AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

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AZChemist
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Location: Gilbert, AZ
Grass Type: Tifgrand
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AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

Now that Ive regretfully waited to the warmest time of the year (110F), it is time to address my summer grass needs and wants.

First and foremost I am going to attempt flattening the lawn as much as possible. With current rolls and humps cutting at 0.5" is unsightly in some areas. To do so I have a Toro Dingo and a soil conditioner on reserve for rental this weekend. I tried to find a soil conditioner attachment for my skid steer but came up empty handed. Had to of called 2 dozen places and most had no idea what they were. My guess is they are not used often here in AZ because prep for grass or sod is fairly uncommon. Once flattened a 5x5 drag mat will go around and around the yard behind my gator.

To convolute the my leveling issues there are several areas of curbing that have been lifted due to old tree root growth and some sprinkler heads in the center of the yard that are a good 12" below grade from settling. More than likely when the irrigation was trench the center of the yard where the 2 heads are were used as junction points, thus more dirt was removed. Over time the back fill dirt sank a lot. Once I did it up again ill run my plate compactor over it.
There is also a sisso tree that is driving me crazy with its invasive roots. Last year it received a root timing via a chainsaw, and this year the bobcat ripped up any roots that were 2-3" from the soil. Absolutely hate these trees because of their affinity to water and shallow root system. Not exactly a great tree to have next to your lawn.

Also going in the back of my property are 7 Red Push Pistach trees. These trees thrive here during AZ summers with a dark green canopy. It should provide some much needed appeal in the years to come.

Lastly, SOD. I am torn between Tifway 419 and Tifgrand. My yard receives full sun and shaded areas are not an issue. If anyone can chime in and give their experiences with both it would be appreciated. With ~8.5K sqft to cover and seeing as this is a solo mission, I am thinking the SOD deliveries will be split up to 3 separate weekends. Nighttime temps will dry out pallets of grass in a matter of hours.


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Last edited by AZChemist on Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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AZChemist
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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation

Post by AZChemist »

Today was rough. With temps at 104 and standing on a Dingo all day getting blasted by a hot radiator my body is falling apart.

The dingo Power Rake did not work as well as I hoped. I Chopped that up to that my lawn still having all of its winter grass thatch and the ground here is near rock hard.
After pass and pass and pass maybe the highs are a little lower and the lows filled in slightly. My dreams of making the lawn 100% smooth did not come true. There are still some rolling hills. Once the sod is down maybe I’ll just bombard it with sand.

The Dingo did remove all of the thatch though. Subsequently I had to pile it up and now need to find a way to dispose of. Luckily my skid steer as A/C so it was not to bad.

Between a lot of back and forth from equipment and prying up roots I’m for the most part over it for today.

Just before dusk the dingo got a tool change and the soil conditioner was swapped out for a 24” post Auger. This thing works awesome! 5 holes in about 30 minutes!


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ENC_Lawn
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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation

Post by ENC_Lawn »

I have admired your lawn before the Reno and I know it will be awesome.

I think it a good idea to break up the SOD install...maybe even more than your talking about.

I laid 419 about a week in a half ago in 93 and above temperature and got it all down inside 24 hours and still had it dry out on me with irrigation. Luckily it was only a couple of spots and I have watered them back to life..but I had 3 family members helping me also.

I can't speak to owning anything other than 419 and Princess 77 and Arden 15...but Tifgrand is beautiful cultivar. I also saw TifTuf up close and its beautiful cultivar as well.

The only imput I have is as awesome as all these cultivars are (Tifgrand,TifTuf,Tifeagle...etc)....I keep coming back to how the ol 419 is hard to beat.

Either way I know your lawn will be awesome!

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AZChemist
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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation

Post by AZChemist »

Thanks for the kind words.
Tifway and Tifgreen and are in the running as well, but unsure if I’m splitting hairs. Drought tolerance is the biggest thing out here. The more I read the harder it is for me to make a decision.

I have more ground prep to do prior. One thing I’ve debated doing is aerating, cleaning up cores, then filling the holes with sand before laying the sod. Thought process behind it is the water has a place to go as do the roots. The hard soil has a tendency to pool water in the thatch and hard topsoil not allowing water penetrate deeply into the soil.
Anyone have any suggestions?

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

Saturday is only stacking up to be 110 so the day should be fun.

5 yards of masonry sand was delivered today and plan on using it to level some areas and to fill in the holes from tomorrows aerating. If all goes well and I can get the grade near the edges of curbing lowered Sod can be delivered next week. This is to prevent the lawn from being significantly higher than the curbing. Hoping the power rake will loosen the soil and thatch up enough to where a flat shovel will cut under it. My thoughts were to buy a manual sod cutter to make easy work of it, but at a couple hundred dollars it is easy to convince yourself it is a bad idea.

Prior to planting the sod some humic and gypsum will also be applied to better condition the soil.

It will be a day of in and out of the pool.
The area I want to get done is just shy of 2500 sqft. I am hoping I can lay this sod in 1 day with just me and my Gator.


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ENC_Lawn
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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by ENC_Lawn »

Looking forward to following this.

Did you ever decide on which SOD type you are going with?

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

Since I’m about 3 minutes away from a heat stroke now would be a good time to break. Removal of root after root took the majority of the morning. Unfortunately I had to cut out some massive roots, but I like the grass more than the tree. These roots have already claimed a few sprinkler heads and the main line a few years back. I love the maturity of it, but if I can force the roots to grow in the opposite direction by flooding on the back side I’ve decided it is going to come up and be replaced.
The curbing is dickered with cracks and breaks all over the section but managed to piece it back to the best of my ability. It for the most part is back to following the terrain as well. You can see how much the tree has swelled the area around the base. An easy 14” from the lawn.
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I’m now cutting the thatch out around the border with a trench shovel. This allows one side of my dethatcher to ride low and I further loosen and remove material close to the curbing. Any material I added back in was compacted with a plate Compactor to prevent it from sinking again quickly in the future.

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Leveling the middle sprinklers will be next.
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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

Area was backfilled and compacted, Edges lowered and leveled (hardest part), and aerated. Was worried If old red would start but the Honda GX never lets me down! Unless the jet is clogged. . . Being outside is extremely difficult dealing with the heat.

Next up is Rake the cores, fill holes with sand, then apply a app of Glyphosate. With just a little bit of water I had some bermuda pop back up. Shouldn’t hurt the sod in 6 days.

Tomorrow I’ll apply gypsum, humic, and begin to level with more sand. Way more work than I had anticipated and to think is only 25% of the yard.

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Last edited by AZChemist on Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by jayhawk »

I think this going to be epic. Following

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

A 14 hour day yielded some sand down and sun burnt legs. I have not screeded the low areas yet figuring it will be soft to walk in so the gypsum and humic needs to be put down first. I’m not entirely sure how a perfectly flat substrate will aid the lawn in being level after the sod is laid, but I’ll add some more sand come March.

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

ENC_Lawn wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:34 am
Did you ever decide on which SOD type you are going with?
TifGrand. 2500sqft show up on Friday night. It is all I am ready for.

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by jayhawk »

+tifgrand. Water needs between them, as you say, I'd agree its splitting hairs.

I like the color and semi dwarf look. Pictures fail to really show the true look.

ENC_Lawn
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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by ENC_Lawn »

@AZChemist Awesome choice on the Tifgrand.

I noticed your concrete borders are removable?

Were did purchase those from if you don't mind me asking?
Last edited by ENC_Lawn on Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

The curbing is actually poured in place and at one time was a solid concrete edge. The tree roots lifted the surrounding area and cause them to crack. I removed the broken areas to regrade the area then fanagled them back into place.

I’m not too big on the live edge (twists and turns) curbing. My mower and I would be much much happier with just a square lawn but moving all the heads now and doing curbing is just not in the books.

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

I believe to of been bamboozeled by the stone and rock yard. I had ordered masonry sand just as everyone recommended. Well what showed up was a lot courser than I had anticipated. This sand is more for cement and scratch of stucco which is what I can see being considered as “masonry” in Arizona. Not a whole lot of brick homes. 99% stucco.

Since this is just for leveling Beneath the grass and filling in aeration I don’t see it being a problem. Going forward for the other 6k sqft I have to do I will be actually going to the yard and looking at the sand prior to it showing up in my driveway.
If it was for top leveling this mound would be in the trash. Lesson learned. Inspect before you buy!

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

Threw down a bunch more sand, 2 buckets worth, and replaced the center sprinkler with an impact head to throw more water. There is roughly 3-4 tons of sand just to semi level this 2,300sqft area.

The center has close to 1-1.5” of sand to rid the dip that was previously there. Although some stubborn old grass keeps popping up that I am hoping will be smothered by the new grass.


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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

100lbs of Gypsum
50lbs of Humic
And 11.9lbs of fert once sod in down
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Last edited by AZChemist on Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by AZChemist »

At 7pm As I was throwing down the gypsum my phone rang and was told my turf would be delivered in 15 mins. Originally I was told it would more than likely be in the middle of the night but I’m not complaining.

Instead of waiting for daylight I begun laying it down. Equipped with a single lamp the lighting is very dim but the first pallet of 600sqft made it down. The temps at 10pm were still 100 degrees but at least there is no rays beating at me.

Overall the turf looks decent. Some sod pieces are torn up, but they will work great for the cuts. I’ll start again at 4 am for the remaining 1900sqft.

For those curious as well. Tifgrand in AZ is about $0.67 sqft. That seems to be about $0.20 more than the folks farther east. . .

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Last edited by AZChemist on Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by Tmank87 »

Loved following this. Cant wait to see it laid down, and beyond.

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Re: AZ Tiff Renovation - Tifgrand

Post by DIY Lawn Guy »

@AZChemist "Instead of waiting for daylight I begun laying it down. Equipped with a single lamp the lighting is very dim but the first pallet of 600sqft made it down. The temps at 10pm were still 100 degrees but at least there is no rays beating at me."

In the AZ heat, day or night, kudos to you Chemist for all the DIY of putting in the new lawn, very labor intensive and will be looking fantastic soon. :thumbup:
Last edited by DIY Lawn Guy on Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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