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Old 07-02-2019, 03:25 PM   #1
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Excavated land, bare dirt, mountain lot - start vegetation - order?


I have a mountain lot in Wyoming (approx elevation 6500 ft, zone 5). Earlier this year the lot was excavated to get approx 0.5 acre leveled on a hillside.
After the excavation, soil was NOT compacted (no issues if driving a car, but compaction is required to support any construction).

As of now, there is no vegetation on the excavated part. To prevent erosion, I want to to start vegetation asap.

I did soil test. The soil a combination of sand, claim, and loam. Fertilizer recommendation (per acre): nitrogen 130 lbs, phosphorus 80 lbs, potassium 0, sulfur 60lbs, lime 0.

What would be the proper order of next activities?

1. Till dirt (deeply)
2. Roll to level dirt (some cosmetic leveling is required)
3. Spread fertilizer
4. Plant grass seeds
5. Rake? Till at lower deep?
6. Install erosion / germination straw blankets (do I need them, considering winds / rains?)
7. Install sprinklers

Anything wrong on this list? Anything missing?
Can this be completed in one session or do I need to wait, for example a week between spreading fertilizer and next step?
Can I do that now, I have to wait until fall?

Thank you!
J.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: Excavated land, bare dirt, mountain lot - start vegetation - order?


One thing about the Rocky Mountains is that it is an apt name. I live up in Kremmling (between Silverthorne and Steamboart) and I re-did the back yard last year. I discovered that if you remove one rock, 4 more appear to take it's place.

I would suggest you start with the deep tilling with dirt screening to remove as many large rocks as you can. This will also loosen the soil even more. Now would also be a good time to add peat moss and other soil amendments.

Do a rough level and a shallow till to mix in the fertilizer in the top 5-6 inches.
This will help promote root growth. If you have a roller, do it now and a light rake to bring it back to rough level.

If you are going to add an irrigation system this would be a good time to do it as well as any other mechanical or other things that would disturb the layout of the soil. Consider adding a sensor to test if the soil needs water as well as a rain sensor for the irrigation sensor.

Do a final grade and then put down the lawn seed with a light rake and a final pass of the roller. Put down something to help keep the seed and moisture in place that will also benefit the soil as it decomposes.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:45 PM   #3
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Re: Excavated land, bare dirt, mountain lot - start vegetation - order?


Yeah... a bit of rock here too K'town.

But the amount of rock varies wildly... from semi-tractor size boulders to almost none a 1/4 mile away.

_________________________________________

Jack,

Where we live some folks in the neighborhood built on a lot and followed the recipe you have. Now they mow their lawn once a week and water it like every 3 days.

I've lived here 4 years and never have mowed mine, never water it. Can't, no water rights.

Ours is all native fauna, mostly scrub and cactus...

Their's is Kentucky bluegrass and other stuff that doesn't belong here.

It depends on what you are after. At the place we owned on the front range, not in the mountains, we planted a native prairie grass mix that was drought resistant. It looked green in the spring, looked brown pretty much the rest of the year and never looked like a manicured lawn. That's what we were after.
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Last edited by HenryMac; 07-02-2019 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: Excavated land, bare dirt, mountain lot - start vegetation - order?


Check with the U.W Agricultural Extension office in the County that your property is in.

They have all the information that you ask ( and more).

I believe that there is one in all 23 counties.

There is a slogan here, " Welcome to Wyoming, please set your clocks back 100 years."




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Old 07-03-2019, 10:59 AM   #5
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Re: Excavated land, bare dirt, mountain lot - start vegetation - order?


Jack zzz, I'm curious to see what you do with your place! Maybe treat us to some pictures?

I second @de-nagorg 's suggestion. There may also be people at a "Land Grant" University, who will be knowledgeable, too.

Here's a link to a map. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land-g...lleges_Map.svg

Don't do like I did with my place and boldly go forth into the fog . . . .
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: Excavated land, bare dirt, mountain lot - start vegetation - order?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ktownskier View Post
One thing about the Rocky Mountains is that it is an apt name. I live up in Kremmling (between Silverthorne and Steamboart) and I re-did the back yard last year. I discovered that if you remove one rock, 4 more appear to take it's place.
Hmm. Your place sounds a lot like Upland, California, which comes from an Indian word meaning "ground filled with rocks." I helped a friend "remove rocks" from his place, and we ended up with a giant pile of them, and we kept finding more.

I'd read that there was a legend that the rocks had this sort of society underground, where they got married and had more baby rocks. I started to actually believe that after a while.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:14 PM   #7
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Re: Excavated land, bare dirt, mountain lot - start vegetation - order?


You do not have time to get deep rooted trees and shrubs in place to prevent erosion. You can use straw bales (left intact) to slow the water flow at the top of the cut but long term if I was building a house in this location I would have a trench dug and a 6" French drain installed that goes across the fall line of the slope and diverts the water before it hits you yard and house.

Much easier to do this now with a backhoe and a couple truck loads of gravel and the landscape cloth, perforated pipe, and pipe sleeve, then to do it after your house is built. This was not done at my house and I have spent over $50,000 on French drains and Allen block retaining walls as a result.

Trees and large shrubs stabilize the soil not by physical restraint with their roots but by virtue of the gallons of water they pump out of the ground. The wetter the soil becomes the more the particles are lubricated by the water and then you have mudslides. The highway engineers are clueless and continue to drive steel pipes into failing hillsides thinking that magically the pipes will find the water and remove it - which they never do.
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Last edited by Calson; 07-03-2019 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:34 PM   #8
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Re: Excavated land, bare dirt, mountain lot - start vegetation - order?


Quote:
I'd read that there was a legend that the rocks had this sort of society underground, where they got married and had more baby rocks. I started to actually believe that after a while

If you've ever plowed the same rocky ground each year you'd have no problem believing that!
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