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lawn help

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by sam05, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. sam05

    sam05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Please help, I live in NE Florida and have a small yard that has been taken over by chinch bugs which have been sprayed and killed, and dollar weed and other types of weeds which I can't identify. It's st. augustine grass, and I want to put all new sod down. I've been told not to use a roto tiller as it will just make it worse, should kill what's left with round up and then sod over that or can I use a tiller after the grass and weeds are dead then put sod down. I would greatly appreciate any input as I need to do this ASAP.

    Thank You
  2. nmurph

    nmurph LawnSite Senior Member
    from ga
    Messages: 668

    to me tilling just expidites the inevitable. it will certain cause plants to germinate that were hidden in the soil and covered over by whatever lawn you had there. on the other hand, if you till and allow a couple of weeks for the seeds to sprout and then hit them with round-up, you can eliminate much of what would eventually find its way out. you may have others that recommend against tilling. i can see a case for either. one thing that you need to do is to find out exactly which variety of St Augustine you will be sodding. this is a type of grass which has some varieties which are much less toleratant of certain herbicides/pesticides than others. read the labels when you are buying herbicides/pesticides.
    once you determine which variety you have, you may want to consider some pre-emergent next spring.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,449

    Instead of tilling we normally cut the grass down as close to the ground as possible and rake and bag it up. We fill any holes etc. with new soil and dig out a little along the edges so the sod will blend in with sidewalks etc. We lay the sod and then use more new soil to fill the cracks between the pieces. Then take a hose and water it down and walk it in to get rid of air pockets. This works on small jobs of St Augustine.
  4. sam05

    sam05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Thank You for the reply, The type of grass is St. Augustine Floratam,
    and was full of crabgrass. I have sprayed it with round up, and it's dead.
    Now the problem, I tried to wack it down with my weed eater and lowered
    my mower as low as it can go but it's still a mess. Someone told me of some
    type of thatching attachment that fits on your mowerblade and that will level it down. Never heard of it, I know I can't lay sod on top of this so I'm thinking maybe using a tiller might be the only way to go, A man that sells sod told me to lay it right on top of the dead grass. I guess I will try the tiller and wait and see what comes up, can I till all this dead grass.
    Thanks again
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,449

    Hire a local lawnservice to strip it down.....with a normal 36" WB you can take it down to the ground in one pass. Then simply rake it up and put it in bag, we do a lot of it in Oct to prepare for rye grass.

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