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Can One Man.... do This?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Whitey4, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Using a rented sod cutter, cut and remove (with wheelbarrel) 2.2k of mostly dead sod, get it into a dumpster on day one, do soil prep on day two (half day) and lay 2.2k of sod on day 3?

    I'm about to find out... am I nuts or what?
  2. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Make sure the sod cutter blade is sharp. Dead roots tend to wrap on dull blades making the cutter hard to use. How are you going to pick up cut sod? Little hint....Cross cut the sod at 90 degrees. You can then use a flat nosed shovel and a wheel barrow to quickly pick up the sod. Take a vert i cut or dethatcher over the raw dirt to break it up into fine level dirt. Apply a good fert on the dirt and water it in real good so the soil is very wet on the edge of being mud. This will wash some of the fert into the soil. Let it set overnight and then lay the new sod into the nice wet soil with food in it. Walk over, drive over or roll the new sod so it presses down tight to the very wet soil. The roots will take off after the fert in the muddy under layer for a quick knit to the soil. The sooner you can get the sod to move into the new soil the better ou chance for keeping the sod. I have done this a number of times and it has worked well for me.

  3. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,548

    I think you should be able to no problem, but I've thought that before and been up **** creek standing there thinking OMG what was I thinking??:laugh:
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Very grateful for the tips.... I actually fried this lawn myself. Thread in the pesticide forum... so I am laying new KGB at my expense. Honest mistake, but my fault. I have a dethatcher.... would it be wise to add some peat when I dethatch the soil? Would that help the new sod to adhere any? I will use a starter fert, and was thinking to add some peat and starter fert, then dethatch, soak it, and lay sod.

    This will be the weekend from hell.... cut sod and remove on Saturday, soil prep on Sunday, lay on Monday, and at the age of 54, I guess I will find out what is left in the tank, and attempt to do it solo. :weightlifter: (I hope)
  5. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    More detail about how you plan on getting rid of and loading up the old sod.

    Wheelbarrow to what? Is a dumpster on site?

    Day 1 if a dumpster is on site and you have to just wheel it in and dump it could be done but it is going to be hard labor.

    Day 2 what is going to be involved in the soil prep?

    Day 3 No problem.
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I like the idea of running the sodcutter both ways. We've always just cross cut it with an edger (longer rolls) and rolled it up, but that would work too, I guess.
  7. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    if your cutting the sod out.....what are you dethatching? I think you can do what you outlined in your original post by yourself no problem for 2.2K One tip I would give you is after you use the sod cutter use a pitch fork to pick up the sod not a shovel and put it in the wheel barrow. It allows a lot of the soil to fall back to the ground and will be much lighter and easier on the back. The new sod will take better in the loose soil that falls back as well.
  8. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    I see no point in doubling your workload for no reason.

    One pass with the sod cutter should be all you need,unless I am missing something here.If the depth is set correctly no need to do it twice.
  9. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    I agree two passes will only give you more pieces to pick up.
  10. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I have a ten yard dumpster ordered... if it's more than that, it will mean some loads in my pickup. It will be wheelbarrel and manual labor.

    I think what Turfco Bob was saying is that dethatching the soil after the old sod is removed will loosen the soil up and help the new sod to root faster in less compacted soil. I have a dethatcher, and this would not take much time to do. I am wondering if adding some peat moss at this stage might help also rooting. This would be my soil prep... some peat, dethatched into the soil and some starter fert.

    I might run the sod cutter in a cross pattern every 5 feet or so, just to keep the length and weight of the old sod strips managable.

    Frankly, I am scared chitless about this project. I don't lay sod as a service, never used a sod cutter, and never laid sod on an entire lawn before. I'm trying to find a helper for the old sod removal. That is the day that worries me most.

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