  4. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

  5. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    I have to ask because I am not familiar with southern type grasses,why the sand??

    Up here we would never top dress with sand of any sort for any reason that I know of,usually a compost or something like that.

    Is it a special type of sand? What does it have in it that helps a lawn??

  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    Bermuda and other southern grasses can be topdressed with a few light applications of sand to level or smooth out a lawn. This particular sand is a river sand with a mix of large and small particals. You are correct that you cannot topdress cool season grasses with sand.
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    Thanks Dave, I also appreciate the use of your stiff bristled broom. After I finish my accounts today I am going to get another yard of sand to fill in the eroded areas and also scalp the island and re-topdress it. I was a bit upset with the rain on Tuesday and all the hard work that went into the job and some areas getting ruined, but all in all the job still looks pretty good...hopefully we wont have a freakin flood for a couple days while the grass comes in and the sand settles.
  8. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590


    Will you describe the processes that you went through to do this job? Is there anything you would have done differently? Was a certain part of it really a pain?

    What did you use to spread the sand?

    I have about 1.5 acres of bermuda that is pretty smooth but could be better. I can buy fill sand with very few rocks locally for about $150 for 20 tons delivered and have access to a bobcat and a large tractor. In my area, chicken farms will give away manure as long as you pay for the hauling. I don't want to spend a ton of money on hiring someone to topdress 1.5 acres. I am just trying to figure out the best way to do it myself.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    What does the sand do for Bermuda that it would not do for cool season grasses? You are dealing with clay soils, correct?
    Looks promising BTW. :)

    Next month's pictures will tell the complete story...

    :laugh: If you end up with concrete, adobe, or brick... let us know... :laugh:
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    The process was pretty easy, but it was hard manual labor. What I did was load the sand from the pile in my driveway into a trailer on my 4 wheeler. I would then deposit the sand in piles on the lawn and push them out with the back of a landscape rake. I had originally started slinging the sand but quickly realized it was more work to sling shovel then to push the landscape rake. I have also built a lute for the project with an 8' 2x4 and a handle from an old hand tool. The lute worked great for the flatter areas and allowed me to get those areas smooth as a baby's butt.After the sand was distributed I used the back of a wire rake to force the grass blades to the surface. The first rain really helped the sand settle, the second rain however, caused me great heartache as I lost some sand into areas down grade. I have some areas I will re-topdress tomorrow and everything should be fine.

    For 1.5 acres you would probably be best to rent a topdressing machine and a Dingo to load it unless you don't mine doing it the way I did it. Like I said before, it was not difficult to do it my way, but it was hard work. Another thing I thought of, if you have a tractor and you are good with the bucket and can easily control the amount of sand you dump you could probably deposit the sand very quickly this way. I would then suggest a drag mat for a lot that size.

    Feel free to contact me via this thread or pm for additional questions.

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