cut any existing grass low, and level out any holes or step dips in the Rake the soil, and … Turf needs to be able to grow roots quickly to become established after sod is laid. Of course, there is usually a fair amount of prep work involved, depending on the situation, and the sod must be watered and monitored carefully until it is established. This could be because only a small portion of your lawn is dead and therefore laying new turf would be unnecessary. Sod can transform a dirt lot or dead area of grass into a lush, green lawn. Start a new roll immediately where the roll finished. You do need to take out the old turf before you put in new sod. It might look good for a couple of weeks with proper watering, but it cannot survive in these conditions! Garden weeds are unwanted annual or perennial plants that limit desirable plants from growing vigorously because of the strong competition they offer for soil moisture and nutrients. Do Not Lay Sod Over Old Turf. On the flip side, it places your new sod at the risk of slow growth. Laying it over the roots could damage the tree. slightly above the existing lawn. You may consider adding a layer of topsoil on top of existing grass, or, better yet, remove old sod with a sod … Money is saved and the landfills are preserved. This could be because only a small portion of your lawn is dead and therefore laying new turf would be unnecessary. This allows the layer of sod to fit flush with the fixed surface. If you notice unevenness in the height of the sod, place soil underneath the shorter layers to create uniformity in yard height. Begin by applying a starter fertilizer high in phosphorus, such as 2:1:1 or 1:1:1 ratio. Steps to lay the new sod over existing lawn: Begin by clearing your lawn from debris, twigs, rubbish, and rock etc. Lay the next row of sod. Posted by 5 years ago. Placing the sod right above the existing grass would keep it at an elevation and far away from the soil and chances for the sod to try out faster would be higher. This can be done with an application of a glyphosate chemical control such as Round Up. Laying the Next Rows. Lay a sod at one end of your lawn and start to unroll it from the other side. The soil in the planting area should be moist, not soggy or dry. … Any good tips to help it blend? The ground should drop 1 foot every 50 feet to create a 2 percent slope. Grass seed is much cheaper to buy than buying the equivalent amount of turf. Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. Your fresh sod will be unable to reach the soil to develop roots. Start a new roll immediately where the roll finished. Lay the next row of sod. Unroll another roll of sod on the opposite side of the yard where you began, starting a new roll as needed and removing excess with a utility knife. It involves re-grading and blending the new sod with the existing lawn. Start by watering the area and spraying an herbicide over the entire yard. Position the tines of the heavy-duty tarmac rake next to a fixed surface of the lawn, such as a sidewalk or driveway. Professional turf layers know that’s a recipe for a ruined lawn, for a variety of reasons. Pro Tip: Lay your new roll of sod over the top of the area to be patched. Deal with old sod. Plant your sod over an existing lawn, while still ensuring good sod to soil contact. “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. Why not to lay turf over old grass. – a new, beautiful lawn. Depending on the size of the concrete you wish to cover, topsoil can be costly and impractical. 4. Newly planted sod complements your landscape features, adds aesthetic appeal to your property and reduces lawn maintenance overall, as it has already undergone maintenance and care associated with seeding. Pull as many weeds as possibly by hand. If you encounter a tree or another obstacle you need to lay the sod around, drape it over the object and carefully cut the sod so that it fits around the object's base. Cut the edges of the area straight. Many garden centers accept sod cuttings for their mulching project, so call around if you’re concerned about diverting large amounts of yard waste from the waste stream when you re-sod your lawn. Grass seed is much cheaper to buy than buying the equivalent amount of turf. You may consider adding a layer of topsoil on top of existing grass, or, better yet, remove old sod with a sod … People often think that laying sod over an existing lawn makes sense and saves time. Spread 1 inch of compost over the tilled soil and till to a depth of 4 inches to incorporate. Many homeowners want to avoid the extra work involved in removing existing lawns to install new sod. On its surface, it seems like an easy shortcut: Roll out new turf over a struggling lawn, let the bottom layer die and – viola! Lay sod strips with the ends butting up together, but not overlapping. Water your lawn with 2 1/2 gallons of water per square foot, and allow the soil to settle for a week. Mark the area you will lay new sod with gardening paint. This is key to not having weeds growing up between your sod strips while the lawn is establishing. But it must be done correctly to get a lawn that will look good for many years to come. Ask the internet “Can I lay turf on existing grass?” and the answer is generally a resounding no – but of course it’s more complex than that, so here’s what to know about laying turf on existing grass for the best results. Dampen the prepared soil right before laying sections of new sod. Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls. If you’re in the market to lay new turf over a struggling lawn or playing field, you’ll need to prepare the ground first – exactly how you’d prepare it to allow the sod to make root-to-soil contact. To do so, it needs additional soil. Unroll another roll of sod down the row, this time cutting it 2 feet shorter to stagger the abutting layers. If you feel resistance, the sod has taken root. Rake the yard thoroughly, collect all remaining debris and place it in the bin. Wear gardening gloves when removing debris and pulling weeds from your lawn. The usual procedure for laying sod is, as you mention, soil preparation first, so that would mean digging over, raking off any debris, removing any weed roots, levelling off, then walking all over it on your heels to get out soft spots, re rake/levelling and then laying the turf (sod, we call it turf here...). Examine the yard for any depressions or holes, and fill them with soil as needed with a scoop shovel. Installing a new sod lawn will give your property a complete facelift. To lay a perfect sod, here are some essential guidelines on how to lay sods over an existing lawn Lay a sod at one end of your lawn and start to unroll it from the other side. How to care for your new sod patches: Mowing: You can resume mowing immediately with your Husqvarna Automower, but you’ll want to … (See below for a shopping list and tools. Before that delivery happens, our sod vendor will call you directly to schedule a drop-off time. Apply an herbicide containing the active ingredients MCPP, dicamba or glyphosate to any remaining weeds. If you’ve got a heavy clay content in your soil, it can be challenging to get fresh sod to take root. I need to re do it and wonder if I can just till the backyard, incorporating the bamboo leaves in and add more soil and put new sod on. It settled good 4 … Hoes, rakes, and forked tools all make fast work of removing small … After laying sods, try not to walk over the just laid sod. Alternate between longer and shorter layers to create a brick-wall pattern. He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. A.J. Trying to lay sod over existing grass leads to drying and dead roots as the new layer struggles to reach the soil below. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. To lay a perfect sod, here are some essential guidelines on how to lay sods over an existing lawn. Start by watering the area and spraying an herbicide over the entire yard. Laying sod is such a fast way to start new grass that it is almost no exaggeration to say it gives you an "instant lawn." Renting a sod stripper was not needed in our situation, as we had a good lawn underneath the 6 inches of quality soil we put down. It slices under the grass, enabling you to pull up strips of old turf. Laying sod is a gratifying experience—you get a new, green lawn in no time! The goal is to end up with a level stretch of soil that is about an inch below the surrounding surfaces. Some people like to cut the old turf as low as possible and lay fresh sod on top. “You really need soil to soil contact, in order for the roots to establish. Before laying sod, the old grass and a bit of the old soil beneath it has to be taken away. It may also include: Fertilize the soil. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. Archived. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." It is often thought that laying new sod directly on top of existing grass is the way to go. Tamp down the area where the soil meets the fixed surfaces of the lawn with a hand tamper. In fact, laying fresh sod over an existing lawn is no shortcut and could kill your sod and cause you twice as much work. Till the soil to a depth of 6 inches with a mechanized tiller to break up the grass and its root system. I have rototilled old lawns for over ten years without the removal of sod. Because of the air trapped in the original grass, roots will be exposed to air and, regardless of how diligently you water them, will dehydrate. Although installing new sod requires less care and maintenance procedures than seeding, the prep work required for laying it directly over grass is almost the same, as it must come in contact with freshly turned soil to take root. 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. How to Prepare Clay Soil for Sod. Your home center should be able to provide you with the proper mixture. When the lawn is fully covered, check for gaps in hard-to-reach, curved or oddly shaped areas. Here is how you can resod your lawn: Remove and dispose of the existing sod. For the remaining weeds in the lawn, you can look to treat it with the herbicide that contains all … Have a sample of your soil tested. *These prices are only an estimate and not final, for exact costs please place an order by calling our office at 970-284-6000. The dead grass can then be removed. How to Prepare Clay Soil for Sod. Prep work includes removing existing grass and getting the ground ready with fertilizer or new soil as needed. “In no situation should sod be installed over existing grass, said Michele Gibson, co-owner of DG Turf Farm, a third-generation sod farm in Greenleaf, Idaho. A new lush green lawn will also add value to your property. Use a rototiller to till the top 4 inches (10 cm) of the soil. Remove excess sod from the end of the row with the blade of a utility knife. Moisten the soil lightly with a garden hose, and place the open end of the roll of sod where you started prepping the area. Ideally, you should lay new sod when the soil reaches a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. What is sodding? Once everything is nice and level, you need to apply a turf starter fertilizer that’s right for the kind of sod you’ll be laying. You may consider adding a layer of topsoil on top of existing grass, or, better yet, remove old sod with a sod cutter to expose soil. Renting a sod stripper was not needed in our situation, as we had a good lawn underneath the 6 inches of quality soil we put down. How to Plant Grass Seeds on an Existing Lawn. Start by dampening the soil with a sprinkler or hose, then rake out any footprints you’ve … If you decide to have a new lawn, it is best to remove first the existing lawn before installing the fresh sod. The existing ground may need to be manicured or treated before sod installation. 7. Tilling the soil will help mix in the topsoil … This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to create a lush, new lawn with sod. These days all I do is prepare yards for sod installation. Some customers spray their existing lawn with Round-Up and . Laying new sod next to an existing lawn. When placing turf/sod patches into an existing lawn I will initially install them approximately 1inch (25mm) higher than the existing lawn, then using a combination of a scaffold board and my weight I will "settle" the newly installed patches so they are level or very! Use your shovel to cut down through the new sod and the existing grass below at the same time. Apply a starter fertilizer with a rotary spreader to the area such as an 8-8-8. After it was all over, we pulled up the old sod and laid down . Have killed existing Burmuda grass and similiar problem grasses. The time to lay sod is early morning before it gets too hot. Return to the side of the yard where you began. 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. Therefore, removing the old grass would negate all such concerns. Remove half of the water from the lawn roller, and go over the lawn again, row by row, to release air trapped underneath. Give your lawn a fresh look by laying sod to cover dead spots. Sod should be installed within 24 to 48 hours of arrival and stored in a well-shaded area if possible. Water thoroughly one or two days before the sod is delivered so that the top several inches of soil are wetted. First of all, a few of the reasons why NOT to lay turf over old grass. Use a rake to smooth the prepared surface for your sod installation. It involves re-grading and blending the new sod with the existing lawn. This is because the sod cannot survive if you lay it on top of existing grass. Prep the Soil New sod cannot be placed over existing growth, so to prepare your lawn, kill all the weeds and stray plant life. 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. Shutterstock/Pfeiffer. Close. If your old lawn just has a small, pitiful remnant, put it out of its misery and scrape … After laying the first row, use the knife to cut off half of the next piece so you … Taxes are not included in the estimate. Since most struggling lawns need soil improvement before you add sod, you'll end up digging up and removing most of the remaining grass anyway and might as well clear away all of it for a fresh start. However for a better finish I would recommend removing the old turf completely. Laying the sod. Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. Don’t worry if you leave a little space … Most professionals who lay sod can also do the prep work, and charge on average $1 per square foot on top of sod installation costs. Cut and Lay the Sod Using a sod cutter or a very sharp knife, cut the sod to fit the area (this can be tricky). Through experience, it is not best to lay sod over existing grass. Any good tips to help it blend? Collect as much debris from your yard as possible, such as non-ornamental rocks, twigs and rubbish, and place it in a bin. Rake the soil you will sod in a straight line from beginning to end of the marked area, increasing pressure on the rake as you approach the end of the row. Work your way across the yard for complete coverage with the aerator. I've cleared out a rock bed and will be laying new sod next to an existing lawn, which is about 20 years old. The original layer of grass will form a barrier that makes it difficult for roots to establish. Before you begin laying the sod, apply fertilizer to the entire area after the final … This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. Run the lawn roller over the soil row by row, just as you prepped it, until uniform. Place the organic matter you collect from the yard when preparing it for sod in your compost pile. The additional organic matter and the labor savings have been a big plus. How to Lay Sod Over an Existing Lawn. Continue laying sod on opposite sides until it meets in the center of the yard. Grass grows as long as it has enough soil for nourishment and water for moisture. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu. I often get asked if you can just apply a shallow dressing of soil over grass and then lay sod on top of that. If you want your sod to look even and healthy, take the time to prepare the soil before you lay the sod down. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. Step 3 Till the soil to a depth of 6 inches with a mechanized tiller to break up the grass and its root system. Return to the starting point of the row, and rake again until the soil measures 1 inch below the level of the fixed surface. New sod cannot be placed over existing growth, so to prepare your lawn, kill all the weeds and stray plant life. Ideally, you should lay new sod when the soil reaches a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Water the sod every day until it takes root in the soil. Move all landscaping features away from the areas you will lay sod. Use a rototiller to loosen soil to a depth of 6 to 8 … But once you have prepared the ground properly, the sod installation goes very quickly. If you have space in the center, cut sod lengthwise as needed to fill it in. The best times to install sod are the early spring or early fall. While eliminating the asphalt first is the best option, if that is not possible, a lawn will grow over asphalt if the paving material is first covered with soil. Then, lay compost atop the lawn and let it sit for a few weeks to fully suppress the soil. It’s ideal to start laying your new sod against a fixed surface, such as a sidewalk or a side of the house. Installing A New Sod Lawn – How To Do It Right The First Time. Laying sod over new bare ground takes a lot of muscle but you can almost be guaranteed that the grass will do better than when it is on existing turf. Sodding Basics 101 Covers- What to watch out for- PLUS watering, mowing, grading, how to deep to lay black dirt, sod patterns, How to remove old sod & MORE! Cut the sod to lay it around trees and other obstacles. Haul in some topsoil, or have it delivered to your site. This seems like an easy way to cut down the preparation time, but will end up adding more time than it saves! The secret is in the preparation for the new sod. If you install sod on top of your existing lawn, the existing grass forms a layer between your sod and the soil beneath. 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. In order to do this, your sod needs to have contact with the soil beneath it. How to drain lawn with very little slope? “All sod must make soil contact to root,” she points out. Grass provides a functional ground cover in yards and parks as well as guarding against soil erosion along roadways and waterways. Apply 10 pounds of 10-20-10 starter fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of tilled soil. The grass will be shipped directly from a sod farm to your lawn. Obviously the new patches aren't going to be a perfect match to what's already there. You’ll also be unlikely to lay sod in a manner that will prevent its roots from drying out. The new sod would be able to get the best access to the deep soil that it needs for its proper growth. Unroll the sod down the row, starting a new roll as needed. Unfortunately, the answer is exactly the one you were probably hoping it wouldn’t be. Lay your first row of sod, usually along the longest side of the yard. Give your lawn a fresh look by laying sod to cover dead spots. Sod, though, can be applied directly over existing grass.” The author went on to write: “Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. So you won't have to cut the sod in odd shapes, remove the dead grass so that the prepared area forms a square. Fill the lawn roller’s drum three-fourths full of water. Laying new turf over old lawn is possible, but results will not be satisfactory in the long run. Finish laying the roll of sod, and return to the opposite side and repeat, cutting each abutting layer 2 feet shorter than the longer one next to it. Lay the Sod. One of the main reasons is that if you put new sod on top of old vegetation, the new sod’s root system will never actually make contact with the soil. Check if your sod has taken root by gently tugging on it. If you’re in the market to lay new turf over a struggling lawn or playing field, you’ll need to prepare the ground first – exactly how you’d prepare it to allow the sod to make root-to-soil contact. Then, lay compost atop the lawn and let it sit for a few weeks to fully suppress the soil. Cut the edges of the area straight. People often think that laying sod over an existing lawn makes sense and saves time. This row, you want to stagger the seams “like you are laying brick.” Install … When the grass dies, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new sod above it. Use a rotary till to make the job easier and faster. Spray the chemical onto the existing lawn will kill the grass. These alternative methods may not be appropriate in areas that experience a lot of standing water after a rain. A lush and healthy lawn requires an investment of time and effort. This will give you a patch that exactly matches the size and shape of the hole below. … Our next section (Option #3), will talk about sodding or seeding directly on the ground or grass. Save the cutouts so you can use them if you have any small gaps to fill in later. Sod grass requires soil contact in order to thrive. The goal is to create a 2 percent slope in the sodded area to allow for water runoff. You should go on to pull as many weeds as you can do manually. I use to have thick healthy Bahia grass there but planted weeping clumping bamboo alongside the back fence for privacy and over the years those bamboo leaves settled and grass is gone. Start a new roll immediately where the unrolled roll is finished. Laying new sod next to an existing lawn. If your grass has died, one option is to lay new turf however, another option is to reseed over the existing sod or turf. 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". Apply at least a 2- to 3-inch layer of topsoil over your cultivated lawn. For best results, you should always remove any old vegetation before laying new turf. Our next section (Option #3), will talk about sodding or seeding directly on the ground or grass. Dig Organic Matter Into Soil. You can’t simply lay sod on top of grass without doing proper preparation. Now that your fertilizer is laid down, you can start laying your sod. As with any other turf-laying project, you’ll need to consider grading and drainage when you install your new sod, making sure water doesn’t pool in low spots and drains properly. Sod is the practical choice for a quick lawn, both for the quick green, but also to hold soil in place. For example, laying sod over the existing turf is easier and faster. 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. Killing existing weeds prior to laying sod increases the chances of the grass establishing itself and growing healthy. How to Change the Blades on a Yard Machine Lawn Tractor, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Establishing a Yard from Sod, UC IPM Online: Establishing a Lawn from Sod, How to Sod a Yard With St. Augustine Palmetto Grass. Save the cutouts so you can use them if you have any small gaps to fill in later. Topsoil-free alternatives include laying strips of sod (which include all the soil the grass will need) or using a product like Scotts EZ Seed (which includes a growing medium). If you’re in the market to lay new turf over a struggling lawn or playing field, you’ll need to prepare the ground first – exactly how you’d prepare it to allow the sod to make root-to-soil contact. If you want the new sod to look its best and with no old weeds or old grass . How to Lay Sod Over an Existing Lawn. New grass will grow over old turf, however, your lawn’s condition will deteriorate over time as the old grass dies. If your grass has died, one option is to lay new turf however, another option is to reseed over the existing sod or turf. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Incorporate this topsoil into the tilled grass with your rototiller. Fit the sod into the area and "knit" the edges together by squeezing them toward each other with your hands. If you're laying sod around a tree, don't lay it right up against the tree's base. In order for sod to survive, it has to be able to form a root system. Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. Though installing new sod calls for much less care and upkeep procedures than seeding, the prep function needed for laying it directly over grass is virtually the same, because it need to are available in make contact with with freshly turned soil to take root. In fact, laying fresh sod over an existing lawn is no shortcut and could kill your sod and cause you twice as much work. While that sounds simple, skeptics will probably ask, “Can you lay sod over existing grass?”. Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls. Position the yard roller where you began preparing the soil for the new sod. Adhere to the herbicide's manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions when applying herbicide. Fill in all seams with soil and tamp them down. Plus trees grew and shade killed the rest of the grass. If you encounter a tree or another obstacle you need to lay the sod around, drape it over the object and carefully cut the sod so that it fits around the object's base. 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