These days all I do is prepare yards for sod installation. Would we have to level the lawn with new dirt first and then plant new sod? You have entered an incorrect email address! I tend to be in the “dig it up” camp, because if I’m going to the trouble of planting something, I want to give it every possible advantage. I have rototilled old lawns for over ten years without the removal of sod. The area around it is now two feet aprox higher as i’ve had path raised to be wheelchair friendly with a deck. If you decide to have a new lawn, it is best to remove first the existing lawn before installing the fresh sod. Looks like fine fescue to me (likes to lay down when taller). Explanation: “All sod must make soil contact to root,” Therefore, the existing grass / lawn must be extremely sparse or you will have to bring in dirt and put it on top before laying the new sod. I have a 140 foot driveway and need to know if I can lay gravel over the grass. The home is a new construction.2. Whether or not to remove the old grass before laying sod is a long-standing debate. In this article, we will also provide you with instructions on how to do it correctly and the list of materials and tools needed for such a job. When you cut the sod off, you want to take the sod cutter and go as deep as you possibly can. NEVER lay sod over existing grass, scrape off the existing turf. Lay down one section of sod … While it seems like a great idea, layering sod on top of existing turf isn’t likely to fare well unless the underlying turf is very sparse. If you do not, then the old grass will grow up through the cracks between the pieces of sod. Laying sod could be a tough job, and it’s better to look for a process that makes it easier to put a new lawn. It might look good for a couple of weeks with proper watering, but it cannot survive in these conditions! Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. Will I need to put down plastic or other kind of base first? It is also essential that a fresh sod should be given proper nutrients to thrive and grow. Your beautiful new lawn can be destroyed by old weeds and invasive grasses pushing up through the sod, and all your time and effort sodding will seem wasted. Through experience, it is not best to lay sod over existing grass. (Almost being the key word). 3 Mow the turf low, or about 3/4 inch above the soil surface. Before you waste your time and money on more sod, make sure you’ve corrected the underlying problem. That covers 10 square feet. If you have a bare or barren patch of yard, sod is a moderately priced way to turn a brown or weedy patch into a thick, green lawn. Can You Lay Sod Over Existing Grass?. If you want the new sod to look its best and with no old weeds or old grass growing through it, till the ground and remove the old grass first. Grass rolls are typically strips of sod 2 feet by 5 feet. Inspect the area you wish to grow grass on for any loose concrete. When laying the 2cd strip, stagger joints, similar to laying bricks. The cost for laying sod will depend on the size of the area you are covering. For a guide on how to properly install sod, check out our full 7-step guide. Installing it during cooler months means better survivability and less heat stress. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons. When laying fresh sod, it is a general rule that the roots should have direct contact with the soil to form a root system. A third thing that can cause grass to thin out and lose its lush appeal over time is a lack of aeration. 10 Mow the grass to 2 inches tall when it grows to 3 inches tall. “All sod must make soil contact to root,” she points out. I have a patch of dead grass in my lawn, and I’d like to repair it with sod. That comes out to $400 for a 1,000-square-foot lawn area. To form sod to fit curves/ edges a sharp knife must be used. Step 1: Prepare your soil. Sod can be installed anytime in the growing season, except in very high heat. Costs vary, but in general, expect to pay at least 40 cents a square foot for sod you install yourself. you might want to use Sod cutter instead of line trimmer and rototiller but you will still have to turn over the soil a bit since the ground is compacted. “Therefore, the existing grass / lawn must be extremely sparse or you will have to bring in dirt and put it on top before laying the new sod . The additional organic matter and the labor savings have been a big plus. Make sure there is a way for water to properly drain from the area. Or turn the sods over so I don’t need as much compost/soil/sand? A thick mat like this, will kill off almost everything under it. Do I need to dig out the old grass, or can I lay the new sod right on top of it? Use a rake to smooth the prepared surface for your sod installation. You can't simply lay sod on top of grass without doing proper preparation. In this video we show you the basics of how to Lay sod down, a great job for any DIYer! Based on the questions I get from customers, there are two common situations that lead someone to want to put down sod.1. Sod installation prices run from $1.20 to $1.80 per square foot. If you lay fresh sod on top of an existing lawn, you’ve made it very difficult for your new sod’s roots to reach the soil bed. Just keep it moist by watering it thrice on the first week after the sod is installed. Water the yard lightly every day with about 1/2 to 1 inch of water to keep the soil moist until the grass establishes. Use a rotary till to make the job easier and faster. Four basic steps for successfully installing a sod turfgrass lawn Monday - Thursday 7:00AM to 6:30PMFriday 8:00AM to 4:00PM, Copyright © 2020 by My Landscapers Inc. Website & SEO by Synmek, Commercial Landscaping Maintenance Toronto, Yard Machines Straight Shaft Gas Trimmer – 29cc 4-Cycle, Sun Joe TJ604E 16″ 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator, Gorilla Carts Poly Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame and 10″ Pneumatic Tires with a Capacity of 600 lb, Black, Garant GPHR2FLS Pro Series Long Handle Round Point Shovel, Midwest Rake Aluminum Landscape Rake, 36-Inch, Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food – Starter Food for New Grass, 1,000-sq ft (Lawn Fertilizer for Newly Planted Grass). When putting pieces in a row, it is vital to push the ends together so the spaces between them will not be visible. With the right machine it is very doable. This is because the sod cannot survive if you lay it on top of existing grass. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The best soil for St. Augustine grass is one that is well-drained (like sandy soil) with pH ranges from 5.0 to 8.5. Start laying your sod, offsetting the seams on each row. Sod roots fastest when laid during the period of peak growth for the type of grass involved. Moist soil is suitable for the new sod to make a healthy root system. Finally I got a website from where I be able to genuinely obtain useful information concerning my study and knowledge. I have never been able to determine any down side after doing this thousands of times. We can see why you’d think it could be a good strategy – like laying landscaping fabric, sod could starve existing grass for sunlight and effectively kill off the original layer. Make sure you have checked out our other repair options as well. So you won't have to cut the sod in odd shapes, remove the dead grass so that the prepared area forms a square. Rake the soil, and remove debris and patches of old grass. Would like your input on this. Many would say that laying sod on top of existing grass would be the way to go. How To Identify the Cause of Brown Spots in Your Lawn, Deck & Yard Maintenance Tips to Enjoy Outdoor Living, Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for the week of June 18, 2016, Kuppersmith Home Renovation Project 7: Lot and Countertops, How to Build a Non-Load Bearing Interior Wall. If you put a 6 inch layer of soil down with a layer of sod on top, there will be VERY little chance of anything growing through. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. Water the lawn deeply, soaking the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. Water it frequently for the next two weeks. Costs vary, but in general, expect to pay at least 40 cents a square foot for sod you install yourself. Dampen the prepared soil right before laying sections of new sod. Let the soil surface dry before continuing with the renovation. Laying new sod over existing grass could be the easy way of resodding a lawn. How Do You Grow Grass Over a French Drain? This is also important because the old soil might be taken out along with the old lawn. Lay sod strips tightly together but do not over- lap edges. Isn’t ready-to-lay grass so much more expensive than picking up a few bales of pine straw twice a year? Adding soil over grass gave us great success with our lawn repair, but it may not work for your situation. Explanation: “All sod must make soil contact to root,” Therefore, the existing grass / lawn must be extremely sparse or you will have to bring in dirt and put it on top before laying the new sod. Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. … -David. A pallet of sod covers 500 square feet, and the price can range from $200 to $400 per pallet. If we leave existing grass could we lay a different type of grass over the existing grass? © 2020 Today’s Homeowner Media. I want to relay a turf lawn but wonder as I need to infill with topsoil/sand and level before relaying new turf whether I can leave the old stuff down. Have killed existing Burmuda grass and similiar problem grasses. Grass needs to be aerated periodically every few years in order to reestablish proper roots. But it might end up adding more time than it saves. DO NOT OVERLAP SOD STRIPS. Laying new sod over existing grass could be the easy way of resodding a lawn. Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. Laying the sod is the easy part; getting the soil ready so it can keep your sod healthy takes much longer. Our (KBG) Kentucky Bluegrass sod is a cool-season grass. Apply at least a 2- to 3-inch layer of topsoil over your cultivated lawn. Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. Then, you want to go ahead and just cut the pieces just 18-inches. If you're using grass seed to overseed your lawn instead of Scotts® Turf Builder® Thick’R Lawn™, it's a good idea to rake in a thin, 0.25-inch layer of enriched soil over your lawn to help the seed settle in. Now, the roots from your new lawn would have to work harder to reach the roots beneath the old lawn. Moisten the soil by spraying water. This puts a tremendous strain on your sod … While sod cutters create easily removed strips, tillers rip the turf and churn it into the soil. We have some areas in the lawn that are 3 to 4 inches lower than the existing lawn and want to know if we can put sod over them to bring them up to level. Mark each sprinkler head with a small flag. We manage to use organic material in order to treat your lawn as we follow The Organic Lawn Care Manual. A lot of the soil was washed off and sod was laid over uneven yard. Set it on the deepest setting for the sod cutter. After adding, rake it again to level the soil. Our front lawn was newly sodded in 2015. Normally when you hire someone to install sod over existing grass they're supposed to remove the existing grass, amend the soil with organic matter (compost) and fertilizer, then install sod and roll it. Can we lay new sod over existing lawn? A slightly acidic pH will still be great for faster growth and spreading. If you need to know how to grow grass from seed, or how to sod, we recommend a visit to our full modules on seeding and sodding for more tips. However, if you’re having problems with dead spots in your lawn, I’d definitely recommend digging out the sod before patching, and here’s why. When the new lawn is taken out first, you will notice that the underlying sod beneath has become a slimy mess instead of composted nutrients. I have a small tatty slopy lawn about 5ft x 5. ... the difference in color between the old and new grass and the poor appearance and thin spots in the old lawn … Using a string guide, lay the 1st strip of sod along the string guide to ensure a straight line. The "swirling" pattern is a good indication of that grass type. Using a glyphosphate like Round Up you can spray your existing lawn, and sod over the dead grass. Adding soil over grass is also not the cheapest option in lawn repair. We are a disabled couple and need to know the easiest way to do this. Spreading … Prices for grass sod in 2019 are running at about $0.30 to $0.80 per square foot, depending on the sod farm and the grass type. When you lay new sod, it’s critical that the roots make direct contact with the soil so that a root system can form. Incorporate this topsoil into the tilled grass with your rototiller. Cut the edges of the area straight. Rake loose concrete and dispose of it before putting down topsoil. All rights reserved. That’s it. The major secret to laying sod and being successful is for it to take roots and acquire as many nutrients as possible since sod has limited nutrients. Proper preparation to the soil and ground beneath the sod is crucial to the success of your lawn. Rake loose concrete away before applying soil. That comes out to $400 for a 1,000-square-foot lawn area. Lay sod in spring where cool-season grasses rule and any time of year where warm-season turf is king. You might also say that this process will cut down a lot of your time. The previous lawn died and needs to be replaced. Whether a sparse, weedy lawn needs renewing or you’re facing a barren backyard, laying sod is the easy way to an instant, lush lawn. Freshly laid sod also needs proper nutrients to thrive and to grow. Water the area, then amend the soil by working in either compost, leaf mold or fine-milled peat moss to a depth of 3" to 5". Keep the edges tight as they dry out faster than those placed in the middle. Existing grass makes it hard for sod to get the nutrients it needs to survive. If you want the new sod to look its best and with no old weeds or old grass growing through it, till the ground and remove the old grass first. Prepare the damaged area by removing all dead grass and 1" to 2" of soil 3/4" past the edge of the dead grass. Take a 14-inch real heavy flat shovel and you can just go ahead and pick them up and put them aside. Of course, sod is a lot more expensive than a bag of seed. Maintaining your new sod should not be that hard. Keep the fresh lawn moist as you lay it, and water it after. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. Don't put so much down that you kill your existing grass; less than a quarter of an inch is plenty. Lay sod in spring where cool-season grasses rule and any time of year where warm-season turf is king. That way, the new sod can grow a healthy and robust root system, which would make your lawn more resilient, more attractive, and less maintenance. It can be mowed shorter but I think maybe what you're asking is how you mow it shorter if it's all laying down. Adding fresh grass to your lawn can be done by seed or sod, and both methods have their advantages. We opted for a sod installation because it provides an instant lawn with fewer weeds and almost no erosion problems. Height: If you place a patch of sod directly on your lawn, it will be higher than the surrounding soil, and not only will it show, but it will dry out faster than the rest of the lawn. Add half an inch of fresh topsoil onto the soil to balance its conditions. Line trimmer to trim the existing grass weeds to the ground-. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. A fall installation date will also allow time for the roots to develop prior to the next summer. Wheelbarrow to carry the old grass that you remove and bring in the fresh soil-, Rake to grade the area and spread the soil –. However, laying sod on the existing grass would be difficult for the roots to reach the soil because of the added layer in between them, which is the grass from your existing lawn. Many would say that laying sod on top of existing grass would be the way to go. I use a rotodairon tiller design to shred and bury sod. If you use a standard tiller the bulk of the grass makes it impossible to work with.My machine shreds and burys the existing grass and rocks. The purpose of sodding your lawn is to start new, with a fresh carpet of healthy, weed-free grass. Listen to and read about the June 18, 2016, Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford radio show. Would we have to remove existing grass (which we really don’t want to do). What Is The Difference Between Sodding And seeding. You can spray herbicide to kill the old turf and pull out with a sod cutter, or cover with newspapers or tarps to smother them. Use a 2- to 4-inch layer of pea gravel to cover landscape fabric. One downside to installing landscape fabric directly over a lawn is that the surface may become lumpy and uneven as the sod decomposes. That I am not sure about. Laying down grass sod to start or repair a lawn isn’t the hardest yard task, but it is labor intensive and requires knowing more than “green side up.” But don’t be daunted. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Here’s how to lay sod, in six steps. It takes a few weeks for sod to take roots but if the roots are obstructed the sod lacks nutrients and dries up. Remove and dispose of the existing sod. 6 Steps to Removing Weeds Before Laying Sod. The author went on to write: “Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. Although it can be the easiest way to have a new, fresh lawn, laying sod over an existing one would not be the best option. During the Spring and Summer months, we get a lot of questions about laying sod. If there are live grass left, it will spoil and affect the roots of the new sod, which will cause brown spots. Once the sod dies, you will end up having to re-sod again and remove all of the lawn underneath as well. Don’t forget to thoroughly water your new sod within half an hour of it being laid. Laying sod could be a tough job, and it’s better to look for a process that makes it easier to put a new lawn. This would hamper your sod from growing its roots and would likely kill your new lawn over a few weeks. Use a garden hose with a sprayer attachment and lightly moisten the surface area. Sod is a big investment and people are concerned that they get a beautiful lawn in return. Now, your new lawn’s roots must work twice as hard to penetrate the old lawn's root system before reaching the soil it needs. Once again, the soil must be adequately raked and graded for proper drainage. The biggest difference between sod cutters and tillers is what they do with the grass. Haul in some topsoil, or have it delivered to your site. Though it is generally thought to be OK to lay sod over an existing lawn, some landscapers and homeowners prefer to remove any existing lawn before installation of sod. The cost for laying sod will depend on the size of the area you are covering. We're Always There For All Your Outdoor Needs, Call Us Today: +1.416.838.2229 For A FREE Estimate. Thank you in advance for any help. Obviously if you do it yourself, it will cost less. Those placed in the growing season, except in very high heat with fewer weeds and almost no problems... With the renovation existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn less stress! 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