2019 Lawn leveling Project

Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Centipede, Bahia, Paspalum, etc
Bowman
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by Bowman » May 14th, 2019, 7:36 pm

Spacklerstyle wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 9:25 am
Yes, you definitely must scalp (and bag) it as low as you can before applying the sand. Otherwise the leveling tools you use (leveling rake, drag screen; etc) won’t be effective in creating a level surface.

June/July is recommended b/c that is when the turf is growing the fastest and will come back sooner (I opted for a slower recovery in lieu of the heat and having to scalp the lawn back down again in the summer).

If you go that route, I would recommend taking the lawn height down gradually over a couple weeks. For example, depending on your HOC, you could cut (mulch) at 2”, then 3-4 days later mulch at 1.5”, then 3-4 days later mulch at 1-1.25”, etc until you reach your mowers lowest setting. Bag the clippings on the final scalp and be ready to lay sand the following day at the latest.

If it were me, I might wait a season or two to allow the turf grass to establish itself (following all the good guidance in forum - especially the soil remediation. Builders are notorious for taking all the good nutrient rich soul and leaving you with junk).

Good luck!
That's a good point about waiting for the grass to get established. Is there any hard data to suggest the optimal time to wait or does that depend on soil conditions?

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HoosierLawnGnome
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » May 14th, 2019, 8:19 pm

Basically you want to wait for the grass to be growing vigorously enough to push up through the sand and established enough that it can tolerate crown damage where it gets smothered. That isn't a time boxed thing per se, it's an overall condition.

Spacklerstyle
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by Spacklerstyle » May 14th, 2019, 8:21 pm

Bowman wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 7:36 pm

Is there any hard data to suggest the optimal time to wait or does that depend on soil conditions?
Not from me. Maybe someone with more experience could answer that.

I have heard that peat moss is good to use to fill in the seams/gaps between sod pieces... I’ve never tried it before but it seems like that would be less “abusive” to your new sod this year...

Spacklerstyle
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by Spacklerstyle » May 14th, 2019, 8:43 pm

Thanks dchall. (Yeah, Pieous is great).
Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 6:46 pm

Have you tried shampoo to soften and open up your soil? Apply from a hose end sprayer at 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. This is a setup to an organic gardening regimen.

There are people on this and other forums who use alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow) successfully every month or two on bermuda lawns.
No, but I have been reading about the BLSC + BLKH applications. I assume the BLSC is essentially the same thing, yes? Since I just applied 1/4” or so of sand, do you think I should wait on that at all or jump right in?

I am currently using Milo in an off-cycle rotation between my monthly synth fert aps (meaning Lesco 14-14-14 every month AND Milo at bag rate every month - 2 weeks in between). I’d love to ween off the synth eventually... but man, it sure does deliver a healthy punch of green goodness... :yahoo:

Bowman
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by Bowman » May 14th, 2019, 11:22 pm

HoosierLawnGnome wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 8:19 pm
Basically you want to wait for the grass to be growing vigorously enough to push up through the sand and established enough that it can tolerate crown damage where it gets smothered. That isn't a time boxed thing per se, it's an overall condition.
Understood. Thanks.
What are your thoughts on me leveling it this June considering that the sod was just laid in Nov 2018?


Spacklerstyle
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by Spacklerstyle » May 21st, 2019, 6:22 pm

This will be the last update I'll post until mid summer when things are in full swing. So, it has been two months and things are looking pretty good. Heavy rains from a few weeks ago did cause some sand to wash down a bit in a few areas. I did my best to fill those areas with a few bags of sand, but in sections where there is a heavy grade I can tell it will be a losing battle eventually. All in all I am pleased with the outcome so far. Most of the sand has filled in, with the exception of a few spots in the front that are more heavily shaded by the house. Since that area was also washed out a bit,I added some more sand to it recently as well. This will correct itself eventually. I have been mowing at the lowest setting on my Honda rotary (3/4") every 3 days so far. Unfortunately as you can tell from the areal photo I am not getting the super smooth cut I was hoping for, and it's scalping just a touch (not bad). That said mowing at 3/4" on a rotary mower was probably an unrealistic/ambitious objective. I am sure however that once I raise the deck a notch to 1.25" it will look very nice.

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HoosierLawnGnome
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » May 21st, 2019, 10:51 pm

Yeah a reel mower will make a big difference at that height. Looking good though! And sounds like the sod was rooted pretty well if laid in November. Sorry I missed that question.

Spacklerstyle
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by Spacklerstyle » May 21st, 2019, 10:55 pm

HoosierLawnGnome wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 10:51 pm
Yeah a reel mower will make a big difference at that height. Looking good though! And sounds like the sod was rooted pretty well if laid in November. Sorry I missed that question.
Thanks! Yeah I’ve got a reel mower on my wish list for sure! That was actually Bowman’s question. My lawn’s been sodded for 3+ years now.

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Dchall_San_Antonio
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Re: 2019 Lawn leveling Project

Post by Dchall_San_Antonio » June 17th, 2019, 5:24 pm

Now that you have the hang of it, find the new low spots and fill again to perfect the profile. Mowing at the lowest setting without scalping is an achievable goal.

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