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Grading & Seeding

September 1, 2020 @ 9:55 am by Josh Kaminski
Grading & Seeding

Turf Installation & Repair
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Turf in Central Illinois

There are not too many people in the world that prefer dead brown grass over lush and soft green turf. Every homeowner has the responsibility of taking care of their turf whether they uptake the challenge themselves or hire a trusted company. Mowing, fertilizer, weed control, and disease control are all aspects of caring for your turf. However, what if those practices are not enough to fix your turf? Below you will find helpful information about Central Illinois grass types, turf installation, and repair. 


Type of Grass

The most popular grass in the Mid-West and Central Illinois, is Kentucky Blue Grass. Bluegrass is a cool-season grass that grows well in the fall, winter and spring but will go dormant in the hot summer. This type of grass is a native species to North America. bluegrass normally is a sun loving grass type but can moderately put up with part shade. In central Illinois,  bluegrass is used for areas such as golf courses and sports fields, due to being able to rebound quickly from high traffic. High shaded areas will not do so well with Kentucky Bluegrass.  Our grass recommendation is a blend of Kentucky Blue Grass, Tall Fescue, and Perennial Rye Grass. This mixture of seed allows your turf to thrive in all weather and be more disease resistant. Fescue and Rye grass both do well under doughty conditions and help boost traffic tolerance, germination, and deep-green color.  


How to Install

Whether you have a new home that needs an established turf or have a lawn that has been overtaken by weeds, turf installation is very similar. The best time to consider seeding or sodding your lawn is in the fall or second best time in the spring. The first step is to prepare your existing yard and soil. Kill off all existing vegetation ( all weeds and old grass). Remove all dead clumps of vegetation, large soil clods, and rocks from the soil. Once your yard is clear of all debris, the next step is grading your soil. First you will want to make sure you have at least 2" of black dirt as a base. Many new homes in Central Illinois have clay turf foundations.  clay soil foundation can cause maintenance and growth to be more of a headache. By installing a layer of black soil, your turf has a great foundation to establish its roots in. After installing black dirt, your next step is grading.  When it comes to grading, you have two end goals. A Leveled Yard. No Water Issues. This step requires some time to make sure your yard is smooth and does not have major low spots. Low spots and improper grading usually results in pooling of water and in some extreme cases, water can flow towards your home's foundation. Once your soil is prepared (Debris Removed, Black Dirt, Grading) you are ready to install your turf. If you are installing sod, you will want to lower all edges so once the sod is installed, it will be flush with surfaces. Roll out all sod, starting next to a straight line like a driveway. Use a sharp knife to cut all excess off around home and landscaping. If you are seeding your lawn, this can be done by hand or with a lawn spreader. Our recommendation for quantity of grass seed is 10lbs of seed per 1,000 sqft. After your seed is spread, installing hydro-mulch-pellets or straw-mats are great options to help with establishing your turf. For steep sloping yards, use straw mats to help retain seed and eliminate wash-away. For sun areas, hydro-mulch-pellets help retain moisture so prevent burn out of your grass seed. Lastly, no matter if you installing sod or seed, you must water the same amount. Please see our watering article for more watering information!


Maintenance & Repair

Now that you have an established turf and your grass is growing consistently, you have one last task. Regular Maintenance. Over the years, from mowing and normal wear and tear, your lawn will be due for some regular maintenance and repair. The year after installing your turf, we highly recommend investing in your lawn with a fertilizer and weed program. Please see our fertilizer article for more information! In addition, upkeep of your lawn includes annual aeration and overseeding.  Aerating your lawn with a core aerator promotes vigorous root growth, helps alleviate the buildup of thatch, relieves soil compaction, allows your lawn to more oxygen, and retains 50% more water and fertilizer. Aeration shall be performed in the fall or the spring. After aerating the turf, when cores of turf have been pulled up, seed can reach the soil below. The turf  should be over-seeded at a rate of 4 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. with broadcast seed spreading equipment.  Overseeding is the introduction of new seed into your turf to help fill in thin areas. It improves the turf’s health by thickening and preventing weeds to grow in thin areas. Greener color and increased disease resistance are also great benefits to overseeding. In some cases, overseeding is not enough to fill in bare spots. With areas of bare soil larger than one square foot we recommend taking a different approach. Patch seeding by loosening up the soil, adding dirt if needed, seeding, and installing hydro-mulch-pellets can be a much more efficient option.


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