sod tip

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by ronslawncare, May 4, 2001.

  1. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    i dont know if anyone of you guys are doing this too ..but about a week or two ago i had a sod job too do i passed it up because i still felt i was two inexperienced .the guy i gave it two just did it yesterday .and i saw him today and gave me some great tips saving on back breaking work.after you guys spray roundup on lawn instead of thatching or tilling or sod cutting,just come back spread topsoil over the dead turf.i asked him how is it possible it wont be leveled out and the sod would be much higher above the he said go check it out for yourself and i did just that it looks great to me looks the same .guess you have to level it perfect though....
  2. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    guess i should of posted this on the landscaping forum .sorry
  3. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Boy, I don't know if that's a sound idea. It may look great now, but once that turf underneath has had a chance to decompose, the area it occupies will get smaller, and you may be left with settling issues where sod was laid on dead sod. Like burying a bunch of stumps. Once they break down, you're left with a big sinkhole.

    Just bring a Harley rake in there. Rip that stuff up in no time. You'll be able to roll what look like 6' long sod cigars as you rip it up.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Man, I think that was some pretty bad advice. I would never recommend doing that.

    The correct way to do it is to use a sod cutter. These machines not only do an excellent job of removing old sod, they also leave the ground almost perfectly level. Then you just need to add some sandy loam before you add the new sod. It's up to you and the conditions of the ground beneath the old sod whether you need to actually rototill the sandy loam in or not. Most times we do not.

    Another advantage of using a sod cutter is you don't need to kill the old lawn first. They can cut down far enough to remove 99% of the roots. And whatever's left never comes back through.

    If you're not familiar with how a sod cutter works go down to a local rental shop and ask them to show you one and explain how it works.

    If you don't feel experienced enough to take on sod jobs here are some tips

    1) Take on small jobs at the beginning. I started with 500 - 1500 square foot lawn installs first. And I started with ones that were already fairly level. In fact, these are still the ones I prefer.

    2) If you want to take on a larger one, work out a deal with another landscaping company to do it with you. If you don't know any local landscapers, you should get to know some of them. I have a good network now and have been able to both learn from and teach other local guys. Obviously there is a conflict of interest and some guys won't want to work with you. But if you tell a guy you'll give him all of the big jobs you don't feel you can handle if he'll help you out on a few of them, you'd be surprised what you can work out.

    You may be able to work out a deal with a local rototilling or tractor guy to do the prep work for you and you just do the final grading and laying of the sod. I know a couple of guys around here who do that.

    Good luck.

  5. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    He may as well have placed the sod on top of 3" of mulch.

    Use a sod cutter to remove existing turf, and set the soil line of the sod even with any hardscapeing. Till soil to alliviate compation. Rake to remove any large root systems that remain. Bring in topsoil as needed and grade, then roll with the roller 1/3 full of water and rake out bumps or low areas. Lay the sod then roll again to ensure good soil contact. Water throughly.

    Jim L:eek:
  6. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    thanx for the replys guys .i dont want to start out on the wrong really looks perfect though you think it would be really unleveled .but shortcuts equals bad business and for me just begining i can use all the business i can get.that crazy i wonder how many he did like that lol.
  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Print out the original thread you posted about this job and show it to your buddy! We weren't lying to you man! Notice the numbers of posts that all said the same thing. I won't even repeat the same comments as the above couple of guys, because I do agree with all of them. There are a couple of routes you can take on this, but the one your friend took isn't one we would recomend!

    Good Luck!
  8. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    i here that.. im gonna install sod on the side of my backyard . because i understand all the information but still not confident enough until i try it out myself thats the only reason why i gave that guy the job.once i see that i can lay it straight and leveled look out thats a new service added .thanx again guys.....i know someone else to that does sod but the guys to busy i told him to call me when he gets sod jobs i even offered to help out for free .but i know how he thinks hes worried im the competion.just trying to learn how to do the dam thing.
  9. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Laying sod is like painting a car, it's all in the preperation. If the soil is nice and smooth then the sod will lay down pretty good. The best job we ever did was raked out with a steel rake, sod laid, then sand over it raking the sand down in the cracks. Lawn came in beautifully and to this day has no bumps!
  10. lawnboykb

    lawnboykb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Man your looking at one BAD layering problem if you leave the old sod.

    I would say about 10 years ago they built a golf course that I worked at and just put dirt right over the old the end it was no big deal it was a number of feet below ground. But years later when we dig any holes you could still find that layer of sod.

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