Section 3         Seedbed Preparation

3.1 General

The specifications of Section 3 shall apply to the final physical preparation of soil at sites intended for turfgrass seeding. The specifications of Section 1 and Section 2 shall be completed before the final preparation of the seedbed (Section 3) shall be begun. All labor, equipment, and materials required for the completion of Section 3 shall be furnished by the seeding contractor, unless specified otherwise.

3.2 General Turfgrass Areas

3.2a General Turfgrass Areas Definition

General turfgrass areas are mowed at a height of 1.0 to 3.5 inches on a regular basis, and include home lawns, commercial sites, parks, and playgrounds. General turfgrass areas receive variable amounts of fertilizer and pest control as part of their routine maintenance.

3.2b General Turfgrass Areas Preparation

The soil of general turfgrass areas shall be tilled by disking, rototilling, or other approved method of tillage to a minimum average depth of 2.0 inches, and shall be leveled and raked to prepare a smooth and even seed bed, with a loose and open surface. Stones and other debris over 1.5 inches in diameter shall be removed from the soil surface, and a uniform grade shall be established, with so that no depressions or elevations greater than 2/10 of 1.0 foot (2.5 inches per foot) are present, and so that the safe and effective operation of mowing equipment shall not be hindered after the turfgrass is established.

3.3 Rough Turfgrass Areas

3.3a Rough Turfgrass Areas Definition

Rough turfgrass areas are used on an occasional basis for activities such as road shoulders, campgrounds, automobile parking, recreational areas, ball fields, play areas, picnic sites, and to preserve open space. Because the intensity of their use is low, rough turfgrass areas receive routine mowing, but the mowing may be performed at long intervals and at heights not common for general turfgrass areas (i.e., 3.5 to 6.0 inches or more). Fertilization and pest control is usually not a part of the routine maintenance of rough turfgrass areas.

3.3b Rough Turfgrass Areas Preparation

The soil of rough turfgrass areas shall be loosened to a minimum average depth of 2.0 inches in sites where the slope is shallower than 3:1. In sites where the slope is 3:1 or steeper, the soil shall be loosened to a depth of 0.5 to 1.0 inch. The soil shall be loosened with rototillers, disk harrows, chisel plows, rippers, bulldozers, or other soil preparation equipment which shall leave the soil with an irregular open surface. Bulldozers which are used to loosen the soil surface shall leave the surface with an open irregular surface, and with track ridges which run parallel to the slope of the site.

3.4 Seedbed Protection and Damage Repair

3.4a Seedbed Protection

It shall be the responsibility of the seeding contractor to install signs, flagging, etc. at the perimeter of the seedbed preparation site immediately after the completion of preparation operations, which shall serve to notify foot and vehicular traffic that a sensitive area may be damaged by their entry. The seeding contractor shall not be financially or otherwise held liable to repair a seedbed preparation site that is damaged by the entrance of such traffic when the site has been appropriately designated with signs, flagging, etc. at its perimeter (see Disclaimer, Section 3.7).

3.4b Erosion Protection and Damage Repair

.1. General. It shall be the responsibility of the seeding contractor to ensure that the soil of the seedbed which is prepared according to the specifications of Section 3 is not blown, washed, or otherwise removed from the site, and so that nearby streams and other areas shall be protected from soil, fertilizer, compost, etc.

.2. Repairs to seedbed preparation sites. In the event of heavy rain, wind, or other natural event that causes damage to the seedbed preparation site before seeding operations are begun which is of a kind or type that may have been anticipated or prevented by the seeding contractor, then the seeding contractor shall be obliged to make repairs limited to the damaged areas within the site, so that the seedbed preparation site is restored to a condition acceptable according to the specifications of Section 3, and which may be readily seeded according to the specifications of Section 6

.3. Repairs to nearby areas. In the event of heavy rain, etc. that causes damage to the seedbed preparation site, as described in Section 3.4b.2., above, and which also causes damage to nearby areas, as may be evidenced by soil deposition on the surfaces of the nearby areas, etc., then the seeding contractor shall be obliged to make repairs to the damaged nearby areas, so that the nearby areas shall be restored to a condition substantially similar to their condition before the damaging event.

.4. Special limitations. The seeding contractor shall not be obliged, financially or otherwise, to regrade or replace lost topsoil, or make any other repairs to the seedbed preparation site, or to any nearby areas, when there is evidence that the damage caused to the site was substantially due to water, soil, or other materials which passed into the seedbed preparation site from an area which was not stabilized or under the control or supervision of the seeding contractor. Examples of situations which shall void the responsibility of the seeding contractor to repair the seedbed preparation site and nearby areas shall include the failure of responsible parties to provide effective groundcover, spillways, drainage diversions, water settlements, silt fence, etc. for areas which drain into the site, which would have prevented significant damage to the seedbed preparation site and nearby areas.

3.5 Clean Up

Grading stakes, stones, trash, and other debris which may hinder the distribution of fertilizer, compost, seed, or seed mulch during seeding operations (Section 6) shall be removed from the seeding site when seedbed preparation operations are completed. Soil, fertilizer, and compost shall be removed from paved areas as soon as possible after seedbed tilling and grading operations are completed. Clean up operations shall be completed before acceptance is given.

3.6 Acceptance of Performance

Acknowledgment of acceptable performance shall be given by the owner, general contractor, landscape architect, or other person(s) authorized to inspect the seedbed preparation site upon the satisfactory completion of each Subsection of Section 3. The seedbed preparation site shall be inspected within 24 hours of the completion of each Subsection, as indicated by the seeding contractor, unless specified otherwise. The seeding contractor shall give notification when all Subsections of Section 3 have been completed; final acceptance and payment shall be made within 24 hours of such notification, or within the time period specified in the contract.

3.7 Disclaimer

3.7a Damage

The seeding contractor shall not be financially or otherwise held liable to repair damages incurred to the seedbed preparation site as a result of materials not applied under the supervision of the seeding contractor, nor by vandalism, nor by acts of God. The seeding contractor shall not be financially or otherwise held liable to repair or otherwise amend the site as a result of the use of topsoil, fertilizer, compost, or soil amendments which are labeled in error or which are otherwise not in accordance with the label or description provided with them by the manufacturer or distributor of the products, when they are applied by the seeding contractor in good faith, in accordance with their label or description.

3.7b Hazards

It shall be recognized that the seedbed preparation site is a construction zone not under the ownership or legal control of the seeding contractor, and as such may present hazards to persons or property which enter the site. The seeding contractor specifically disclaims any and all responsibility for the safety and security of persons or property which may enter the seedbed preparation site before the seeding contractor has begun work or when work is underway or at any time after work has been completed, and without regard to whether such entry is legal or otherwise. The seeding contractor shall assume no responsibility for personal injury or property damage, nor be subject to any claims of negligence, when the seeding contractor has performed work according to the specifications of MSA-GS-99, as mutually agreed, or has applied products or materials according to the recommendations of their manufacturer or distributor.

3.8 Guarantee

The seeding contractor shall guarantee that all materials and methods which are selected and used to prepare the seedbed site under the supervision of the seeding contractor shall be appropriate for the site and the intended use of the site, and shall be selected and used in accordance with the specifications of Section 3, unless specified otherwise.

3.9 Payment

The seeding contractor shall give notification upon the completion of Section 3; the seedbed preparation site shall be inspected within 24 hours of such notification, and payment shall be made at that time, or as specified in the contract. When payment is not received within the specified time period, the seeding contractor may void any guarantees related to Section 3, and may seek appropriate legal remedies.