Rototilling lawns

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Keni, May 24, 2003.

  1. Keni

    Keni LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    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!
     
  2. PeteB.

    PeteB. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    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.
     
  3. Keni

    Keni LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    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?
     
  4. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    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.
     
  5. dylan

    dylan Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 273

  6. dylan

    dylan Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 273

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  7. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    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.
     
  8. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    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.
     
  9. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    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..........
     
  10. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    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.
     

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