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superintendent
02-10-2012, 11:52 PM
I have a big lawn I'm giving and estimate for. The layout of the lawn is good but the grass needs to be taking out before the sod is laid down. I don't have a harley rake and can't find one to rent around here. I was going to spray the yard several times with round-up and then take a dethatcher to it several times and if there is alot of dead grass I was going to rake it up and haul off then lay the sod. Is this what yall would do or am I missing something. Thanks

Dr.NewEarth
02-11-2012, 01:50 AM
You don't have to remove the old grass. Cut it as low as it will go with a mower (scalp it) and top dress it with new soil and broadcast spread some starter fertilizer.

You can lay the new sod right over top. The old grass will decompose. We do this quite often.

It works well unless the new turf will be too high next to a driveway or sidewalk or some-thing. In which case, you can dig the edges lower next to the walkway and have the new turf taper downwards a bit.

You should remove perennial weeds before you do this.

Or, you can rent a harley rake and spray glyphosate

I like to work smarter, not harder.

Landrus2
02-11-2012, 12:02 PM
Is there a sprinkler system in place :waving:

superintendent
02-11-2012, 03:06 PM
Yes there is

Landrus2
02-12-2012, 12:40 AM
Yes there is

Make sure you mark all them before you run Harley rake

edensgate7
02-13-2012, 06:42 PM
Our Canadian friend's procedure is correct providing a few very critical details are not overlooked.

1: find out why the grass that is there is not doing well. There is no bigger mistake than laying 1000s of dollars in sod without doing your research first. Was the problem lack of water, too much heat, soil issues etc.? correct these problems before wasting alot of money getting in a hurry.

2: make sure you do a soil test first to make sure your pH and such is normal (pH of 6.7-7.3 is normal). Add any lacking amendments or nutriets according to the results of soil test. this step is cheap insurance that can help prevent problems with establishment/long term growth of the sod.
3: Make sure the soil under the existing grass is not compacted and there is less than 3/4 inch of thatch. otherwise, the sod will not root down well and will not have good contact with good soil. If thach is more than this, go ahead with your original procedure to get rid of the thatch problem and then proceed with fert and sod. if compacted, run over the dead scalped grass with a core areator at least three times (leaving the cores behind) to break up the compaction since you don't have a harley rake available. Either way, The existing soil needs to be disturbed in some way before you put anything new on top.

4: if you do choose to topdress the area after all other prep is done, DO NOT JUST BROADCAST A THIN LAYER(LESS THAN 6-8 IN) OF BLACK DIRT!!!! This creates a layer which the sod will love the first year or two but will never root down past it in future seasons. A quality long-term turf stand needs to have a UNIFORM LAYER of soil at least 6-8 inches deep in order to have an adequate soil profile to provide consistent deep rooting as well as moisture and nutrient avaiablity to the new sod. Any smaller layers will not force the roots to go downward and will leave short roots with limited nutirient and water uptake ability in future seasons.

Hope this helps and you can find more info at university extension offices (U of Kentucky, Michigan ST, Purdue, Ohio ST. Penn ST. etc.). All these have good turf programs with websites full of publications.

andyslawncare
02-13-2012, 10:43 PM
Find a bobcat service near you to prepare the soil for you. There is nothing worse than laying on top of dead grass. Have it prepared properly. If it is a small area, you might get by with scalping the lawn and removing debris, then tilling, rolling and raking out, but don't just lay the new sod on top of the dead stems without turning the soil and collecting as much debris as you can. Will it be the same species of grass or different? If I change species I spend more time preparing than if I'm just renewing. Also, have you taken a soil sample to be tested? Is the shade a problem, etc?? If the current grass is not doing well, there is a reason for it---be it cultural practices, lack of attention, shade, wash out and drainage issue, lack of water, or soil issues. Know what you are correcting before you attempt to correct it is the best advice I can offer.

Smallaxe
02-14-2012, 10:27 AM
Find a bobcat service near you to prepare the soil for you. There is nothing worse than laying on top of dead grass. Have it prepared properly. ...

Bobcats sure do a quick job, don't they? One of those babies will have that lawn as smooth as a parking lot in no time... as especially on heavier clay loams soils, just about as hard and compacted... :)

How many pounds/ square inch of pressure do you like to apply to the future root zone of the soil in your area, in order to consider it "prepared properly" ??

What I've learned from experience is that 10 years of pluggling and topdressing doesn't do anything for a lawn compacted in such a way. Water saturates the grass and evaporates from there. Some compacted lawns never allow water to perculate even in the Spring we find dry layers of dirt when planting shrubs etc.

My advice would be to go "upscale" and properly prepare the bed and charge for it. Maybe you think tillers are for suckers, but a properly prepared soils, are necessary for properly managed lawns in the future. :)

Leo the Landscaper
02-14-2012, 07:19 PM
I agree with Andy, do not lay sod on top of scalped dead grass. You will end up with one very shallow rooted turf. Remove the old lawn and make sure you are laying sod on soil and not scalped dead grass.

andyslawncare
02-15-2012, 07:19 PM
The guy that does my preparations uses a tracked machine to do the rough grade and harley rake. We then till the soil, roll and rake out. Have several hundred pallets behind me, and all of them have deep roots and as good of drainage as you can have in clay soils.

Smallaxe
02-16-2012, 06:45 AM
The guy that does my preparations uses a tracked machine to do the rough grade and harley rake. We then till the soil, roll and rake out. Have several hundred pallets behind me, and all of them have deep roots and as good of drainage as you can have in clay soils.

I agree... Tilling is necessary.
If the last activity on the soil is the skidster, in even moderately heavy soils, then it is a hack job.

A professional knows that tilth of the soil is the most important factor in root development..

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/213.html
"Special attention to soil management is the primary key to gardening success. While gardeners often focus their attention on insect and disease problems, 80% of all plant problems begin with soil conditions{emphasis mine} reducing the plantís vigor.

The term soil tilth refers to the soilís general suitability to support plant growth, or more specifically to support root growth. Tilth is technically defined as the physical condition of soil as related to its ease of tillage, fitness of seedbed, and impedance to seedling emergence and root penetration..."

rob7233
02-16-2012, 05:45 PM
I agree with Andy, do not lay sod on top of scalped dead grass. You will end up with one very shallow rooted turf. Remove the old lawn and make sure you are laying sod on soil and not scalped dead grass.

That scalped dead grass that's soon to be buried under new sod will continue to decompose. That microbial process of breakdown/decomposition is fueled by what ____? And where does that ___ come from? Sod Layovers are not the best practice.

Yes, I also agree with a previous poster in finding the original source of sod/lawn failure and making sure that's corrected before wasting more money.

Bunton Guy
03-10-2012, 09:38 PM
Does the fresh new sod need to have a roller go over it to ensure the seams are compacted well? And that the sod has a good relationship with the soil below

FLCthes4:11-12
03-11-2012, 11:05 AM
First find out why the old turf isnt doing well. Correct that issue whatever it is. If it is possible I like to sodcut the old turf out. This will leave it smooth and most of the time ready ready to lay the new sod on top. If it is hard compacted then rototilling will be necessary. But if it is a large area get a dingo with a harley rake or skid steer harley rake. Either way you are going to create some debris that you are going to have to take care of.. and another thing if you lay new sod on top of old you are chaning the grade some (shouldnt be much) but could be an issue depending on your site.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
03-11-2012, 11:22 AM
I have a big lawn I'm giving and estimate for. The layout of the lawn is good but the grass needs to be taking out before the sod is laid down. I don't have a harley rake and can't find one to rent around here. I was going to spray the yard several times with round-up and then take a dethatcher to it several times and if there is alot of dead grass I was going to rake it up and haul off then lay the sod. Is this what yall would do or am I missing something. Thanks

Wow think you over your head on this estimate
Dont cut corners that bad for business