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Prep for sod

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by RigglePLC, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,553

    What is the best way to prepare a lawn that has fair grass already to receive new sod? Till up old grass and smooth off? Spray with Roundup and lay new sod immediately? No prep...lay sod on top of original grass?

    I intended to find out. However my wife would not allow me to kill parts of our front yard for the test. Shady back yard will have to do. I only bought one roll of sod (2 ft by 5 ft.) June 14, 2012. The area is irrigated--about 20 minutes daily.

    I tilled up the center area 2 ft by 2 ft--by spadeing up with a shovel. I left the grass untouched on the right end 18 inches. I treated the left end (18 inches) with Razorburn (Glyphosate plus diquat). I used snow shovels to make a nice clean edge with no overspray.

    Does anybody care to predict the results?

  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I've laid extra rolls on my driveway where the sprinkler hits and they grow fine. for me the prep is more about getting rid of all the old crap and leveling out the potholes etc so it looks like glass when its done
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,553

    After 6 days, no real results. Sod is green. The center section which was a bit higher due to the spading of the soil has settled a bit; it is only slightly higher than the two end portions.

    The left 18 inches was sprayed with Razorburn (glyphosate plus diquat) immediately before laying the sod on top of the grass; oddly five days later, the grass seemed to remain green when I pulled back one corner of the sod to reveal what happened. Perhaps the soil from the sod neutralized the spray.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Gly commonly takes 10 days to kill various types of grass by my experience... I don't like to lay over the top of existing turf, but it often times works just fine, when there was no other alternative...
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,553

    8 days after laying sod on top of glyphosate-treated grass, turned up soil and untreated grass...the sod was still green. There was almost no evidence that it had tacked down on any of the three areas. Of course when I rolled up the sod to check--I am sure it damaged any small roots that might have moved into the soil.

    Oddly the Razorburn(glyphosate plus diquat)-treated area on the left was a bit greener than the non-treated grass on the right. But I suspect that the Razorburn solution was too old and had perhaps deteriorated since mixing, about 4 weeks ago.
    Here is the photo. The non-covered grass is thin due to shade which may be reducing the energy of the sod.

    The sod came from a garden store and according to the store--it came from Leutema's Sod Farm. The store did not know the seed cultivar mixture. I noticed two clumps of poa annua.

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,553

    After 3 weeks, the sod still looks fine. Irrigation hits it, but shady area, and temps have been hot, (100 today). If anything...the left end where the Razorburn herbicide was used prior to laying the sod. The new sod looks slightly off color. The center section that was spaded up has settled a bit, almost level with other treatments now. There does not seem to be any "tacking down" by the sod roots. Mowed once.
    It appears that sod could possibly be laid on top of grass without soil preparation.
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I dont know what to predict for you
    I see you never laid sod before
    To do it right is spray round up and wait 8-10 days then scalpe the lawn
    Then till it upBest way is just chunk out the sod and haul it off
    Then re till the sod free ground grade it and just before laying sod get a heavy roller and roll the soil
    Lay the sod Soak it then roll it again
    My last job I did it took root within 2 weeks you couldnt pull it up
    After laying I like use slow release fert with Iron and pre treat for fungus
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    3 weeks seems like a long time for no roots yet... no roots in the spaded area either???
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,553

    Roots not tacking down not even in the bare soil area...but I don't want to rip up all the sod to see, as then it has to start over. It may be a problem as the area is in shade--sod may be weak as a result of insufficient sunlight. 100 degree temps yesterday probably didn't help. Sod still looks fairly good. Mowed once.
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    If I can be so rude to say the underlying cause for the poor turf was not identified?

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