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Soil Prep for Sod under 6 pallets.Cultivator Tiller Flail

lawn_jockey

LawnSite Member
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We usually hit a yard twice with roundup before we start the prep. When we arrive we usually spend way too much time removing old dead grass and then leveling the lawn and amending the soil with some great nutrient-rich leveling soil.

My problem and most costly labor issue is the soil prep. I would love to use the Toro dingo with the soil cultivator attachment to till under the dead grass and re-level all in one pass. However, the machine is just too large for jobs under 6 pallets.

I have looked into TurfTeq option and did a demo... Does not remove the dead grass or much of anything other than prep a seed bed. I need to be more aggressive when laying sod.

Do you know of any machine that is basically the same as the dingo and cultivator attachment but much smaller. Thanks. I have searched the end of the web. We currently hit the grass with 4 guys and string trimmers to zip off all the grass. , rake it all out, then use a sod cutter or tiller to help level areas. then we spread some additional leveling soil and finally lay sod. There has to be a more streamlined way.

Also thinking of using the flail type more slammed super low to scalp the lawn instead of zipping it all off with string trimmers. I have never used a flail. Would I be able to hit dirt and scalp it all?

I also did a demo with the BCS tiller and roller attachment. It was ok, but the roller was always clogged and it basically became an extremely expensive tiller.
 
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woodlawnservice

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
oklahoma
Why is that better than using a trimmer to take it down to soil?
Speed... time is money, not a yard to small i wouldn't take my mini skid on... 1 pallet of sod or 100. I re-leved a whole backyard ( 7,000 sq. Ft) and shaped it to have drainage away from the home in less than 1.5 hrs and never touched a rake....
 

ed2hess

LawnSite Fanatic
Speed... time is money, not a yard to small i wouldn't take my mini skid on... 1 pallet of sod or 100. I re-leved a whole backyard ( 7,000 sq. Ft) and shaped it to have drainage away from the home in less than 1.5 hrs and never touched a rake....
I never see anybody using skid in our area on a yard that is graded already. All that is needed is get the old grass off...weed eat it and pick it up.
 

woodlawnservice

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
oklahoma
I never see anybody using skid in our area on a yard that is graded already. All that is needed is get the old grass off...weed eat it and pick it up.
He said he used tiller to level and administration soil so he's doing soil prep work before sod.. in this situation, a power rake is your best friend. Ive never been to a yard where I need to kill the grass, dispose of the growth and the soil work was perfect then placed sod.... I wish but not here... if soil work was perfect, I'd focus on seeding and or getting the correct healthy grass thriving.
 

ksss

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rigby, Idaho
When I have projects like this. I take mini excavator with a ditch bucket (no teeth and 48" wide) pull the grass off, level it and use an FFC preparator to prep the soil. If the ground is hard we will till it then rock rake it. I have never seen great results from trying to incorporate the existing grass into the soil by tilling it in. It can be hard to level and settles due to the dead grass in high concentration in the top 6" of the topsoil. Typically the soil has risen above the existing concrete grade anyway so that ends up having to be cut down and blended in with the remainder of the yard.
 

knoxJRM

LawnSite Member
Location
Knoxville
@lawn_jockey
we use trimmers, blow and rake the dead grass, mini skid with soil conditioner, hand rake, and lay. I’ve got a lot of time on a mini and still
Have to use hand rake around structures and side walks. Pretty sure I will always have to...
Just wanted to comment really to say that install in the pic looks flawless my man. Keep up the good work. You just inspired me to do better.
 
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