Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Lawn woes, advice needed

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by fourstringdrums, Jun 5, 2005.


  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    Ah the PIA of owning a home :) I just bought a house and I have alot of areas that are a mess, either with a ton of weeds, or no grass. I had a landscaper come over today and the verdict was not good. Not only are there a ton of weeds that need to be removed, but alot of the soil in the bare areas is useless.

    So, I have only two choices: Try and kill the weeds, which by the kind they are, it's not easy, and also have the bad soil rototilled and have some better top soil brought it and try and plant grass (not now, too hot).

    The second option is to just put down sod on the whole lawn, as it would be tough to sod bare spots and get it to match the rest of lawn, and with the amount of areas that would have to be done, it might as well be the whole lawn.

    What option should I go for? I'd hate to spent the money for the weeding and replanting, only to have it not work out. Yet I hear sodding is very expensive. However, I don't have a huge lot, only a 1/4 acre, and of course the land to be planted on is less. I'm leaning toward sod, but first I'd like to hear from anyone who has done it and get a better idea of what the cost may be.

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    2 words

    Astro Turf.

    Problem solved.













    Sorry I'm no help. If it weren't for crab grass nothing in my yard could be called grass.
     
  3. Methinks maybe the landscaper was trying to sell you a sod job?

    I think weeds, if already present, will try yo grow back up through the fresh sod. Of course, you can control that...by paying the landscaper to kill those weeds too as they come up.

    This summer's lawn might not be salvageable, but here's what I'd do: I'd keep the existing yard. Get a bag of "weed and feed" fertilizer and a hand-pushed fertilizer applicator. This has weedkiller in addition to fertilizer. Then a day or so later, spread some fescue seed or some orther grass suitable for your climate. Water daily. Apply more fertilizer according to the schedule on the fertilizer bag. Then a month from now, buy a lawnmower.

    Even a pretyy crappy yard will grow grass, with a little fertilizer....

    I've been a homowner for almost twenty years, and had to deal with three different yards, yet never have I had to buy new topsoil just to get grass to grow.
     
  4. FenderHotRod

    FenderHotRod

    Sep 1, 2004
    Arkansas
    :D I know your pain.. I just bought a house in jan. And have the same problem with weeds. Next year I plan on getting some kind of weed killer plus fertilizer and see how that goes. I'm still in the prosses of pulling weed out of the flower beds around my house.

    I'm about ready to move back into an Apt. where I work.
     
  5. FenderHotRod

    FenderHotRod

    Sep 1, 2004
    Arkansas
    oh yeah I hope you don't have G.A.S. because a new house has a way of curing it. :D
     
  6. Yup, weed and feed...let it do its job. Then lime the yard light and even, get the acids in the soil right. Keep the kids off the lawn parts you limed, let it work into the soil (water like mad, or dole it out just before a good rain...then fertilize it and break out the seed. Thatch over it if you can and hope for the best.

    Good luck on that. I have about 40% clover right now, and don't really care...it's nice and soft. But, I'm going thru the same thing with areas my dog killed off last year....on the mend. v:O)~
     
  7. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Man, I have a yard full of lush, green st. augustine so I feel for ya... not to rub it in or anything. :D

    If you do lay down sod do the best to kill EVERYTHING that is already there in the yard so that the weeds won't just come back through the sod. If my yard was just totally gone, overrun with weeds to the point that you can hardly find grass I'd probably be tempted to just start over with new sod myself. I can't stand weeds and that weed and seed stuff has only been marginal in killing them in my yard.

    What kind of grass do you have? I use a poison that's safe for st. augustine to kill the big thorny looking broadleaf weeds and I use 10% pickling vinegar for the other kinds of weeds. You could try that...you have to spray it in the heat of the day. I know it's safe on augustine but I don't know about other kinds. It will temporarily yellow the grass that it hits but it will kill the weeds.

    brad cook
     
  8. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I don't know what kind of grass it is. The landscaper wasn't 100% sure either. How much did it cost you to lay down the sod? If I did that, or even if I had seed down, alot of the dirt would have to be replaced most likely because some areas are just sand.
     
  9. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    Actually since I've moved in I've bought my Cirrus and my Corvette Std. Fretless (due Wed. woot), so no, it hasn't :)

    As for the landscaper trying to sell me sod, he didn't bring it up much because he usually only does seed. He actually hasn't done any sod and couldn't give me much information on it, except where to get it. I'd have to find a sod contractor.
     
  10. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    When we bought our house six years ago, the yard was bare patches, weeds, and a little grass. After weighing all the options like you have, we brought in a tractor and tore it all up. We layed down some fresh soil, and went the sod route. It was just easier to start from scratch then running around killing weeds and filling dead spots.

    We got our sod from the same place that supplied the sod for Safeco Field in Seattle. Not to rub it in either, but our grass looks like a baseball field. Thanks to me only, I don't let anyone else in the house take care of it.

    -Mike
     
  11. I'd guess a grand for the sod and its installation, plus more for topsoil. If I went that route, I'd spray a complete herbicide like Roundup, to kill off everything, then wait a while, then lay the sod. If you get more topsoil, that'll cost you anywhere from $75 to $150 per truck, delivered, maybe more for your area, plus a hundred or two to pay somebody to spread the soil and level it....

    As far as the grass, go to the local Lowes or Home Depot and ask them what common grasses that do well for your climate. (My guess would be a fescue)

    If you've got the bucks, paying somebody to landscape and sod your yard is a heckuva way to go...boom, a week later, instant yard. But it'll cost you!
     
  12. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    Funny you should say that, we just ripped out an entire lawn full of St. Augustine (actually Nicky did most of it, by remote, I've been too sick to really paricipate in that whole thing). But the end result was spectacular.

    It all started when my six year old cousin came over from Switzerland, started rolling around in the grass, and said "ouch, that hurts". Plus the Augustine kinda grows where it wants, and it's tough to keep it out of the flower beds and that kind of thing (if you have those, or want to).

    Our solution was a re-sod, with Marathon #2. It's really soft and luscious, the kids love it, and as long as you water it enough it'll pretty much take care of itself. It doesn't grow "out of bounds", and it responds well to weed killers.

    I suppose the thing to think about, is the "all-at-once" cost, versus the protracted cost over a period of years. We opted for "all-at-once" ('course that was before all the medical bills :D). Based on our experience, with the old lawn, the gardener had to come over every week, and spend about an hour pulling weeds and re-arranging stuff, and all that got to be costly enough to justify the re-plant.

    So, just a story to share... :)
     
  13. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    It hurt to roll in Augustine?! It must have been burned or something because mine is nice and soft! Augustine or Bermuda are the typical grass choices in this part of Texas. Regular trimming when I mow seems to do a good job of keeping it out of the flower beds.

    brad cook
     
  14. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    That's what I'm thinking we're going to have to do, or atleast rip everything up and replant seed. How much did the sod cost you? I'm getting so confused on the price research I'm doing. I've heard anywhere from $.15 - $.75 a square foot. I have an assessors map of the property and it says 11,000sq. ft, but that includes the driveway and the area that the house is on. There are other measurements on it but I can't tell if it's just the length only, or what. As I said, we're only on a quarter acre, so with the actual area to be replanted being less than that, I can't imagine it being more than may $3000 installed, although info I'm getting online is telling me otherwise. Heck I'm not even sure where to go and get the stuff and who to have it installed by. The landscaper I had over doesn't do it.
     
  15. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Why don't you just take a tape measure out and get exact measurements so you can see exactly what the cost would be?

    brad cook
     
  16. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I will at some point, I just wanted to get a rough idea so I knew whether or not to bother you know?
     
  17. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    So your landscaper does not know what type of grass you have and they do not lay sod. I say get a new landscaper. If Templeton was closer, I would send you a business card for the company I have worked for over the last 10 years. :)

    There are a few things you have to include to try and remedy your problem.

    1. What type of exposure does the lawn get? Full sun, partial sun, or shade?

    2. You say the soil is useless. In order to have a nice, healthy lawn, it is best if you have 4"-6" of loam (6" being ideal, but not necessary.)

    Is the existing soil really useless? Is it loaded with sand, rock, or overly compacted? Dig a few small holes throughout your property and take a look. Try and have a few samples tested at your local garden center. The existing soil could be saved by controlling the ph level, aerating all sections, and tilling in 2"-3" of loam (I prefer Mass Natural).

    3. The type of grass (this goes hand in hand with #1.) Nashville Bill is correct with Fescue, it does grow well here in MA, as-well-as Kentucky Blue and Perennial Rye.

    4. Check today throughout your yard for grubs, too.

    As-far-as doing the work, your best option, IMO, is to wait until late September (except for the weeds - kill them now and throughout the summer.) Doing anything major at this point (with the temps on the rise) will only result in problems such as crabgrass. After the work is done, hit the new lawn with some starter fert. Then, after your last Fall cleanup, hit the turf with some winterizer. Come Spring (when the Forsythia are in bloom) hit the turf with a fert containing a pre-emergent to help control any crabgrass.

    The sod vs seed debate is up to you. If either are done correctly, you will have a beautiful lawn. If you want instant gratification, go with the sod.

    Good luck!!

    On a side note, do you plan on adding an irrigation system? Or a typical sprinkler system?
     
  18. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    Does the company that you work with only provide local service? I know some will travel out. If you could give me their information I could find out, thanks.

    As for your questions.

    1. My whole yard, front, back and side get's full sun, except for one small spot under a tree.

    2. Not all the soil is useless. The back yard near the edge of the driveway has alot of sand and ant hills on it, the rest (and the majority) looks fine.

    I was going to wait until cooler weather anyway when I have a better chance.

    I'm going to go with sod as long as it's not too expensive installed (I'm thinking of $3000 tops hopefully) because we would like the instant gratification and the fact that when you plant seed, you may not get what you expect, with sod, we will. The one time installation cost and the yearly maintance would be worth it for us.

    I hadn't thought of putting in irrigations or a sprinkler system. At the most I had just thought of watering myself once a week or so once the lawn is established.
     
  19. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Most of our work is from Groton eastward (including Concord, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Westford, Lowell, Billerica, etc.) Templeton is out of our range.

    Sod is going to need daliy watering, especially in full sun. Sod dries out easliy until it is fully established. Once establshed, the lawn should be watered at least 4 times a week. More in the dry/hot season, less in the wet/cool seasons.
     
  20. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Spray Roundup on the entire lawn. It will kill everything. Once everything is brown and dead, till it up and replant as a fresh lawn. There are plenty of good articles on line regarding planting new lawns. I like good old Kentucky 31 or a similar fescue.