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Keni
05-24-2003, 12:19 PM
I dont normally do lawns but I was hired to do several stone walls and the home owner made me a deal I cant refuse. So with this in mind my plans are to rototill the existing lawn as its patchy grass and dead areas. It was originaly sod and for some reason sections died. I will do soil tests etc... My question is after I rototill the yard should I rake out the Chunks of grass or can I leave them in the soil. I intend to topdress with about 1-2" of soil. Thanks!

PeteB.
05-24-2003, 03:04 PM
If you are going to rototill, then I would suggest raking the clumps with a York rake or by hand. You may not have to till up the lawn...you may be able to just topdress. Any photos of the lawn? Or maybe a little more description of the condition of it.

Keni
05-24-2003, 03:46 PM
Sorry I have no pictures of the lawn but the condition is patchy grass with large dead spots. I was concerned about just top dressing as the ground seems to be compacted and still having the roots and dead grass from the sod. I dont know if that would or would not be a problem?

Mike Bradbury
05-24-2003, 05:30 PM
rototill a lawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You will spend 5x longer getting it seeded. You have to rake out almost EVERY STINKING CLOD and the worst is that you'll think you have everything smooth and ready and you'll just drag lightly to smooth .............................and grab the corner of a big clod, pull it out and now you've got a hole that has to be filled.
Repeat AD NAUSEUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Never rototill existing turf...........................

Use a sod cutter to remove it first THEN till
OR
Use a power rake to rough it up, aerate, seed, power rake again to incorperate seed. Starter fert. Straw. BILL.

dylan
05-24-2003, 07:00 PM
http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=46686


check out this machine ... soil renovator


www.mge-dairon.com

dylan
05-24-2003, 07:02 PM
a

NCSULandscaper
05-25-2003, 12:54 AM
I rototill most of the yards i want to renovate. JUst go over it twice and you have no clumps. Never raked one out before and they turn out to be the best yards in the neighborhood. If you do happen to have clods or clumps of grass it doesnt take long for them to decompose or "melt" away with the rain.

fblandscape
05-25-2003, 01:12 AM
Can you take a harley rake to an existing lawn if you want to completely re-do it? I intend to renovate my entire lawn this coming fall. The whole turf is about 15M sq ft. I have a friend who will come over with his Kubota tractor with a harley rake on the back so I can level out the lawn and fill in a bunch of small holes. I will spray it down with round-up first.

Mike Bradbury
05-25-2003, 01:43 AM
Originally posted by NCSULandscaper
I rototill most of the yards i want to renovate. JUst go over it twice and you have no clumps. Never raked one out before and they turn out to be the best yards in the neighborhood. If you do happen to have clods or clumps of grass it doesnt take long for them to decompose or "melt" away with the rain.

I don't know what kind of turf you're working with,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, but that won't fly here. Go over it twice?? If you're busting sod you're going over it a LOT more than twice. You CAN'T get a smooth seed bed without raking out the clods and they don't melt away, they are clumps of GRASS and ROOTS, not dirt..........

Sean Adams
05-25-2003, 01:57 AM
Over the years we have tried just about every possible way of establishing new turf - both with sod and seed.

One of the nicest lawns we have we resodded. All we did (as an experiment at the time) was weedwack down the existing weedy turf to the dirt, scratch up what existed and lay the new sod. This was years ago and it still looks fantastic.

We have tilled yards (for different reasons) that turned out well, because the existing soil was good, and others we tilled that did not establish the way we expected.

We have power raked bare areas, added new soil, and reseeded, covering with penn mulch, etc...

What I have found over the years is that soil plays a large role in the success of your new turf establishment.

GarPA
05-25-2003, 06:09 AM
you can Roundup the whole area, bring in soil for the low spots, then slit seed in different directions. Just did this and it worked well...of course with this miserable weather the Roundup took forever to work

Keni
05-25-2003, 10:19 AM
Thanks to all who replied! Im going to look into the soil renovator but I probably cant afford one. WHat I think Ill do is scrape the existing sod off and then rototill add soil and seed. Thanks again to all for the good advice of experience!

Old Hippy
05-27-2003, 09:51 AM
Whoa Pardner... Before you tear up the lawn with a roto tiller consider this. Tillers bring up weed seed, the lawn will take longer to start and recover and you will be beat to **** and make no money on the job.

Here is what I do and it works....

Check for thatch problems or whatever is killing the lawn and fix that problem first!

Aerate the devil out of it with with a coring aerator. That will pull up soil and reduce the compation problem. Go ovedr the lawn an number of times maybe up to five times. The more the better as the cores you pull up have another purpose later. Try to get a hole in the ground every 3 inches.

Get a good lawn over seeder or verticut. Turfco and Lesco make lawn overseeders that will do what you need to do and are easy to operate. Set these guys so they are cutting 3/8 inch into the dirt. Go over the lawn twice with the overseeder to make sure you get plenty of coverage. The vertical cutting blades will break up the cores (did i tell you to let the cores dry? let them dry out before you verticut or over seed. If you use a veticut just broadcat the seed before you verticut.

The verticut or overseeder will spread the seed iinto the low spots and holes. While breaking up the cores to cover the seed and move the dirt to the low spots in the lawn.

After care is critical. Follow correct procedures or the whole thing could be a waste of time.

Oldhippy

NCSULandscaper
05-27-2003, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Mike Bradbury
I don't know what kind of turf you're working with,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, but that won't fly here. Go over it twice?? If you're busting sod you're going over it a LOT more than twice. You CAN'T get a smooth seed bed without raking out the clods and they don't melt away, they are clumps of GRASS and ROOTS, not dirt..........


If you saw these lawns there is more grass in the middle of a road than in these yards. We have made some lawns look like it had been sodded. All yards around here are tall fescue, and i use Confederate Blend tall fescue seed. If there is grass in the yard usually i keep core aerating and overseeding and it gets it lookin good as well.

JimLewis
05-31-2003, 07:39 PM
Ditto what Mike said! I can't believe how much time landscapers waste rototilling up existing sod. That's like the stupidest thing you could do! What an incredible waste of time! We ALWAYS use a sod cutter and remove the old sod, THEN till and/or amend the soil.