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preparing for sod???

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by takeittothelimit, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. takeittothelimit

    takeittothelimit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    My Question is when existing grass needs to be removed, what process is the best, dont want to use chemicals (pets and children present). Any and all advice is greatly apprieciated. Thanks
  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,248

    That all depends on when you are sodding. I hate to dig up old grass because there's a tremendous amount or organic material there. Some people rent a sod cutter and rip it out. I prefer to see you till up the present turf with a deep cultivator. I have a 4' one on the back of the Kubota driven from the PTO. It cuts sod very deep. The fall is the best time to do this, given that winter will be cold enough to kill any seed. After tilling at least 10" or so, prepare for raking. Now you could kill off the existing grass with Roundup or something better and give it a month or so to clear out any residual before sodding; you might get some root pruning. This would preserve the organic material, I think the worms might have to move out for a while. After the roundup, you will still need to til up the soil and apply your starter fertilizer.
  3. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    Since you don't want to use Round up... You can skim that sod off with a Skid Steer...then run you rototiller in there. If you want a good lawn do a soil test..and add the amendments before you re sod or seed.
  4. jphag

    jphag LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    rent a sod cutter from home depot
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    Hit that sucker with a harley rake (My answer to anything that has to do with tilling or laying sod). All of the tops of the grass will come to the top, be prepared to have alot of the existing grass come through the cracks of sod though.
  6. Lawncop26

    Lawncop26 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    How big of an area are you doing, and when did you plan on doing the sod?, If the area is feasible and you can wait until fall, secure clear plastic, almost like greenhouse material and burn the lawn. No chemicals, get to keep the organic matter, and it will be a 100 percent kill. The only downside is it may take a while if you can stay off the area.
  7. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Get a sod cutter and take the lawn down about 1 to 1.5 inches. This will get the top growth, nodes, runners and seed that is in the top layer. You do not want to till these in to come up later in competition to the new lawn. Remove the sod by hand or with a skid steer. By cutting with a sod cutter you should have a smooth surface, relative speaking. Anyway it will be close to smooth. Now aerate the devil out of the bare ground making as many holes as you can. Fertilize and water over the bare ground. Now lay your sod, wet it and roll it. This will get all air out from under the sod and give you good soil to soil contact. The fertilizer will have migrated into the aeration holes so it is down about 1.5 to 2 inches and the roots of the new sod will go after the nutrient. this will make the new roots go into the new soil faster. Water deeply every few days (depending on the heat) this will make the roots go after the food and water.

    I have done this it works well


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