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Tilling sod in an existing lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by EvenCutLawnCare, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    I have a client who has had considerable damage to his back lawn due to his dogs playing in it and tearing it up. I will describe this as about 50% decent grass with the other 50% being a mixture of torn up grass and dirt. He originally was inquiring about over seeding (which I have never done before). I have, however, installed many new lawns. I have always used a tiller on the back of my compact tractor because it leaves an awesome base for new seed (provided there is decent soil). My suggestion to him was to essentially start over. I don't have a good feeling about trying to over seed a lawn with this much damage, and trying to get new seeds to grow in already compacted soil.

    My only concern is how well a high rpm tiller will chew up the existing sod already in the lawn. I know there is a HUGE difference in the way the 3 point tiller will chew up ground as compared to a walk behind tiller. The tines on the 3 point tiller spin so fast you can't see them, where as our rear tine walk behind tiller's tines spin so slow you can practically count the revolutions of the tines.

    Has anyone ever tilled up sod with a 3 point tiller with any success? I won't mind raking up some areas that may have excessive clumps, but I would like to know what I am getting myself into before I prepare the quote.

    Thanks for your advice.
  2. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Tilling Sod well sucks but if till it up let and wait few days later and till it again will work up better
    I never seed behind a tiller dirt is to fluffy I have different kind of a tiller that called Truf Shaper It has tines that stirs the dirt like a blender then a blade drags and levels then a seed box and then a roller that compress seed and dirt This works well with tilled up sod
    Bad thing they dont make this no more Was bought in 1981 It was what put us on the map in are area
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    With dogs, this lawn will never be as good as it is now... Overseed only... !!!
    Your new sod will never be as strong as your old sod... tearing it up will be a novice mistake, unless the dogs will never urinate or play on it again...
  4. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    Smart man here

    Get rid of dogs first then repair lawn.

    it like filling a bucket with water and wondering why its always dry. If there's a hole in the bottom, got to fix it first.

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