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New sod over existing?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Dirt Boy, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Dirt Boy

    Dirt Boy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    Can you place new sod over existing grass?

    I have always torn up the existing, and removed it, leaving very little of the original there, but am interested in hearing if this is the ONLY way, or if you could perhaps do it without being so radical.

  2. Cloud9Landscapes

    Cloud9Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ca
    Messages: 558

    You can but I don't recommend it. You will eventually have the old lawn growing through the new and any diseases or insect that were in the old lawn will be transferred to the new. Generally the reason for needing a new lawn is because the soil is so bad that the old lawn died. Your going to want to incorporate some amendments into the soil and then level it out. Not to mention the new lawn will be twice as high as the old one.
  3. Dirt Boy

    Dirt Boy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    Thanks, I think your right, the more I think about it, the less sense it makes to do it 1/2 way.
  4. ANC

    ANC Banned
    Messages: 4

    for me, it depends on the existing height of the lawn. I havent ripped up a lawn in about 6 years, and i've have a 100% success rate.

    I usually cut it as low as possible with mowers, just before dragging blades on ground.
    Weedwhack further down scalping it.
    I then take my encore power thatch (metal teeth, not springs)...and acts as a mild tiller turning the top 2 or more inches.

    you can now regrade using existing soil, saves on soil addition, delievery, etc....money in your pocket.

    add top soil as needed, remembering that the sod comes with about 2"

    the only time you'd have to do minor excvation, would be along a walkway, such as pavers or sidewalk. use a pic and make a small bevel.


    sounds involved, but its so routine, saves so many hours of work,
    labor, resources.
  5. LoweJ82

    LoweJ82 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    use sod cutter cut old lawn up

    pull up lawn

    light till soil

    lay sod

    I wouldn't leave behind the old lawn...
  6. alf500series

    alf500series LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    i have put down sod over existing grass several times and not had any problem with it. but the only problem is that it is hard to see where the low spots in the existing yard is at and takes a little finessing to figure out how to fill the low spots without making the spot too high. also you have to be alot more careful with making sure your seams are tight. if there is any gap the existing lawn/weeds will find their way tru and your back to square one. generally speaking it is better -and easier in the long run to rip out the existing yard and put the new in.
  7. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,021

    It’s called grading
  8. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Kill and remove the old lawn! I can't believe people don't prepare the soil properly.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    So you have the testimonials of those who succeeded doing that which is TABOO...

    Biggest problem... 'Grading'

    Your best soil is almost always the top 1"... think about it... :)
  10. Dirt Boy

    Dirt Boy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    Well, I just took all the existing grass off, started to regrade, and it's snowing!! have to add onto and install sprinklers anyway, so the question is moot.
    The lady wanted a berm, putting in concrete edging, so it didn't make any sense to do it any other way.
    But, thanks for all the replies.

    By the way, on my own yard, if I had extra roll or two of sod left over from a job, I threw it down (by the chicken pen), over existing grass/weeds, and stomped it down good, and it got watered by the sprinklers. Just looked at it last night, and it's blended in with the rest.

    Didn't really care if it grew or not, but didn't have anything to lose.

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