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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being that we have 6 fur children having grass in the back yard has always been a problem. So after many years of having spotty areas of oddball grass here and there, we finally decided to make it right. (for the time beiing anyhow) I put up some chainlink fence around the back patio slab (18 x 30 foot) so now the fur babies are confined on this section. Ran the tiller over the entire yard, to level out all the holes they had dug, and break up the hard pan along their paths and along the perimiter fence line they used to run. Its amazing how a 8 to 15 pound dog can compress soil like they do, but they had that soil really compacted hard.

In the area directly adjacent to the rear slab I put down 150 yards of centipede sod, as it gets good sunlight sufficient to allow centipede to grow......and in the balance I lanted Georgia Tall Fescue and KY31 mix, as its predominately shadey for the most part. No sooner got the sod all down and the seed in (March 30th) and down come the rains. It was inevitable that it owuld rain, as it has rained every 30 MArch since 1978 as far as I know of, and my wife swears it has rained every 30th of March since the early 60's. Its her birthday, and it rained the day she was born (so she was told) and every 30th of march thereafter. I wished there wa a way I could find record of rainfall inthis area as I would love to have that in writing, but its fact.

Anyway I had to make a drag to level out after tilling, so I used 2 pieces of 10 ga expanded metal mesh 28" x 48" which I attached to a 2" pipe and cable that I drug behind the GX335. I also had to make a lawn roller, which I made out of rejected hot water heater tanks and treadmill frame steel tubing. It could stand to be a bit heavier but it did a good job. I get unused rejected water heater tanks for free, so I cut the endout of one and welded it into the bottom of another so both ends had a centered but convex end cap, just perfect to mount an axle and bearing onto. So now all I need to do is keep it watered and hope it all grows. I mixed in fertilizer in the soil when I tilled it up.

Now our fur babies set along side that chainlink fence on concrete looking lost and forlorn, as their digging days are over. Once the grass gets established, I will allow them to run around in the larger fenced area, but the majority of their time unless supervised and attended willbe on the back slab.........I just had all I could handle with all those ravines and canyons and trenches those little dachshunds would dig in a matter of minutes. It used to look like a bunch of ditch witches at work, all that dirt flying, and some of their holes were huge. Then they would also tunnel, and they had some tunnels started under the back slab..........

Already gave the rest of the grass on the place its 2nd cutting. !st cut was to eliminate the weeds that emerged, and the second cut later on to get things evened up, since it started to grow pretty fast with the temps we have been having. I'll probably cut it less or cut it higher than usual this year unless gas prices come down. $1.919 for reg gas is not going to cut it as far as cutting grass is concerned.
 

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Wow that sounds like a whole lot of work, but well worth it in the end. How much are you watering the sod right now?

:cheers:
 

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You gotta show us some pictures of the results. Can't wait to see. Sounds like it is going to be really nice. :thumbsup:
 

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Chief,

From Chipmaker's original post up top:

"I also had to make a lawn roller, which I made out of rejected hot water heater tanks and treadmill frame steel tubing. It could stand to be a bit heavier but it did a good job. I get unused rejected water heater tanks for free, so I cut the endout of one and welded it into the bottom of another so both ends had a centered but convex end cap, just perfect to mount an axle and bearing onto."

Greg
 

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Yea Greg i would like to see a picture of that.
Jody
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In town there is a major manufacturer of water heaters (gas and elect) and they always have rejects which they throw away. A lot of these tanks are in various stages of manufacture, so its possible to get one with the main body all welded up and for it to gete a dent on the edge, so its rejected. I use these wtarer heater tanks for furnace bodies in my foundry. Anyway I had two that had the tops which are made of 10 ga formed steel and are convex in basic shape partially welded in. The bottoms were still fully open, so I ground the weld joint off one top and removed it, and placed it inside the open bottom of the other. I shortened it from its original overall length of 48" to 38" as I was afraid it would span too many depressions and not have sufficient weight to push it all down to the same level, so I rduced the rollers overall footprint. On the w/h tops there are 4 holes inteneded for varous plumbing components. I welded in all the holes on the one end, and all but two on the opposite end. In those holes I installed pipe plugs. In the hole that was located center in these tops I just fit a piece of 3/4" shafting, that went through one end and out the other, and left a 3" stub extend out each end. I then made a frame up of 1" x 2" x 14 ga steel tubve salvaged from treadmill and varous other exercise equipment. I used a sq piece of tube which I made a bushing for to use as a bearing for the stub end of the 3/4" shaft and welded it to the frame. Used the same type tube to make a tongue. The roller got filled with water, and the plugs installed. The diameter is 15" of the roller. Its quite heavy, but not heavy enough so I added a bracket on top that holds 15# preformed weights that were originally from exercise equipment, and made of plastic filled with concrete. I guess its total weight as I used it was close to 500# It works great with that amount of weight, and those mole hills and raised areas they make are history with a single pass of the roller as well. I drug it behind the LG tractor on my first two cuttings and it did make a difference in the grass as it removed a alot of ruts and defects in the ground. Worked fine for making sure seeds got pushed in firm contact with soil and soil pressed down but not compacted. I just had a hard time spending what they wanted for a roller at HD etc, and it took less than an hour to throw this one together. I figure if I only get a few years out of it untilit rusts out, thats fine, but I hope to make one from scratch again and make it more substantial with a heavier gauge roller and ball bearings. Thinking of making a tandem or triple gang setup so it will conform to land contours better, than one long roller will. Say 3 24" long rollers ganged together like a series of mowers would be.

I guess you northerners are n the dark when it comes to centipede grass, as its a warm weather grass. It takes a bit to get it established, but once established, it grows into as thick dense carpet that will choke out most anay other grass or weed. It takes to droughts pretty good, and wet weather is not a problem. Traffic rating on it is moderate, but the best poart (for some anyhow) is the rate it grows and how tall it gets. 6" tall is real tall for centipede grass to get. Last year with all the rain we had, I had to cut the other grasses around the house every couple of days, but the centipede in the front yard only had to be cut every 2 weeks. You can get by without any fertilizer on this grass, but it will benefit with a light application of 15-0-15 fertilizer with 4% iron about every 3 years or so, or just throw out some iron mineral so it gets a dark green color, or else it will be a light green, which is alright as well. Centipede is about as low a maintenance but sturdy growing grass as you can find. It reproduces from stolons and also seeds, which are about the size of a grain of sugar, so you mix it with cornmeal to spread it evenly if your reseeding an area. It grows especially well in sand, and only requires 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. You can plug or strip this grass and get a good lawn also.

No pictures of roller as its not one of my better projects, and was really thrown together with expectations to just use it for the sod and ditch it, but it worked so fine I hope to make a better one now.

I was going to go with Bermuda, but that grass IMHO is too much work and too high of maintenance. Bahia was my next choice but its tough grass to cut especially if it gets high, and then you have those really tall seed heads all the time.
 
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