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How to remove a dead lawn?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by fastpine, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. fastpine

    fastpine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    Sorry for the rooky question fellas, but,,

    Whats the best way to remove the old lawn in order to prep for seeding or sod?..

    The old lawn is completly dead, so I dont think a sod cutter would work. I was thinking maby a harley rake attachment to a small three foot bobcat, but the lawn in the front yard is on a berm with some steep sides..I was also thinking I could roto till the old grass and some compost into the existing soil?

    Seeding or sodding directly on top of the old dead lawn isnt an option is it?

    Thank you for your time gentlemen:)
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It's not going to make a difference, so long you're asking these questions what
    makes you think the 'new' lawn is going to do any better?

    Here's the thing, you can do all of that, then you have a brand new lawn.
    And next summer right about this time, same result.

    You'd be better off educating yourself for some time on the subject of lawn care,
    lawn maintenance and related subjects, otherwise you're just wasting your money.
  3. fastpine

    fastpine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    Im tryin to learn as much as I can....

    This lawn died because it was at a home that was for sale for quite some time..The water was turned off and the sprinklers never ran..

    What makes me think the new lawn is going to do better is the new owners are very excited about taking care of their yard, and I feel they will keep up with the watering.

    Now,,,Any ideas on my questions from above?
  4. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,238

    If you don't mind me asking, what state are you in?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    a harley rake or rock hound on a skid steer will make fast work of it, then amend the soil with 5% compost to 12 inches if you can, just straight compost rather than top soil

    You are going to stir up a bunch of weed seeds so set your customers expectations that it may be a fight against them next year

    Start the project before your soil temp goes below 70

    since you are going to tear the place up think about irrigation or lighting options

    use the best seed you can buy, you get what you pay for with seed

    and then tell them about your guarantee

    "I guarantee that if you do not keep this place wet all of the time for 2 weeks this will not succeed and it ain't my fault"

    A soil test would be a smart thing right now
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,727

    I would go with the sod cutter. Otherwise you will be endlessly raking out old clumps of turf. But you may have to hand dig around the irrigation pipe. Add amendments Etc.You don't want to cut the irrigation system. Is this a Bermuda lawn? Not really St Aug country is it?
  7. fastpine

    fastpine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    I think its an old fescue lawn....

    Im probably going to just topdress with compst/topsoil mix and till everything in....I figure the old lawn will just be more organic material to enrich the soil....

    Thanks a million for the replys fellas..I greatly appreciate it!

    I really hope I get the job,,Its 4k sq ft if sod..It would be a nice breath of fresh air compared to all the yard maintenance ive been doing...
  8. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    Till it with a rotodairon / soil cultivator on a tracked machine (rent one if you have too) it will make the work a lot quicker and give you a finish grade in one pass, if you roto till it will be a lumpy mess and make more work in my opinion
  9. fastpine

    fastpine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    Good call..I was thinking two guys with five horse hand tillers,,yer idea sounds muuuuuch better..How would a machine like that handle hills. The yard has some small mounds/berms, kinda like a golf course...(5 ft tall). Will it take off the top of the berm?
  10. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    depends on how steep the hill is. I would run the machine length wise and not up and down the hill as you will run into problems at the top and bottom. Sorry just read your description of the mounds....it will take some work to figure out how to run the machine over the tops and you might remove some of the crest of the hill, just rake and regrade as needed by hand.

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