New lawn Problems

Hi All, our old lawn was always lovely and green but not very flat for mowing with a flymo. So we decided to have a new lawn laid.
The old soil was dug out to a depth of 8 inch and refilled with washed sand.
The lawn looks very pale, uneven in growth and some bald spots. in fact we could mow it for the first 2 months as there was no growth. It was laid about 3 months ago and after having the company back we are still watering regularly, feeding and now mowing every week.
I just wanted to know if anyone thinks the problems we are having are from the turf being laid on sand. Whenever we stop watering the lawn goes yellow and dried even though we had rain. Surely we cant be expected to water daily now its 3 months old.
I wish we had never had the work done or had someone that was happy to lay it on soil as the last lawn was pretty trouble free.
My other fear is that when summer comes round again the lawn will dry and die and the company will say its not their problem as its been layed a year.
We are in derbyshire U.K and as other know its been quite a wet summer anyway.
Thanks Gav
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gavj


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on 9/29/2009 7:39 AM (ET) gavj wrote the following:

The sand was mixed with the soil that was taken out? Humus was then added to the soil that was taken out? Treated soil was then refilled?

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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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It sound like someone stole your good expensive topsoil and replaced it with washed sand, probably the worst stuff there is to grow grass on. Tell me that is not what you really did! Who told you that this was a good idea?
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The topsoil was taken away and the same lorry dropped of the washed sand. There was no mixing it was pure sand that was used to fill up to the level where the turf was then laid.
Would it be worth us getting a report from a turf specialist?.
--
gavj


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If it were me the first thing I'd consider was how much you paid this imbecile and what the likelihood is that you could recover the money paid. Is it a real company or some fly by night shyster that is judgement proof? Considering what you say they did, I suspect it's the latter.
If you think you could collect on a judgement and you have small claims court available, I would strongly consider getting a turf pro to give you a written evaluation with the intention of then telling the company to either redo it correctly or else sue them. If you go that route it's time to start taking pictures, saving all documentation, relevant phone msgs, making sure someone who can be a witness is there if you meet with them again, etc.
Figuring out that they screwed you isn't hard. Just do some googling on "how to lay sod" or similar and you'll know. Have you asked whomever did this why they removed 8" of topsoil and replaced it with pure sand? Only rational reason I can think of is they had sand to get rid of and needed topsoil for another job.
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Its a local company that well recommended!!! that did the job, tota
cost was just short of 1300.
Thanks for the advice. I have contacted a couple of lawn specialists t try and get a report done and will get some photos as you said
-- gavj
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gavj;866024 Wrote: > Its a local company that well recommended!!! that did the job, total > cost was just short of 1300.

> try and get a report done and will get some photos as you said.
You could have easily remedied the contour problem by applying a top dressing or if far too low lift the areas where it is low & build up with top soil,if drainage was a problem which I suspect it was they should have mixed the sand with top soil in a 70/30 mix or even better put in a layer of stones top soil on top & then level off in preparation for laying turf! The price you paid doesn't seem to be excessive for supplying & laying turf (what was the size of the lawn replaced? Also was it a good quality turf ?)
Cheers
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Stevie S


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Steve - interesting that you got a bunch of North American "know-it-all" answers for a British question; turf "science" in the U.S. is woefully behind much of the rest of the world -- perhaps because it's driven by developer cost considerations, adherence to outmoded methods and homeowner/lawn care providers lack of information on better ways to do things..
Actually, the technique you described is similar to what is used in modern, high class and demanding turf settings such as sport stadia and racetracks. Singapore Racetrack, Hong Kong Sha Tin racetrack, a number of Australian venues -- plus stadia in New Orleans, Minneapolis and other locations use a sand layer beneath the root zone to provide better feel, drainage and level. This is done both with and without a mesh layer at the root zone. It's possible that you already have a better turf than any of the respondents, although it will probably require more precise care such as would be provided in a commercial setting.
I'm doing some testing with warm-weather turf grasses at the present time - once I'm satisfied I'll probably redo my entire turfed area in the same manner as you've described - the present results indicate I may want the rootzone mesh layer but that's not definite yet.
Regards -- JimR
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Yeah, this is a new one. Why on earth would you let anyone remove 8" of perfectly good topsoil just because it was bumpy? When you buy plants, shrubs, trees, etc in pots, how many of them did you ever see growing in just sand? If you were to grow a vegetable garden, would you plant the seeds in sand or a rich topsoil?
If the problem with the previous lawn was just that it was bumpy, there were simpler less costly ways to deal with it that actually work.
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Thanks everyone for your advice, I will get the company back and see if I can get this sorted.
Thanks Again.
--
gavj

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