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Lawn Blog
Posted September 19, 2005 at 10:47:00 AM by Bean
I used to have the nicest lawn in the neighborhood.

My front yard was immaculate. I watered it pretty much every day, pulled weeds weekly, fertilized, and put down weed preventer when needed. It was green and lush - my pride and joy. This was no small feat, due mainly to the fact that my front yard is basically sod sitting on top of rocks and clay. Yep, thats right, my builder didn't lay topsoil under the sod. In fact, the day after the sod went in, I was perusing the lawn and fixing places where the sod was uneven and found several interesting items under the sod. I swear that I found the following items above the rock/clay base and under the sod that day: A whole brick, a chunk of concrete as big as a football, many many large rocks (baseball size), a white t-shirt, and a mexican worker. Okay, no mexican worker, but the rest was there. It's like they didn't even rake the dirt before the laid the sod.

Anyway, cue the Honeymoon. We were gone for 2 week. When I came back, my entire front yard was dead as dirt. Hell, it was deader than dirt, what with the not having any dirt under it and all. The only green patches left were either large crabgrass plants or small sections directly under shrubs.

I've been watering it regularly since we got back, and there is some growth returning, but very slowly. I figure the problem isn't that I'm not watering, weeding, or fertilizing enough, it's th efact that there's no friggin dirt under the sod - nothing in which to root solidly. So how do I resolve this problem?

Well, I remember a guy I used to work with (named Burt Love) who once told me that he added topsoil to his yard every year by just dumping it on top. He said he opens a bag, dumps it out, and rakes it evenly over a small area. The established grass will poke through well enough, and new grass may have a little more fertile dirt to work with. So yesterday, I bought ten 40 pound sacks of organic topsoid and raked it over some of the more barren areas. It looks like shit right now, but I'm hoping it will help in the long run. I also overseeded a few times.

Anybody else have any suggestions?
corbin (September 19, 2005 at 01:09:03 PM):
start saving your poop and your cat poop, and put it in with the topsoil
bigD (September 19, 2005 at 02:48:38 PM):
don't do what ss said

you could try renting an aerator and aerating it. That might go down far enough to dig up some of the business underneath the sod and allow your topsoil to get down farther. That'll let your grass roots down farther.

All in all, I think you're effed in the ace.
bartow (September 19, 2005 at 03:58:01 PM):
my builder did the same shit. the sod in the front has pulled through okay, but the back still looks like shite. i didn't even realize they had seeded the back since it still looked like a gravel pit. one day it rained and i found some tiny blades poking out of the rubble. i raked the back and filled two large trash cans with bricks and rocks and cans and large pieces of metal. fuckin fuckers.
jctmh (September 19, 2005 at 08:08:31 PM):
Our builders waited to sod a strip next to the driveway until the middle of the 100deg drought. It died. They replaced the sod the thursday before labor day. We went to Cbus, no water for 4 days, it died. 2 weekends ago, I put down 3 bags of topsoil, overseeded and fertilized, watered twice a day and now we got grass.
celeb (September 19, 2005 at 09:00:22 PM):
i rented an aerator once. that birch weighted close to 250 pounds and i had to load and unload it myself from the back of the pickup truck. gravity helped with the unload, but picking that birch up and putting it in the bed of the truck when i was done = suxors
Bean (October 03, 2005 at 12:37:00 PM):
For the record:
I have now added 24 40# bags of topsoil to my yard and it is workign out great. Plenty of new grass coming up and the lawn looks a whole lot greener.
Burt Love (June 30, 2006 at 09:18:43 AM):
What up Ben? I am glad the topsoil thing finally kicked in ... on top of that get ya some gypsum... alot of the new edition...strip the good top soil to sell and leave the more hard compact soil and clay.. the gypsum should help take outthe acidity and break it down eventually... aerating is good too...but the gypsum will help...i put close to 10 bags from spring to fall... use triple ten so i can keep it fed more...whenit is cool i hit with higher nitrogen..keep your gras at 3-3.5 inches..better drought resistance...and put some grub control down...keep them moles out..
Later Bean
bean (July 06, 2006 at 01:00:30 PM):
Thanks for teh advice, Burt. Long time no see!
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