Inspect the area you wish to grow grass on for any loose concrete. A third thing that can cause grass to thin out and lose its lush appeal over time is a lack of aeration. Adding fresh grass to your lawn can be done by seed or sod, and both methods have their advantages. Would we have to level the lawn with new dirt first and then plant new sod? 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. NEVER lay sod over existing grass, scrape off the existing turf. Based on the questions I get from customers, there are two common situations that lead someone to want to put down sod.1. 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. Whether or not to remove the old grass before laying sod is a long-standing debate. Lay sod in spring where cool-season grasses rule and any time of year where warm-season turf is king. Actually, the cost isn’t that much different, and in comparison with pine straw, sod paysfor itself in the long run. The cost for laying sod will depend on the size of the area you are covering. One downside to installing landscape fabric directly over a lawn is that the surface may become lumpy and uneven as the sod decomposes. Apply at least a 2- to 3-inch layer of topsoil over your cultivated lawn. 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. 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. Sod roots fastest when laid during the period of peak growth for the type of grass involved. There’s the “remove it all” camp, the “till it in” camp, and the “just lay the sod on top” camp, with all sides reporting success with their methods. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Costs vary, but in general, expect to pay at least 40 cents a square foot for sod you install yourself. Use a rotary till to make the job easier and faster. Grass rolls are typically strips of sod 2 feet by 5 feet. Or turn the sods over so I don’t need as much compost/soil/sand? Thanks! The biggest difference between sod cutters and tillers is what they do with the grass. A slightly acidic pH will still be great for faster growth and spreading. It might look good for a couple of weeks with proper watering, but it cannot survive in these conditions! 3 Mow the turf low, or about 3/4 inch above the soil surface. I have a patch of dead grass in my lawn, and I’d like to repair it with sod. Wheelbarrow to carry the old grass that you remove and bring in the fresh soil-, Rake to grade the area and spread the soil –. That’s it. 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. “All sod must make soil contact to root,” she points out. Looks like fine fescue to me (likes to lay down when taller). © 2020 Today’s Homeowner Media. 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. You should kill your existing grass. Do I need to dig out the old grass, or can I lay the new sod right on top of it? Once again, the soil must be adequately raked and graded for proper drainage. 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". Through experience, it is not best to lay sod over existing grass. Costs vary, but in general, expect to pay at least 40 cents a square foot for sod you install yourself. 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. 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. A fall installation date will also allow time for the roots to develop prior to the next summer. Water it frequently for the next two weeks. Can You Lay Sod Over Existing Grass?. Hurrah! 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. 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. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. The lawn is now very uneven and unsightly. 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. Would we have to remove existing grass (which we really don’t want to do). Freshly laid sod also needs proper nutrients to thrive and to grow. While sod cutters create easily removed strips, tillers rip the turf and churn it into the soil. This puts a tremendous strain on your sod … 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. Our front lawn was newly sodded in 2015. If there are live grass left, it will spoil and affect the roots of the new sod, which will cause brown spots. 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. 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 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. Lay down one section of sod … Sod is a big investment and people are concerned that they get a beautiful lawn in return. Make sure there is a way for water to properly drain from the area. Before you waste your time and money on more sod, make sure you’ve corrected the underlying problem. If you decide to have a new lawn, it is best to remove first the existing lawn before installing the fresh sod. There are three ways to remove your existing lawn-Using Chemicals. The purpose of sodding your lawn is to start new, with a fresh carpet of healthy, weed-free grass. When laying the 2cd strip, stagger joints, similar to laying bricks. Run a sod roller on the area to compact the soil of the sod and the topsoil you added. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. Use a rake to smooth the prepared surface for your sod installation. To form sod to fit curves/ edges a sharp knife must be used. Existing grass makes it hard for sod to get the nutrients it needs to survive. 10 Mow the grass to 2 inches tall when it grows to 3 inches tall. Let the soil surface dry before continuing with the renovation. These days all I do is prepare yards for sod installation. This would hamper your sod from growing its roots and would likely kill your new lawn over a few weeks. The home is a new construction.2. Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. 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. Once the sod dies, you will end up having to re-sod again and remove all of the lawn underneath as well. Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. Add half an inch of fresh topsoil onto the soil to balance its conditions. Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. The author went on to write: “Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. 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. What Is The Difference Between Sodding And seeding. 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. 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. 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. Adding soil over grass gave us great success with our lawn repair, but it may not work for your situation. 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. 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. 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. You can find more information on watering sod in this blog. Keep the fresh lawn moist as you lay it, and water it after. Water the lawn deeply, soaking the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. Money is saved and the landfills are preserved. So you won't have to cut the sod in odd shapes, remove the dead grass so that the prepared area forms a square. Make sure you have checked out our other repair options as well. For top-dressing a St. Augustine lawn, use either sandy loam soil or clean free-flowing sand. 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. The best way to prevent this fate is to get rid of existing weeds before you lay down sod. I have never been able to determine any down side after doing this thousands of times. Many would say that laying sod on top of existing grass would be the way to go. And since it’s too late to plant grass seed for a successful fall seeding, sod is a great alternative for an instant lawn. Grass needs to be aerated periodically every few years in order to reestablish proper roots. 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. If you do not, then the old grass will grow up through the cracks between the pieces of sod. 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. This is also important because the old soil might be taken out along with the old lawn. We manage to use organic material in order to treat your lawn as we follow The Organic Lawn Care Manual. A little bit of extra work at the start of the project will ensure that you get to sit back and enjoy your new lawn! Don't put so much down that you kill your existing grass; less than a quarter of an inch is plenty. 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. 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. Laying the sod is the easy part; getting the soil ready so it can keep your sod healthy takes much longer. Rake loose concrete away before applying soil. A pallet of sod covers 500 square feet, and the price can range from $200 to $400 per pallet. Isn’t ready-to-lay grass so much more expensive than picking up a few bales of pine straw twice a year? If we leave existing grass could we lay a different type of grass over the existing grass? 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. When the grass dies, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new sod above it. 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. Water the yard lightly every day with about 1/2 to 1 inch of water to keep the soil moist until the grass establishes. -David. Cut the edges of the area straight. Of course, sod is a lot more expensive than a bag of seed. I have rototilled old lawns for over ten years without the removal of sod. Would like your input on this. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. Between the pieces of sod covers laying sod over sparse grass square feet, and both methods have advantages. Topsoil over your cultivated lawn, offsetting the seams on each row big... Every few years in order to treat your lawn is to start new, with a one. 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