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Lawn & landscaping advice

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#1 insanity_gallops


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Posted 21 April 2013 - 07:15 PM

Hi everyone,


So we purchased our first house last year, and the backyard is a disaster. It's beyond help. Previous owners had an above-ground pool that they took away, but left the sand and ring of stones... rotting stump in the middle of the yard... entirely uneven footing... crab grass, weeds, roots, etc.


I have talked to two landscapers who want my business. One says the only way I will have a good lawn again is if he literally removes all of the soil for a few inches deep, replaces the topsoil and re-seeds. The other says I'd be fine with tilling the whole yard about 6" deep, adding new topsoil, tilling that in, using lime etc. to kill previous growth, and re-seeding. Option 1 is twice the price of Option 2.


To those of you who are long-time home owners - or have landscaping expertise - any input? We're looking to lock in for the fall, so I'd like to put in the deposit in the next month or so.


Thanks in advance!

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#2 DevilMinder


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Posted 21 April 2013 - 07:56 PM

How bad is the soil? I have almost pure sand and grass is fine. Got pictures of the soil?


To be honest removing all the soil seems extreme, adding in nutrients(humus or carting in top soil and blending them) should be fine.

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#3 Devils Pride 26

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:23 PM

Lay some top soil, grass seed, throw some hay on top, water, keep an eye out for birds and you should be fine. 


How big is the plot? Acre plus? Half acre?


By no means am I an expert, but I've been cutting grass making a quick buck since I was 14. How is the rest of the soil? Clay? Sandy? How far inland are you? 

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#4 Pepperkorn


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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:45 AM

According to Mike McGrath - if you want grass now, sod it.  If you can wait then dont plant anything until October -- dont expect any real solid growth until the fall anyhow. 


i wouldn't waste money on a landscaper myself - but I liek to do things myself and my lawn looks like CRAP - but see -- we got sheep so we have a built in excuse now!  :uni:  Basically I do believe that anything you do now - you'll have to re-seed in the fall to ensure a lovely lush lawn kittens and cats.  Mike McGrath - hate him and love him... check out his online presence just to learn more about planting grass -- if you're the type that likes to know everything anyhow.


Get sheep!!


my husband got called Mr Sheep today by our friends 6 year old.  "Can we have dinner with Mr Sheep again?" He used his first name too but I wont here  :P


oh the old man also has a degree in landscape architecture... fat lot o'good that does  <_<  He was going to be a forest ranger -- but transferred to biochem.

Edited by Pepperkorn, 22 April 2013 - 09:49 AM.

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#5 2ELIAS6


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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:14 PM

I own a landscaping business in rockland county NY.. it is hard to say with out actually seeing your yard situation. I would never try to grow grass with seed with out using new top soil(if your doing a large area.. from my experience and i always tell my customers it just does not grow the way your expecting it, it will come in great in patches but you will not have a nice thick green lawn. If your are looking for a lawn now with the least amount of maintenance then sod is your way to go and i always recommend this first( if price is not the issue) sod is very expensive, however as soon as its laid boom you have a perfect lawn. As i said cant really tell with out seeing it but you dont know the acidity level of the dirt.. too high or too low and you will not grow any grass by just thatching and seeding. Also with seed, not sure what your piece of property looks like again but it washes away very easily even if they shift it back and fourth(as they should) to level it into the dirt. I would also recommend using penn mulch instead of hay for two reasons, one being hay makes one hell of a huge mess to have to clean up and it is known to bring upon diseases along with crab grass etc. thatch it out real good, maybe even have it scraped slightly, top soil it ( a couple inches deep) depending on if it needs it lime it, seed it nice and heavily and then penn mulch it.. water it every single day.
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