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Renovation gone bad

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by packerbacker, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    Picked up a new customer this morning who's having a problem. About 5 weeks ago another company killed her backyard off with round-up and about 10 days after that aerated, verticuted and seeded with fesuce.

    Absolutely no results at all after 3 weeks. Not one single new blade of grass. To top it off about 25% of the grass wasnt killed so now he has mostly brown spots and a few green from the stuff that was left over.

    She is now wanting me to sod the entire backyard.

    My question is can I just lay the sod down on top of the dead grass or do I need to prep the area somehow?
  2. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    I don't sod yards since I don't have the time being part-time. So from my limited knowledge I would think you need to get a sod cutter and get all the old grass out, rototill the ground to loosen it up so the new sod roots can get established easier, smooth out the dirt after roto tilling, put down starter fertilizer on the dirt, then lay the new sod.

    To me it would be very bumpy laying it on existing sod and would scalp the yard in spots when mowing due to the variation in height. The new sod I would think would die since it can't reach the dirt when you lay it on existing sod.
  3. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    If most of the lawn is already dead I would spray the remaining patches of grass, possably add some soil amendments, then till it all up, level it out and sod it over.
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    Sounds like your mixing up some kind of bad yard soup. kill it,till it, add dirt and level it :D
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Whats the weather been like in KS. My guess is that it has been cold, hence the roundup not working. They did use roundup or similar herbicide didnt they? Not something that would prevent the seed from germinating.
    Cold weather would also slow germination of the fescue. So would lack of water. Probably a hundred other reasons why this lawn hasnt started growing.
    One thing for sure, if you lay sod ontop of the dead grass you will have to redo it a third time. Make the soup, Kill it, till it, smooth it before laying the sod.
  6. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    Its been in the 70s and 80s for the past month and a half. Very good weather. She even turned her system on early so she get water to it on a consistant basis.

    She told me they used Roundup on it , waited about 7 days and then scalped it. Then did the aeration, verticutting and seeding about 2 days after that.

    Most of it is dead now. Just some patches growing in a couple spots.
  7. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    Since most of its dead I was thinking about tilling it up and then rolling it then laying the sod. Its only about 900 sq ft so its not a helluva lot of work.
  8. Houston's

    Houston's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    would the round-up kill the new sod?, if layed down on top of dead grass.
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    No No not a good idea,don't try and cut corners on this,it was already screwed up so now your doing the fix do it right and charge accordingly.I usually charge more to fix somebody elses mess.
    Don't think you can just till in the old dead sod it dosent work like that.After you till you will have big clumps of buried dead grass all thru that will make sodding more difficult and you wont get it nice and smooth.Plus the buried debri,rolled in, will cause problems with the new sod rooting wherever it is just under the surface.
    Remove as much as you can,roots and all of the old sod,rake out good w/hard rake,soft rake then grade rake.Add compost,or weedless steer manure,Alot...till
    that in good,several times.then rake it out again,grade rake it to drain and roll it with a light roller then fill in low spots,roll again and water day before(not a muddy mess just spray to settle soil)and then sod it. There are easier ways yes many.But take your time and give your client what they are paying for.Great results you wont have to worry about later.
  10. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    use a sodcutter to remove the existing sod.... this will give you a good surface...

    also i will personally do not use manure as if not mixed VERY well it can burn the new tender roots the sod is trying to put out.

    also find out what the client is willing to pay for...

    can you mow the existing grass down and lay over the top... yes.. it that's all that is in their budget then that will work. I do, however, recommend removing the sod .

    will roundup hurt the new sod..... ABSOLUTELY not..... you COULD spray the existing grass and lay immediately on top... roundup HAS TO ENTER THROUGH A LEAF STOMATE.

    the method sheshovel stated is the optimum way, the one that is the textbook ideal with the exception of first testing the soil and then adding the necessary amendments to get the pH, calcium, etc. all in the correct parameters.

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