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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After living here for three years I had gotten the lawn halfway decent and then went and had irrigation installed. I left for a year for a school and needed a way to water the lawn while I was away (this is how I sold it to the wife at least ;)). Thank goodness for the Rachio which works great too! That was last year and now I decided to level the entire lawn to clean up from what was left after the installation. The front has been leveled a couple of times and was pretty good but the back was horrible. So I had ten yards (1.3 ton per yard :shock: ) of playground sand delivered yesterday and began the process. I had mowed and spread a good dose of N in preparation for the sand.

Before getting started I built a drag out of wood to help with the leveling. Initially it was just as pictured with a couple 2x4's and 4x4's that I could tow. I quickly learned that was insufficient and needed to be modified. I added a couple more 2x4's and some metal screen shelving to the bottom and a couple of stepping blocks on the top for weight. This worked well as long as the sand was dry; if the sand was wet, it just would build up on the sled/drag.

Also, I picked up a set of wheels from Home Depot with a 3/4" hub to try on my new (to me) JD greens mower. They worked perfectly, I used a couple of clevis style pins to hold them on. New wheels from JD are nearly $500 and used from ebay around $300. I paid less than $40 for these...WIN! :thumbup:

I started spreading the sand to fill in the spots where irrigation trenches were and other large holes throughout the yard. I also worked on the front again to smooth it even more. That was yesterday, spent 8 hours in the yard spreading sand and draging what I had spread. The second pic of the pile is what was left after the end of yesterday.

Today I spread the rest of the sand and pretty much covered the entire lawn (.5 acre). The grass on the front was just cut at .75 inches and the back was about 1.5 or so inches. One thing I wish I would have done was that I should have cut the back down a lot more. It was hard to spread the sand through the long grass.

Still need to drag the back again, probably tomorrow if the sand drys out and I can work it into the grass better. I plan to mow probably on Saturday or Sunday although I will likely not use the JD and will just use my rotary for the first couple of cuts until the grass grows through the sand in the front better.

Ill post some updates as the grass begins to grow through the rest of the sand. Its not as "beachy" as many others leveling projects but I think this will level the lawn well. My main concern for level and smooth is the front and I feel its there. I cant wait to use the JD on it in a couple of weeks and the grass has grown through the sand.

http://postimg.cc/gallery/qym5nkz2
 

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Looks great! I'm sure it hasn't been easy with all of the random rain storms we have gotten locally over the past week. Are you anywhere near Apex? You mind saying where you got the sand from? I've gotten quotes from American Mulch and Bradsher Farms in the past. I need to take the dive into leveling!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SGrabs - yeah I live in Raleigh, across the street from Umstead State Park. We had a great soaking rain last night and most of this morning. I think that helps settle the sand some. I got the sand from Triangle Landcsape Supplies. I only wanted 8 yrds but delivery was $80, and free with ten yards. At the time, it was a no brainer....After spreading ten yards, I was wishing I had paid for the delivery and saved myself the agony of the last two yards...

Seriously, do it. There's a ton of info on here and other sites that will set you up for success.
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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Looks great and in about a week it will be hard to tell you even did anything except there will be less bumps :D

I look forward to seeing your progress and how it all turned out!
 

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Ah, that's a really nice area. Most of the places I have contacted also have the 10 yard minimum for free delivery. How many square feet do you have? It looks like you have a nice big yard. Looking forward to the progression pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick question for those with a greens mower or those who know what I can do here:

The front is coming in and I need to mow this weekend, can I mow it with the greens mower even with sand still on the lawn? Its mostly grown through but there are still a few spots where the sand is thicker than than others and I just don't want to run the mower through the sand for fear of ruining it.

Thoughts?
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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atc4usmc said:
Quick question for those with a greens mower or those who know what I can do here:

The front is coming in and I need to mow this weekend, can I mow it with the greens mower even with sand still on the lawn? Its mostly grown through but there are still a few spots where the sand is thicker than than others and I just don't want to run the mower through the sand for fear of ruining it.

Thoughts?
You "can" mow the area with sand but it may dull your blades requiring you to backlap it but it won't destroy anything. The drum may actually help smooth it out some too. At your HOC, it will be very minimal at cutting into the sand unless you just have piles out there.
 

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What was your sand bill? Not that we're in the same market, just curious as to what people pay in different areas.

Within the next few weeks, I'm probably going to get 12 yards(that's a full dump truck, I think) for about $142 delivered. It's bank sand so it'll probably have a few clay balls in the pile, but nothing that's not easy to fish out and throw to the side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MQ- thanks yeah I only hit a little bit of sand. Not too bad. I believe I need to adjust the bed knife to reel a little as I had a few stolons (I believe that's what they are called) that didn't get cut. The mower would just run over them and not cut them.

Alan- I payed over $500 to have ten yards of playground sand delivered. $142 for 12 yards is a steal!!
 

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Alan said:
What was your sand bill? Not that we're in the same market, just curious as to what people pay in different areas.

Within the next few weeks, I'm probably going to get 12 yards(that's a full dump truck, I think) for about $142 delivered. It's bank sand so it'll probably have a few clay balls in the pile, but nothing that's not easy to fish out and throw to the side.
Hey alan, I've used "bank sand" before and I will never use that stuff for leveling a whole lawn. If ur bank sand is anything like the one they sell in my area, I wouldn't tackle an area larger than 1k sqft with it. The bank sand In my area is real heavy and had a lot of clay chunks. It's great for filling in holes and raising really low areas. If you haven't played with it much, I advise you do so first. Looking at it at first glance didn't turn me away from it since it was so much cheaper that mortar or "masonry" sand. I regretted it once I started spreading it around.

In my area, bank sand is about $12 a yard. Masonry is $35 a yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah I also went and looked at the plays and before I bought it. It was $42 a yard with free delivery on ten yards. They had a topsdress mix that they tried to sell me but it had large chunks of stuff in it. I am definitely glad I went with play sand.
 

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Ok...Thanks guys...I'll look into another supplier. I want something that's somewhat easy to spread, but my spreading depth will probably be thicker than most of you guys. I really want to change the grade(a bit) and fill in bumps at the same time. I'll call around and see what's available.
 

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Alan said:
Ok...Thanks guys...I'll look into another supplier. I want something that's somewhat easy to spread, but my spreading depth will probably be thicker than most of you guys. I really want to change the grade(a bit) and fill in bumps at the same time. I'll call around and see what's available.
In that case bank sand isn't a bad choice, BUT since it's much heavier and holds water longer, it will want to smother the Bermuda. Well, Won't kill the Bermuda but it will make it a lot harder to grow thru vs masonry sand. Problem with masonry sand is that it isn't as firm and you will have more washouts if you get heavy rains. Once Bermuda grows thru masonry (beach sand) it will hold it together, but until then, hope for no heavy rains. Hmm I wonder what ware has to say. I know he went real heavy with his last leveling.
For your needs I would probably let the Bermuda get taller and the level with beach or masonry sand.
 
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