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Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn #4836888
08/10/18 10:08 PM
08/10/18 10:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,656
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
irv Offline OP
irv  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,656
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
My lawn is in dire need of some soil. When we moved in years ago I said there is hardly any soil on our front lawn but I have always managed to make do.
This summer with the extreme heat/drought and not being around much to water/maintain it, it finally caught up with me.

I would like to add an inch or 2, maybe more in the lower spots but I am confused what type of soil I should use?

I don't plan on resodding, just using a good quality seed but at the same time I am worried, if we get a heavy rain, that a lot of it will be washed away as my front lawn is sloped somewhat.

My guess is, just some good quality soil that I can roll lightly after it is seeded and then water the heck out of it and hope it sprouts sooner rather than later.

Currently my lawn, like I mentioned, is in rough shape so should I till/loosen that up first or just throw/spread the soil over top of what's there?

Also, if anyone can recommend a good hearty, heat/drought resistant seed, I'd appreciate that too.

Although I never measured the front lawn, I am guessing it is roughly 30-35' by 20-25'?

For the smart a**es, keep in mind, many states are north of me and my lawn isn't covered 24/7 in snow like some of might think. spank

Alaska* Maine* New Hampshire* South Dakota*
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Idaho* Minnesota* Ohio Washington*
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Last edited by irv; 08/10/18 10:10 PM.

2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum for all 3.
Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4836897
08/10/18 10:26 PM
08/10/18 10:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,733
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,733
...
Pennzoil Platinum.


2017 Mazda CX-5 GT.

Valvoline Modern Engine 0w20
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Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4836899
08/10/18 10:28 PM
08/10/18 10:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,106
Phoenix
dishdude Offline
dishdude  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,106
Phoenix
That lawn looks amazing. You should see mine. cry


2018 Challenger SRT
Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: dishdude] #4836904
08/10/18 10:36 PM
08/10/18 10:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,656
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
irv Offline OP
irv  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,656
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Originally Posted By: dishdude
That lawn looks amazing. You should see mine. cry



Thats an older pic, it looks nothing like that now, trust me. puke


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum for all 3.
Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4836906
08/10/18 10:38 PM
08/10/18 10:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline
sleddriver  Offline
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
What's wrong with that? Far worse down here in lousy soil & extreme heat.

First, you should aerate. Not with one of those machines either. They don't work well on lousy soil. You'll have to do it by hand using metric-equiv. of 1/2 or 5/8" PVC with a right angle fitting hooked up to a garden hose. This will make larger holes + water deeper than any surface-only irrigation. Space each hole about 2'. On a downslope, angle the PVC so that as water runs off, it's caught in the water-made hole.

Second, spread a suitable fertilizer for both your grass & latitude.

Third, top dress with 50% sand & 50% compost or something similar. You'll need a good amount. Rake it out even.

Fourth, water all of this in evenly. At least an inch of water. Maybe more.

Fifth, wait two weeks.

I do this here albeit much further South, in lousy soil. Never had to reseed nor resod in 30+ years. Point is to make an environment for your grass to thrive! It will fill in and grow letting you know you're on the right track.

Works for me......


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
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"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4836908
08/10/18 10:54 PM
08/10/18 10:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,180
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
JC1 Offline
JC1  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,180
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Irv,

Do you know how much soil you have before you hit clay? I've used triple mix, soil as well as sheep manure (from Canadian tire) over the years. I've aerated my lawn twice in 15 years and put seed down every 2-3 years. I usually only add 1 - 1 1/2 inches of soil at a time. I take it into the lawn and then water it for the first 2 weeks.

Some guys dethatch the lawn as well before adding more soil. I'm thinking if you add too much soil at once, it's going to be a mess.

The other key I find is to cut my grass with the highest setting on my lawn mower. The grass stays much greener. Cutting it too short up here when we get a few weeks without rain turns that lawn brown fast.


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
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Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4837027
08/11/18 07:17 AM
08/11/18 07:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 640
missouri
ragtoplvr Offline
ragtoplvr  Offline
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 640
missouri
if you mulch cut high, fertilize and if necessary lime, and have a good night crawler population, your grass will makes its own soil. You can get a plug aerator, and then rake sand the plug holes, and water. The removed plugs need composted to break them down into soil. Then you can broadcast that. I do not know what cool season grasses do well there. Here Bermuda is the choice. And Crabgrass does extra well, although many do not like the light green color.

Rod

Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4837053
08/11/18 07:52 AM
08/11/18 07:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,882
MTL, CANADA
Rolla07 Offline
Rolla07  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,882
MTL, CANADA
Id go with compost if not too expensive. I just dump the bags and rake it to being a half inch. I wouldnt go with an inch or two, otherwise you might get the issue of run off. I must say Ive been successful with top soil as well. Are you going to order a truckload I assume? Hopefully the quality is good. As for seed, I like C-I-L but have had luck with others as well. Compost breaks down into the earth and is good for it. If your lawn is in rough shape id just repeat the process of a 1/2 inch and seeding every spring and fall for a couple years to build it up.


2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967

Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: JC1] #4837057
08/11/18 07:56 AM
08/11/18 07:56 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,882
MTL, CANADA
Rolla07 Offline
Rolla07  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,882
MTL, CANADA
Originally Posted By: JC1
Irv,

Do you know how much soil you have before you hit clay? I've used triple mix, soil as well as sheep manure (from Canadian tire) over the years. I've aerated my lawn twice in 15 years and put seed down every 2-3 years. I usually only add 1 - 1 1/2 inches of soil at a time. I take it into the lawn and then water it for the first 2 weeks.

Some guys dethatch the lawn as well before adding more soil. I'm thinking if you add too much soil at once, it's going to be a mess.

The other key I find is to cut my grass with the highest setting on my lawn mower. The grass stays much greener. Cutting it too short up here when we get a few weeks without rain turns that lawn brown fast.


Excellent point on mower height, I do the same and my lawn did better than most in my city when we got extreme heat and drought this year. The longer blades of grass provide shade to each other from the sun. An aeration can also be a good place to start in fall, followed by compost and overseeding.


2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967

Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: JC1] #4837106
08/11/18 09:12 AM
08/11/18 09:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,656
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
irv Offline OP
irv  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,656
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Originally Posted By: JC1
Irv,

Do you know how much soil you have before you hit clay? I've used triple mix, soil as well as sheep manure (from Canadian tire) over the years. I've aerated my lawn twice in 15 years and put seed down every 2-3 years. I usually only add 1 - 1 1/2 inches of soil at a time. I take it into the lawn and then water it for the first 2 weeks.

Some guys dethatch the lawn as well before adding more soil. I'm thinking if you add too much soil at once, it's going to be a mess.

The other key I find is to cut my grass with the highest setting on my lawn mower. The grass stays much greener. Cutting it too short up here when we get a few weeks without rain turns that lawn brown fast.


JC1, unfortunately I do not. I guess I should do some digging to find out but if I had to guess, I have very little to no topsoil.

My front lawn, imo, consists of dirt and not much of anything else. Talking with my neighbors, the contractor cheaped out with topsoil when these houses were built so most have had more brought in over the years.

Also, imo, because of the lack of topsoil, I don't get much water retention and most just runs off or dries up way too quickly.

I have areated and with previous years, through a lot of work, I have been able to maintain a decent lawn. When we moved in, this lawn, both front and back were a nightmare filled with weeds, patchy grass, burnt areas, you name it. When our Liberal Gov'T banned weed and bug killer, that is when things started going south on me. Plus, with the purchase of our trailer and still working, the time I use to spend maintaining it definitely fell to the wayside.

I also believe I have chinch bugs and I know I have grubs as well. I just sprayed with some bug killer my neighbor allowed me to use so hopefully when I get those under control, I can start this lawn on its road to recovery.

As suggested, I'll likely just start bringing in a yard or 2 of topsoil/compost each spring and fall to only add a little bit at a time.
I also forgot about sheep manure. I have heard that works really well.

My back lawn, which gets a lot of shade and actually looks like it has topsoil, has done really well. I cut it 2-3 times more than I do my front lawn, and yes, I do have my mower raised pretty good.

Thanks for the tips so far guys. I guess I just have to decide what soil product would work best on this lawn then take it from there. I also need to find a more hearty, drought resistant seed that I know exists.

cheers


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum for all 3.
Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4837274
08/11/18 12:19 PM
08/11/18 12:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,095
British Columbia, Canada
ecotourist Offline
ecotourist  Offline
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,095
British Columbia, Canada
Have had exactly that done professionally in the last year. Here's what was done:

[*]de-thatched
[*]power aerated
[*]about an inch of best quality soil added as top dressing
[*]grass seed raked in
[*]rolled
[*]watered once or twice daily for at least 2 weeks
[*]no mowing until the grass was well up, whipper snipped only early on, later mowed with a freshly sharpened blade at a high setting

[/list]

That worked quite well.


2000 BMW 528i 5MT
2007 Honda Accord EX-L 4Door V6 6MT
Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4837290
08/11/18 12:44 PM
08/11/18 12:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,374
MI
doitmyself Offline
doitmyself  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,374
MI
Seek out the wisdom of local experts regarding seed choice, etc.: http://www.guelphturfgrass.ca/factsheets ...In our climate, I prefer a good blend of bluegrass,fescue,and rye species that are specific to your local conditions. Blends tend to be more resistant to disease, drought, etc. and require less input (fertilizer, etc.) vs. pure bluegrass.

This site from one of the premier turfgrass programs in the U.S. should also have suitable, similar climate advice: https://www.canr.msu.edu/home_lawns/



Re: Top soil, triple mix or something else for top dressing lawn [Re: irv] #4837349
08/11/18 01:50 PM
08/11/18 01:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,095
British Columbia, Canada
ecotourist Offline
ecotourist  Offline
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,095
British Columbia, Canada
If your lawn is 30' X 25', you have 750 sq ft to cover. To add 1 inch (1/12 = .0833') you'd need 750 X .0833 = 62.5 cu ft of topsoil. With 27 cu ft per cubic yard, you'd need (62.5/27 =) 2.3 yards of topsoil.


But an inch is probably too much (it might kill the grass you already have), so depending on how many hollows you have to fill, and how much topsoil you want to retain or use elsewhere, 1 or 2 yards (as you suggested originally) would be about right.


2000 BMW 528i 5MT
2007 Honda Accord EX-L 4Door V6 6MT

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