sodding over existing lawn

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jg2twisted, May 8, 2003.

  1. jg2twisted

    jg2twisted LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I have a customer that wants a new lawn. old lawn is clumpy and bare in places. can i cut it as low as possible spray the entire area with round up cover all with 2-3 inches of topsoil roll and level then lay sod or hydroseed? or will this not work? hate to have to till it or cut up whats there. oh the area to be done is about 6000 ft
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Why don't you just till it? Much more feasible and cost effective.
     
  3. Tomt

    Tomt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 212

    If the soil is hard, tilling would be most effective. If soil is not you could use your other method. I would agree that tilling shallow would probably be the most time/cost effective.
    Yesterday I sodded a lawn, 3600sq ft., and I only raked it because about 2 years ago another company tilled and sodded and now there is nothing but dirt, but it is nice loose dirt.
    Help the customer keep the grass growing. It seems that many around here sod and leave it up to the customer to care for, not us. We help the educate the customer how to keep the grass growing.
    LOL
    :D
     
  4. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 393

    No you shouldnt do what your proposing to do for several reasons. What your proposing to do would create a condition called soil layering and although you could do it and the sod would live a while chances are it would fail within a few years.

    First off, dumping three inches of soil over 6,000 square feet is going to take A LOT of soil. Doing this would also change the pitch and slope of the grade creating possible drainage issues. If there are shallow rooted trees and shrubs you could sufficate the root systems by putting an additional layer of soil on top.

    Secondly, it doesnt solve the problem that killed out the original lawn. Was it compaction, thatch, insects or disease, poor soil chemistry that created the problem? Without resolving whatever the issue its likely in time it will only show up in the new lawn shortly thereafter. For example if its compaction, then your new sod will grow a root system about three inches deep then stop growing because it doesnt like the hard soil profile.

    Lastly, that mat of dead material you bury in your lawn will slowly need to decompose. As it does this it will rob the soil of the nitrogen it needs to do this from the new lawn causing new stresses.

    Can you do this? Yes you could get away with it. But is it the right way to do the job. Not in my opinion.

    Good Luck

    CMerrick
     
  5. Coumbe

    Coumbe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    I am in Texas and literally all of the neighborhoods around here lay St. Augustine sod right on top[ of the existing lawn. And these are nice neighborhoods with beautiful lawns. My neighbors house was built 3 years ago and it had some grass and some field grass, the came in and sodded over the whole thing. It has always looked great!!! All of them do??? I have always heard otherwise but I see it all around me that it work just fine doing no preparation and laying Saint Augustine sod down.
     
  6. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,603

    Against several folks advice, a buddy of mine sodded zoysia over tifton. Two years latter he has brown circles inundating his yard. He said the reason he sodded the zoysia over the tift was becuse the tift had the same problem that got larger each year.
    We diagnosed his problem as take all patch. Of course Lesco twosome at 150/gal may help. You might need to listen to CMLAND. Sides, your talking about dumping and spreading 55-60 yards of dirt.
     
  7. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    I have a customer Im laying a couple pallets of Centipede for tomorrow. I believe the County put in a new pipe or something, but I will need to double check, the old Zoyzia did NOT look good.
     

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