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RigglePLC
08-29-2012, 12:16 PM
With his Ok I placed a roll of sod on my neighbor's heavily crabgrass infested lawn. I wanted to see if it would take without soil preparation. Similar to my test a few months ago in my irrigated back yard--which did OK, but weakened due to shade.

The sod laid on the crabgrass looked OK for a few days, but area was not irrigated, and it soon looked wilted. I watered a bit every day, but it soon looked rather brown. I took a photo after pulling the sod back to reveal the yellowed and flattened crabgrass underneath. Began on Aug 24, and it had been about 4 days, in the photograph.
Temps of about 90 predicted in next two days.

Smallaxe
08-29-2012, 05:08 PM
You didn't really give it a fair chance... this would be one time that a close mowing would be beneficial and adequate watering is called for... there is some emerging white roots on the bottom side of the sod though ,,, isn't there???

Patriot Services
08-29-2012, 05:33 PM
This is why I would never do a layover sod job.
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xtreem3d
08-29-2012, 07:24 PM
This is why I would never do a layover sod job.
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I would hope nobody would

xtreem3d
08-29-2012, 07:29 PM
Riggle...your way more knowledgeable than me...what were you expecting?

i guess i feel there was probably air between sod and smashed crabgrass that it never had a chance...also the cragrass dying out (souring?) probably wouldn't help, i have seen guys here lay sod but not roll it for good soil contact only to have it die
Steve

Landscape Poet
08-29-2012, 08:17 PM
I would hope nobody would

Please do not not move to Florida then as their are smucks all over this state that will do a layover in a second if they think it will get them a dime if the customer agrees to it for a lower cost.

Patriot Services
08-29-2012, 08:32 PM
Please do not not move to Florida then as their are smucks all over this state that will do a layover in a second if they think it will get them a dime if the customer agrees to it for a lower cost.

Exactly the crap I charge appropriately to redo after Mr. 150 dollar a pallet guy finishes in April and its all dead by by June. I make more money easier fixing other people eff ups.:usflag:

Duekster
08-29-2012, 08:43 PM
WTF? Seriously?

Landscape Poet
08-29-2012, 09:11 PM
WTF? Seriously?

Yes, the craiglist bandits. The University of Central Florida is close by...all day every day each one of these future business leaders decided that if they can pay for a ad and get some sod jobs life is good. They will come to your lawn with a a Kombi system and till it up and then lightly rake it if you got "Good Money" and then you wonder why your lawn settled uneven after the installation.

There are all kinds here to say the least.

xtreem3d
08-29-2012, 09:18 PM
i am guessing the customer just doesn't know any better?

lawns Etc
08-29-2012, 09:36 PM
Its done ALOT here too. Some of the biggest do it they mow to the dirt or as close as they can and just put on top! I dont do that but they seem to have pretty good results doing it as I mow several that they have done.

Patriot Services
08-29-2012, 09:41 PM
i am guessing the customer just doesn't know any better?

They don't pay any better. These guys will also use the cooked leftovers from the sod dealer.:usflag:

Duekster
08-29-2012, 10:02 PM
Yes, the craiglist bandits. The University of Central Florida is close by...all day every day each one of these future business leaders decided that if they can pay for a ad and get some sod jobs life is good. They will come to your lawn with a a Kombi system and till it up and then lightly rake it if you got "Good Money" and then you wonder why your lawn settled uneven after the installation.

There are all kinds here to say the least.

The photos does not even show that effort.

Smallaxe
08-30-2012, 08:54 AM
The issue of the 'unsettled lawn' is a major reason to NOT till up old turf when putting down sod... not sure how the warm-season sods do, but up here, when you have mostly CG left in a lawn, it is no trouble to put the sod down on top of the dead groundup bodies of the CG or other weeds... of course the time to do it is the season when the high temperatures are consistantly in the 50s and lows are close to freezing...

before everyone goes on a rant, especially a warm-season grass people rant, let me say that this practice is not a normal practice, but there are circumstances that it make sense to do it and to be afraid of doing it is the sign of a novice... if indoubt ,aerate with multiple passes first, but many times , even that is an unnecessary expense... :)

RigglePLC
08-30-2012, 03:14 PM
In an earlier preliminary test bluegrass sod was laid over gly-treated grass, tilled up soil and untreated grass. Shady irrigated site. Sod did fairly well, but eventually weakened and today looks weak--probably due to the shade. Tacked down now after about 8 weeks.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=381243&page=2
However when this was repeated in August on a sunny non-irrigated site covered with heavy crabgrass...it wilted and then turned brown in the heat. I started to water it 2 minutes per day. It looks somewhat better.

The goal is to find what is the most feasable method to restore a poor quality lawn? Without spending a fortune. Clearly letting it dry out--is not the way to go.

Will gly followed by sod without prep work OK?

Will short cut followed by sod work OK?

Can it be reseeded in fall?

In spring?

Patriot Services
08-30-2012, 07:56 PM
The issue of the 'unsettled lawn' is a major reason to NOT till up old turf when putting ydown sod... not sure how the warm-season sods do, but up here, when you have mostly CG left in a lawn, it is no trouble to put the sod down on top of the dead groundup bodies of the CG or other weeds... of course the time to do it is the season when the high temperatures are consistantly in the 50s and lows are close to freezing...

before everyone goes on a rant, especially a warm-season grass people rant, let me say that this practice is not a normal practice, but there are circumstances that it make sense to do it and to be afraid of doing it is the sign of a novice... if indoubt ,aerate with multiple passes first, but many times , even that is an unnecessary expense... :)

By the time you punched 1000's of holes I make one pass with the cutter set shallow and angled. Fluffs up about an inch of soil. Rake off the debris and use the wide rakes to make it level. Rolling is also way underrated. I'm just really picky because sod is what all the neighbors see. Not the cheapest but I'm not lacking in sod jobs.
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Green Resistor
08-30-2012, 08:23 PM
One thing is certain, crabgrass can't tolerate shade. There is potential to make sod-over take, but more expertise is required, and time.

cgaengineer
08-30-2012, 09:23 PM
I've laid sod with nothing more than a power rake and it does fine (Bermuda). It's also great when you have a lawn that the grade is so close to no fall for drainage that any dips and bumps can cause puddling. This would not be my standard practice, but I've done it and the Bermuda is doing fine.

I've also used a Harley rake and a mini skid tiller. Did not like the tiller.
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xtreem3d
08-30-2012, 10:52 PM
harley rakes are awesome..too bad you need a 2nd mortgage to buy one :laugh:

Think Green
08-31-2012, 05:54 PM
I have trimmed down weedy lawns to a height of 1/2 inch and no more than 1 inch. The existing grasses were not dense..by no means, and then warm season sod laid on top. Fertilizers were applied before and lime. The warm season sod did fine with ample periodic watering. The plot was level to begin with, so don't get this mixed up with bumpy novice sodding practices. The sod will settle in and will flatten out in time but not to an extent of the existing grade.
Riggle, I am confused about what you are proving unless you are trying to prove success with mediocre cost involvements.
I have had numerous issues with cost factors from certain clients that want to skip the grading, complete kill, and soil prep steps to save money to the bottom line. Even after the sod is rolled in the outcome is somewhat iffy. In a pinch, if tilling, rolling, and other soil prep work isn't in the budget of the customer, then you can do the top sod method and have success.............don't know about sodded fescues and bluegrasses.
One year, a local supplier sold fes-blue sod and made a killing on locals.......but the reality wasn't very prosperous. Let's just say that he didn't hang around long and if he did, his credibility would be bolstered with ridicule.

Patriot Services
09-01-2012, 09:20 AM
The problem comes with the clumping grasses. You scalp them down but a clump still remains and the finished product looks like crap. Those clumps also inhibit the roots from getting to the soil.
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Smallaxe
09-01-2012, 10:20 AM
It seems there is plenty of testimonials from both South and North in regards to laying sod over the existing lawn... my concern would be too much living material rotting and causing disease problems so mowing it short or glyphosate it would be the goal sure thing to do...

Sounds like we have a winner... :)

RigglePLC
09-04-2012, 04:05 PM
New sod laid directly over crabgrass is looking slightly better. I was more careful about watering it every day for 3 minutes.
The crabgrass underneath the sod is dead and collapsed. Sod was laid on August 24, 2012, now 17 days afterwards. Weather was about 10 days dry and 85 degrees.

Patriot Services
09-04-2012, 04:32 PM
Put a few pieces down and see if the CG doesn't grow up between them.
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lawns Etc
09-04-2012, 04:43 PM
If you did it now the crab is in its final tiller in most cases in the northern or mid atlantic areas so it wont compete as much against the sod I have seen many a yard done this time of yr just thrown down over and it takes very well. I am sodding my personal lawn with bluegrass on Friday I sprayed everything with gly and mowed to the dirt I could probally lay right over but I'm going to powerrake it twice just before laying the sod.

Patriot Services
09-04-2012, 04:48 PM
Pray your pre em gets to the seeds already dropped next year before they germinate.
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lawns Etc
09-04-2012, 08:14 PM
In my personal lawn there was no cg
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RigglePLC
09-04-2012, 09:11 PM
Good question, Patriot,
Is the seed present now mature enough to germinate and grow...or...must it remain on the plant for a few more weeks to reach seed maturity?
Does short mowing reduce the amount of seed for next year...or...is this going to make only a tiny difference?

Smallaxe
09-05-2012, 09:24 AM
CG seed only germinates when it has a barespot of dirt and baking in the sun where nothing else is growing... the seed under the sod doesn't stand a chance unless the sod deteriorates of comes up between the cracks next Spring...
All those same seeds would be there, even if the ground was tilled...

Patriot Services
09-05-2012, 10:10 AM
Not around here CG will pop up in the healthiest of SA even with two rounds of pre em at 3 month spacing. My experience has been there will always be a small amount to control. 100% CG free is not possible. Spray, scalp, mow, smother, spray again and you still will have some to deal with. It's all about a tolerance level for the customer.
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Florida Gardener
09-05-2012, 02:00 PM
Not around here CG will pop up in the healthiest of SA even with two rounds of pre em at 3 month spacing. My experience has been there will always be a small amount to control. 100% CG free is not possible. Spray, scalp, mow, smother, spray again and you still will have some to deal with. It's all about a tolerance level for the customer.
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Totally agree. CG is a perennial weed here in a Florida. I now at right height and it will still show up. I agree, it's all about a tolerance level for the customer.
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Think Green
09-05-2012, 10:15 PM
Florida members,
With the amount of sandy soil conditions, it appears to me that Pre-M products will not stay in the soil anyway. If there is no clay or organic mater to bond to.....the product just washes down and out.l
What is your proven methods for sandy loam soils.?
I have quite a few that is sandy loam and have to switch from Pendimethalin to Prodiamine and then finally to Simazine after frost.
This kicks my butt as it is time consuming but gets the job done. We don't have the long season of growing you do in the tropic zone...............I guess this is a big factor for you guys.

Florida Gardener
09-05-2012, 11:03 PM
Florida members,
With the amount of sandy soil conditions, it appears to me that Pre-M products will not stay in the soil anyway. If there is no clay or organic mater to bond to.....the product just washes down and out.l
What is your proven methods for sandy loam soils.?
I have quite a few that is sandy loam and have to switch from Pendimethalin to Prodiamine and then finally to Simazine after frost.
This kicks my butt as it is time consuming but gets the job done. We don't have the long season of growing you do in the tropic zone...............I guess this is a big factor for you guys.

I'm not licensed to do lawn apps. But CG is a year round weed here. If we get a freeze, it will kill off what's there, but that is a big if. From GA north, you guys can pretty much count on CG to die in winter, not the same in Florida. In Florida, there are 3 certainties in life. Death, taxes, and year round Crabgrass.
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RigglePLC
09-11-2012, 04:21 PM
Here is the result so far, after 18 days. Sod was laid on top of crabgrass with no preparation whatsoever, in late August. Temps about 85, but trending downward, 78 today, 44 degrees last night. Weather was mostly dry so it turned brown, but since then I have been watering it with a hose a few minutes a day. Beginning to tack down. Looks slightly better.

RigglePLC
09-17-2012, 09:46 PM
With his OK, I laid a roll of sod on top of a heavily crabgrass-infested part of my neighbor's lawn, (not irrigated). By 24 days, September 17 the sod had killed the crabgrass and good grass underneath it. The sod had tacked down and settled in slightly. It turned brown at first, in the first three days--and then I began to water it for a few minutes every day. Then my neighbor hired some kid to mow it with a lawn tractor--and it was scalped due to the slope near the road. Recovering slowly.

Crabgrass is looking a bit brownish. Low temp last week was 44. Light rain tonight.
A single sprout of nutsedge has appeared in the sod. A few small grubs have appeared.

Smallaxe
09-18-2012, 07:09 AM
It's amazing how much abuse grass plants can take and still survive this time of year...

troyd1
09-20-2012, 07:45 PM
Hi Guys, Just wanted to share a trick I have used that has worked for me.
If I have an area of exclusive weeds I will put down one sheet of ordinary newspaper and a little growing medium on top of the paper.
Then I put my seed and a little dead grass, straw, whatever.
If you get your timing right your seed will fill in the area before the weeds can push through the paper. Paper stays moist a little longer than general soil also.
Here it is organics or nothing as chemicals are prohibited. Have had decent success with this method. Joined this site after years of lurking just to post this. All you Canadians better try it or I will be disappointed.

Smallaxe
09-20-2012, 08:16 PM
Hi Guys, Just wanted to share a trick I have used that has worked for me.
If I have an area of exclusive weeds I will put down one sheet of ordinary newspaper and a little growing medium on top of the paper.
Then I put my seed and a little dead grass, straw, whatever.
If you get your timing right your seed will fill in the area before the weeds can push through the paper. Paper stays moist a little longer than general soil also.
Here it is organics or nothing as chemicals are prohibited. Have had decent success with this method. Joined this site after years of lurking just to post this. All you Canadians better try it or I will be disappointed.

That is a good idea for a lot of annual weeds,,, however,,, perennial weeds simply use the mulch type covering to expand its root base and will definately out perform the young grass to a large extent...

There is no panacea for any type of weed control and it is necessary to understand what you are dealling with... in fact: this strategy can promote the sudden appearance of Canadian Thistle which is beyond control in one season... I experienced that back in the 70's(and several times since then), so be careful how you proceed... :)

troyd1
09-20-2012, 09:34 PM
In order for it to succeed you have to seed when weeds are all done. It is never perfect. But is has merit.

RigglePLC
09-21-2012, 08:02 PM
Interesting method, Troy! You are in a no chemical area. So you are saying cover a weedy area with a sheet of newspaper and add soil on top. How much soil?
Is the newspaper thick enough to block the light--(thereby killing the weeds) and yet thin enough to allow the grass roots to penetrate into the soil, and thin enough to decompose in a few months (permitting normal grass growth)?
Would this kill any good grass along with the weeds?

RigglePLC
09-25-2012, 05:08 PM
At 26 days. Sod laid on crabgrass with no preparation...looks fairly good, crabgrass is rather brown due to dryness and a 39 degree night temp in last few days. A few tiny weeds appeared in sod--probably from the sod farm.

Smallaxe
09-26-2012, 07:30 AM
They say that, 'Nature Abhors a Vacuum' so anytime a grass plant dies, in the sod, there seems to always be a weed seed ready to germinate and fill that spot...

What kind of weed was it that germinated this time of year... I know dandelions are actively germinating and getting ready for winter,,, but "What do you have there?" :)

RigglePLC
09-27-2012, 03:05 PM
The weed is probably Veronica filiformis--normally a spring or winter annual.

http://www.msuturfweeds.net/details/_/creeping_speedwell_2/

I seeded a nearby thin, burned out area with Pennington "Sun and Shade" which they call a "Premium grass seed mix..." which contains 64 percent perennial ryegrass. Half of it was raked three times and seeded, and the second area was not raked at all--but sowed with three times the usual amount of seed. I counted about 40 seeds per square inch. Neighbor does not sprinkle his lawn. Stay tuned.

RigglePLC
10-06-2012, 11:36 AM
Sod (bluegrass) was laid over mostly crabgrass with no preparation on August 24. It was not irrigated at first, turned brown, then I began to sprinkle every day. It has recovered and looks fairly good, tacked down, although it was scalped by a mower on each end. White plastic spoons mark the front corners of the sod for better visibility. A few veronica weeds have sprouted in the sod. Now cool; temp today is 44. Crabgrass is collapsing and lawn grass and a bit of tall fescue are recovering.

In lower photo, seed (Ace, high in perennial rye), was applied in 7 inch circles on top of crabgrass, with no soil preparation nor irrigation. The two circular areas on the right were sown with about 20 times the recommended amount of seed. The four circles to the left had about 4 times the proper amount of seed. The area is about 5 feet from the sod and about 20 feet from a bird feeder that is visited by many sparrows.

Patriot Services
10-06-2012, 12:32 PM
Sod (bluegrass) was laid over mostly crabgrass with no preparation on August 24. It was not irrigated at first, turned brown, then I began to sprinkle every day. It has recovered and looks fairly good, tacked down, although it was scalped by a mower on each end. White plastic spoons mark the front corners of the sod for better visibility. A few veronica weeds have sprouted in the sod. Now cool; temp today is 44. Crabgrass is collapsing and lawn grass and a bit of tall fescue are recovering.

In lower photo, seed (Ace, high in perennial rye), was applied in 7 inch circles on top of crabgrass, with no soil preparation nor irrigation. The two circular areas on the right were sown with about 20 times the recommended amount of seed. The four circles to the left had about 4 times the proper amount of seed. The area is about 5 feet from the sod and about 20 feet from a bird feeder that is visited by many sparrows.

This proves what I know about Rye grasses (all). It takes way more seed than label recommended to get good results.
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RigglePLC
10-19-2012, 01:48 PM
Sod was laid on top of crabgrass without any preparation. Weather has finally become cool and rainy. I raked a few leaves off the sod section. The corners were marked with white markers. It looks fine to me. A few veronica weeds appeared. Crabgrass surrounding the sod has collapsed and lawn grasses have begun to recover. It appears it is actually possible to lay sod directly over crabgrass, if sod is well watered. Not sure I would recommend it, though.

The second picture is a lawn in my neighborhood. New soil was hand seeded by the guy in spring. It got hot and dry for 12 weeks. He watered like crazy, but it was a big yard. Most of it died and crabgrass was heavy. He labored many hours to cut out the crab. In this front yard area, he cut out the crab and reseeded in stages in September. I think it looks really nice--at last. Backyard is still horrible.

RigglePLC
10-19-2012, 02:38 PM
duplicate--darn thing its had to tell if you have already submitted a post.

RigglePLC
10-24-2012, 08:48 PM
No prep, laid over crabgrass. Rain and cool recently in October.

Green Resistor
04-28-2013, 10:27 PM
Good result, Riggle. But in 63 days mostly fall, you didn't gain much over just burning it and seeding. It's always fun to experiment. I think you learned how to grow spoons.

RigglePLC
04-29-2013, 03:31 PM
Here is the sod on April 29th. It looks OK in my opinion. A few clumps of henbit have appeared in the sod. Sod was laid over heavy crabgrass last fall with no soil preparation at all. August 24, 2012. It got dry during a hot spell and was watered until weather cooled off in the fall and winter. Corners are marked with spoons, (which are doing fine.)

Bonus slides: violets and veronica in bloom--mid April. Separate low quality lawn about 300 feet away.

JohnnyRocker
02-19-2014, 09:45 PM
Cool experiment. I would like to see the results in my region for the same test in the early spring.