reasonable plan, price for 3,000 sq ft?

I live in southern Pennsylvania. Grubs destroyed most of my back lawn, leaving about 3,000 sq ft in need of replacement. I got started on the restoration myself, removing the dead turf and killing the nasty varmints ... but the job is too big for me to finish.
A contractor is proposing to do the following:
-- till the (now bare) damaged areas -- grade -- dethatch/rake the surrounding balance of the back lawn -- seed the regraded section -- overseed the dethatched area -- return in spring to apply an early-season course of Merit to prevent a recurrence of the grubs.
Cost quoted for all of the above is $600, and he'd do it next week. He says there's no need to wait for spring, plenty of good grass-growing weather this fall.
Is this a 1) a reasonable plan, and 2) a reasonable cost?
I've had no luck in getting additional contractors to quote on the job ... they're all too busy.
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jerry wrote:

I am a bit further north than you and the prime seeding season is past, and I see they are predicting temps in the 60's for the next week but your night temps are in the 30's and 40's, I'd say you are cutting it real close. You will probably have to reseed in the spring because the turf won't have a good chance to establish. Unless your ground freezes in your area within the next month, you may have a chance. All in all, I wouldn't flush $600.00. I'd wait for spring.
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says
Should we assume you have already treated the area with diazinon - or are you against using chemicals ? I used it in southern NYS and it worked for me - but there are just a couple times a year when it works good.
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Yes, we've done two courses of contact pesticide (not diazinon, which is no longer available) -- one liquid, one granular.

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Unless you have an erosion control issue, I'd wait until spring. If you have to do it now, there is a significant chance you will need to overseed again in the spring. The prime time to have done this was a month ago. You need temps above 50 for the grass to germinate and grow. If you're lucky and the weather holds up for awhile, you might make it, but I don't think it's worth taking the chance. Another issue is what type of grass you intend to use. Rye grass germinates the fastest in about 5 days, fescue next at about 8 days, blue grass can take 2-3 weeks and that's just to start growing.
I wouldn't bother removing dead turf and tilling the damaged areas either. This only needs to be done if your going to add soil ammendments like more topsoil or humus and in that case, the whole area should be done. Otherwise it's a lot of work for little benefit. I would just mow it short, rake any large amounts of debris and use a slice seeder and overseed the whole lawn. The remaining dead grass in those areas provides an excellent mulch material to help get the new grass going.
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$600 is dirt cheap fo 3000 sg ft (punny). Just be sure he'll come back in the spring since it will likely need a touch up.
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Thanks, all, for your thoughts. The contractor has now included a spring overseeding in the plan, and we're moving ahead.

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Just make sure you get it in writing. Cheers and good luck.
Write us in April and tell us how it went. May be a learning experience for all.
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Just make sure you get it in writing. Cheers and good luck.
Write us in April and tell us how it went. May be a learning experience for all.
Yard and Garden Handyman Services
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