HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

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HoosierLawnGnome
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HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » December 2nd, 2018, 7:33 pm

The playset in the backyard started rotting through so we had it taken down and the border and weed mat taken out.

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Then, we had a tree leaning over that was dying so we had it felled, and I put the kids to work cutting it up.

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Its roughly 1000 SF and 6 inches deep.

A secondary objective will be to level the slight swales that pool water.

Part of me wants to go over the top and make this a play surface for croquet, which we play a lot of.

Either way it will be all blueberry kbg.

Plan is to grow from seed, applying seed a week or so after greenup.

A tertiary objective is to fill in the areas along the creek with hostas or other vegetation that will grow under walnut trees ok.. We have a lot of mature walnut trees and the grass never makes it back there. I blame the root competition more than the jugalone.

So I have to source some blueberry seed, figure out the best soil to bring in, and when to do so without tearing up my yard too much.

I'll use tenacity and all the usual tricks.

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HoosierLawnGnome
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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » December 10th, 2018, 11:20 am

I'm trying to figure out the best mix of topsoil and sand to bring in. There's a few cubic yards of chainsaw shavings and leftover mulch in the indented area I plan to spread around the area before filling in. I'd like to get a good mix of topsoil and sand in there to improve drainage and be easier to level. It needs to support my triplex which is pretty heavy.

I know the organic matter will settle over time and it will need leveled again, but I would expect to do that with whatever mix gets brought in anyways.

Right now I'm wondering what ratio of sand to topsoil to do. I can order whatever mix I need from the vendor.

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andy10917
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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by andy10917 » December 10th, 2018, 2:47 pm

I'm not sure that's easy to answer - "topsoil" already contains a sand component, so figuring out how much additional sand works best is not a slam-dunk specific number. That said, it's best to target a TEC of more than 8 and less than 11 or so, since you seem to be focused on drainage. TEC's of less than 8 are sandy and lose nutrients easily, and those over 11-12 may not fit your desire for good drainage. In the end, it's your choice.

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HoosierLawnGnome
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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » December 11th, 2018, 11:01 am

Yes, drainage is a priority. This area has always pooled water, most obviously because it was a 6" deep rectangle in a swale in the yard, but also because my soil is a silty clay with weak OM.

I'm leaning towards making this a play surface for back yard games like croquet. I can do some leveling now, but with the amount of OM that will remain in the pit, settling will occur and I'll need to do more leveling. I suspect this would occur even with traditional soil brought in to a lesser extent.

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by nclawnguy » December 12th, 2018, 4:59 pm

Putting green


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HoosierLawnGnome
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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » December 16th, 2018, 7:30 am

nclawnguy wrote:
December 12th, 2018, 4:59 pm
Putting green
See that's kind of where I'm leaning, but more of a croquet surface. We played it a lot last summer. I'm reading up on surfaces.

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HoosierLawnGnome
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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » February 22nd, 2019, 7:45 pm

Bumping this. I need to figure out what soil to get in there.
Sandy loam top dressed with sand methinks.

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » March 27th, 2019, 10:38 pm

Over the last few weeks I've been hauling in dirt two yards at a time with my trailer and spreading it. Watering or letting it rain in between to settle it some. 8 yards in i have 1 or 2 loads left to go. I want it slightly higher than the surrounding soil as I expect more settling.

I had a hard time finding anyone selling dirt locally this early. I found a good option at Dammans on the south side. It's close and the soil is loose with lots of OM mixed in.

So in sure it will settle but it's a good option. This fall I can add more soil or level with sand.

My plan is to get seed down later next week. April 5 is the earliest. I wait for the risk of frost to be basically gone, so I use the average last frost date. We have had frost the last 2 nights.

This is why it needs filled in:
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This is why you have kids:
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8 yards of dirt and getting close:
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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » March 30th, 2019, 6:36 pm

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Here's the area I'm filling in. Got a nice rain to show the low spots. I haven't cut yet as my heads are still at the shop :x

I have some grub damages areas in the front I've been moving plugs to and will need to overseed.

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » March 30th, 2019, 8:28 pm

Freezing rain then 2 inches of snow. 😪
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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » April 4th, 2019, 12:26 pm

A warm week ahead with lots of rain.

At this point I'm comfortable getting seed down given the forecast and low probability of a hard frost.

However, the area is very muddy. You cannot step in areas without sinking down 6 inches in the mud. I'm concerned it will drown the seed and if I cannot roll it, the seed is likely to be washed out in the typical April showers.

So i need it to dry out enough to compact it some mechanically, level it, apply seed, and roll it.

Parts of it are firming up as it dries out but it's not there yet.

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » April 4th, 2019, 8:16 pm

Got seed down tonight before a light rain. Spread a little more topsoil, dropped a little starter fertilizer, then tossed out about 3 lbs of seed, half of which was 3 year old seed. Then we threw out a bale of peat moss and walked all over it. It had firmed up significantly from yesterday to where you could walk on most of it, but there were still soft spots. No way the lawn tractor could drive on it, or be able to in the next 2 weeks with all the rain in the forecast. I have enough seed for a complete reseed this fall if needed.

I need to blanket spray tenacity but ran out of time before rain. No worries it can be applied in the next 24 hrs.


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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » April 6th, 2019, 7:14 pm

Sprayed tenacity at the 4 oz per acre rate on seed beds yesterday.

Did some heavy taking of side yard mulch beds I'm converting back to turf as they got hit with some pre emergent a few days ago. Then I applied seed, top dressed with peat moss, watered in peat, and put a little milorganite on the area. Roped them off so the kids dont run through there.

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » April 15th, 2019, 2:37 pm

Coming up on 2 weeks and I dont have widespread germination in any of my seed beds. I think I see a few here and there but so far nothing to brag about.

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » April 15th, 2019, 8:53 pm

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The germination has begun!

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierDaddy » April 16th, 2019, 8:15 am

Green babies! :yahoo:

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » April 16th, 2019, 12:50 pm

HoosierDaddy wrote:
April 16th, 2019, 8:15 am
Green babies! :yahoo:
Thanks, I'm holding my breath on the low laying spots that have had standing water.....😬😬

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Re: HLG's spring 2019 play area renovation

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » April 17th, 2019, 8:47 pm

More germination. Things dried ou a little and it's taking off. I can see slight tennis ball fuzz in spots. Even some low laying areas are getting germination so I dont think it drowned it all, or washed ore emergent into it.

I swear no matter how many times you renovate you still get nervous.....

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Gratuitous picture of 3 bald eagles we had across the road from us yesterday.

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