Growing St Augustine in red select fill dirt
Building a house in Tyler Texas. Due to the original lot slope the builder needed to cut-in 4' on one side and build up 4' on the other side to get a level pad surface. This required bringing in 129 loads of red select dirt.
Now about 50% of what will be turf area or shrub beds is red select while the remaining is pretty sandy soil. Cutting out the red select and bringing other fill dirt would be expense. Some "local experts" say I need to do that while other "local experts" say the grass will be healthy as long as the red select is tilled before the sod is put down. Don't want to fight with a poor lawn as my retirement project so I thought I'd reach out to the real experts for advise.
Smith County Texas
For starters, you may want to send a soil sample to the A&M lab and get an idea of what you will be working with. http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/
The EarthKind landscape recommendation which works well, is apply a 3" layer of compost, till it in to the native soil, level it off and install the sod. The compost will improve the soil structure and nutrient charge over time. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/
Thanks for the question.