1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Tearing out existing sod-bobcat or sod cutter?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bocefus78, May 3, 2007.

  1. bocefus78

    bocefus78 LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Messages: 16

    Hi all-Not exactly a homeowner but I'm not in the business either-

    1st post-long time lurker. I have approx. 3900 sq. ft. of existing sod to remove, regrade, and reseed. I have never taken on a project this size. I have done around 800 sq. ft. with a shovel but it was HARD work. I have no experience with either of these machines. How much area can I assume to clear with an 18" sod cutter in 1 hour? Or would you reccomend getting a bobcat (my neighbor has one and I would pay him to run it) to remove the sod? Would the bobcat take a significant amount more soil than the sod cutter?

    Another thought-I have used harley rakes behind pto tractors but never a bobcat. Can this piece of equipment be ran while in reverse to eliminate tire tracks/ruts? Thanks for your opinions in advance and please take it easy on the newbie! Any other hel is appreciated!
  2. leejp

    leejp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Gaaak... The most I ever did was ~100sqft with a flat shovel and I don't think I would ever do it again. Around here we have rocks to deal with too.

    What's wrong with round-up or some other vegetation killer, rake/regrade (Bobcat is nice if you have access to one), mushroom dirt and reseed.... But why do it now? Why not wait till Fall?

    And if I was going through this much work, I'd spend a little $$$ and put in a sprinkler system.
  3. bocefus78

    bocefus78 LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Messages: 16

    yea, that will be the LAST time I do this w/ a shovel. I am not planning on doing this until September just FYI. I am not doing this for me, it's for a neighbor. I am getting paid.

    As far as the roundup-Waiting the 14-21 days for it to die is too long. They want it done in a timely manner like all services should be provided.

    The reason it is all being done is b/c there was a water line trenched in and it has since settled and was patched with a diff. type of seed so there is an obvious line through the middle of the yard ($300,000 home) that they do not like. They are not interested in alternative methods....they want it gone, regraded, reseeded.

    I regularly plant and till acres of food plots for deer so this is actually a small job for me size-wise... other than the sod removal.
  4. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    Why not just cut the different colored sod out with the sod cutter, then re-sod with the correct sod?
  5. leejp

    leejp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    OK I'm beginning to like the roundup approach even better. Depending on the type of grass, I don't think cutting the sod out would necessarily prevent the different grass from coming back. Where they have a strip now they may end up with patches here/there.

    14~21 Days may seem like a long time but considering it would take at minimum 6~8 weeks for the new seed to germinate and establish itself I think it's worth the time.

    Also... this is a small enough of an area so it should be little trouble to water for several weeks. I might go for it now...
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Different seed, or just darker grass because of the soil disturbance?

    Its very common to see trench lines show up years later if it was not properly compacted.
  7. bocefus78

    bocefus78 LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Messages: 16

    Dirty water-

    A mixture of both. I am going to bring in quality topsoil and till in once the existing is removed....then compact the trench line to match the other areas of the lawn.
  8. bahamamills

    bahamamills LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    If it were me doing my lawn which I did twice by the way and it is close to two acres. I would mow short as I could get, spray with round up give it a few days.

    Either Till or rent a Turf Teq rack or harley attachment for the tractor or skid steer, hand rack to smooth out. Either rent or contract out a hydro seeder to come in a spray it down good. As others have pointed out here and its apparent here this is becoming a bad year for weeds and badly blended grasses.

    Price it out.... Where people usually screw themselves in situations like this is they kill them selves on the hours(labor) and its hard to make back up. I did just re-read you reply to water saying you would bring in new top soil which is a good thing. Also using the skid steer you risk doing a lot more damage either on water lines, septic fields, tanks etc.

    By either renting out the equipment or contracting out the hydro which includes (spreading seed, straw and fertilizer) you limit how bad you can short yourself on labor. Not knowing what equipment you have I just made some assumptions and while your friend may be willing to use his equipment I would not risk the job or friendship in the event it breaks.
  9. bocefus78

    bocefus78 LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Messages: 16

    Thanks bahama-

    Ok- I am not COMPLETLEYopposed to using the roundup.....tell me this. How is the harley rake going to do on the sod's roots? I've only used them on bare dirt and they worked great. Would it tear up the old sod enough to where I wont need a dumpster or is it going to just clump up and sit on top?

    Thanks everyone for the replys and please keep em coming!
  10. bahamamills

    bahamamills LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    Remember the Round Up or other product is killing the grass and weeds on the surface and if applied right should get to the roots. Whether you use a tiller or Rake on the tractor or skidsteer
    http://www.harleyattachments.com/_includes/fileblob.asp?I=709&table=product&ext=pdf&name=TM-4 Brochure.pdf it will pulverize anything left. No you may well have to make a number of passes but this should not take a tremendous amount of time.

    With my tractor when I till yards or gardens I can get the soil to almost a dust depending on how many times I work the soil over. If there is grass alive when I get there its not when I leave. The remaining roots/grounded up sod would probably act as a mulch or moisture holding matter.

    Whether you rip out and start with new topsoil its important to set expectations that there will likely be weeds or different grasses but you should handle those with Pre-Ms. Be real careful in reading the ingredients on any seed you but to know what is in the blend.

Share This Page