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Old 09-24-2008, 10:26 PM
 
50 posts, read 217,102 times
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I did a search and found a couple of helpful tips, but I have more questions than I found answers for. Here's the situation:

We live in NW San Antonio. The back yard slopes left to right, about 75' wide. The grass is totally gone, and the soil has washed down the hill so much that all the little rocks underneath are at the surface now. Our dogs come in and out via a doggy-door. Without grass, they of course bring in a lot of dust and dirt. All the dusting we have to do is driving us nuts.

Here are my questions:
1- The yard originally had St. Augustine (and that's what's in the front yard). It's a bit shady in the back, so I want to use St. Augustine again. Is it hard to lay it down? Does it come in squares that you just plop down next to one another?
2- How much soil does sod need underneath it? (Do I need to spread new soil?)
3- If I can't afford to fix the yard all at once, should I start with the part that's at the top of the slope, or the bottom of the slope?
4- I found the names of some places to buy soil and/or sod-- do any of y'all know a place where I can get both?

I hope I've thought of all the questions I need help with. Thanks in advance,

MH
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:11 AM
 
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I just did my back yard with st augastine and because I am in a new construction area I had a house building next to mine I went and got those guys to put the soil just the soil cost me $200 mine had washed away with all that rain I bought the st augustine from advance turf for $115.00 a pallet took about 5 pallets.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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How deep does the soil need to be before you put the sod on top? And did you put the squares of sod right next to each other, or did you make a checkerboard pattern?

Hope someone can help me figure this out! I need to do something about it within the next couple of weeks.

THANKS!
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:49 AM
 
4,290 posts, read 8,891,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MockingbirdHill View Post
How deep does the soil need to be before you put the sod on top? And did you put the squares of sod right next to each other, or did you make a checkerboard pattern?

Hope someone can help me figure this out! I need to do something about it within the next couple of weeks.

THANKS!
Check out the lawn forum on gardenweb Lawn Care Forum - GardenWeb lots of experts there.

I was told about 1 inch of soil (new seeding soil). Alternatively if you have good soil already, you just need to break it up a bit to loosen it. I had hard clay. I soaked the ground really well, raked fresh soil over it, soaked some more, then laid the sod.

I laid the sod right next to each other, with a few gaps where the pieces didn't fit and I didn't feel like cutting them, but it was a relatively small area. When we do the much bigger side yard, I'll probably do checkerboard, just to save some money.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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I had it up to 3 inches soil and we put the pattern was like laying bricks it is looking good let me know if you need any info on the guy who did the soil.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,399 posts, read 21,411,642 times
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MH

I had the same problem, sloping backyard with lots of shade and all of my Bermuda washed away during last summer's heavy rains. I went with St Augustine, had a company install it last fall. It does come in sod (the square patches) and to be honest, it is probably a better idea to let them install it as it can be a very time-consuming and back-breaking job for those who aren't used to that kind of work.

To prepare my yard, I was told to mow the remaining Bermuda down as far as I could. When I did that I had a dustbowl going, it was a mess! But they just laid the sod on top, rolled it, and we watered the snot out of it for a few weeks. Now we have a beautiful backyard and I love it!

One thing to note, St A requires a lot more water than Bermuda; but I will pay that bill happily as now I have grass that is shade and traffic tolerant. My two dogs still blaze a trail in it, but not nearly as bad as they did with the Bermuda. I still have that grass in the front, as I needed HOA approval to replace that and I wasn't bothered as it does better; but it still has spots in it where the St A is growing nicely!

Good luck, we paid ~$860 to do our entire backyard (six pallets, if I recall correctly), and that was installed; but I understand prices have gone up considerably (up to 50% higher) to include the company that we used. But for us, it was well worth it!

Cheers! M2
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:46 AM
 
Location: in my mind
2,745 posts, read 13,685,025 times
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What about a ground cover option?

I've always heard it recommended for sloping lawns. Asiatic jasmine maybe?

Just a thought from an anti-grass person.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:15 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,314 posts, read 2,942,252 times
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The City requires 4" of new topsoil in new home construction.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:27 PM
 
50 posts, read 217,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majormadmax View Post
MH

I had the same problem, sloping backyard with lots of shade and all of my Bermuda washed away during last summer's heavy rains. I went with St Augustine, had a company install it last fall. It does come in sod (the square patches) and to be honest, it is probably a better idea to let them install it as it can be a very time-consuming and back-breaking job for those who aren't used to that kind of work.

To prepare my yard, I was told to mow the remaining Bermuda down as far as I could. When I did that I had a dustbowl going, it was a mess! But they just laid the sod on top, rolled it, and we watered the snot out of it for a few weeks. Now we have a beautiful backyard and I love it!

One thing to note, St A requires a lot more water than Bermuda; but I will pay that bill happily as now I have grass that is shade and traffic tolerant. My two dogs still blaze a trail in it, but not nearly as bad as they did with the Bermuda. I still have that grass in the front, as I needed HOA approval to replace that and I wasn't bothered as it does better; but it still has spots in it where the St A is growing nicely!

Good luck, we paid ~$860 to do our entire backyard (six pallets, if I recall correctly), and that was installed; but I understand prices have gone up considerably (up to 50% higher) to include the company that we used. But for us, it was well worth it!

Cheers! M2
Dear Major2! Thanks for sharing your experience. I am truly hoping that I can get this done in the next two weeks. You didn't mention needing to replenish any lost soil due to erosion from the slope. Did you not need any more soil? Who did you get the grass sod from? And if you DID get more soil, who did you get it from?

I'm thinking of Milberger's for sod, and Gardenville or Fertile Gardens for soil. If you or anyone else has experience with one of them or another company and can recommend them, please let me know, OK?

Thanks again!!! I hope my story turns out as well as yours!

MB
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:59 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,399 posts, read 21,411,642 times
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MBH (do I have that right?)

We got ours from Harry Higgins, but unfortunately he passed away a few months ago and from what I understand, his company is still going but their prices have gone up considerably. We were lucky to get ours while it was still relatively cheap; but we were sad to hear that Harry passed away!

Despite the grass washing away, we really didn't seem to have lost a lot of dirt so we just had the sod laid on top. They did come survey the yard prior and I guess if they felt we needed topsoil, they would have said so. The St A sod has take pretty well, I had a few spots where the dogs dug into it and I just bought some St A sod from WalMart and laid it in those places.

There's been a few grass threads on this forum, you may want to search a little for other people's experiences. Oh, and we are outside the city limits, so requirements for top soil wouldn't apply to us. But I know the builder here does put it down before they lay grass. I just wish they had asked us what we wanted when we bought the house, as I am a big fan of St A.

Best of luck to you, and I would recommend you do this soon as once the weather gets a little cooler, it is the best time to lay down new grass!

Cheers! M2
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