Then, lay compost atop the lawn and let it sit for a few weeks to fully suppress the soil. 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...). Obviously the new patches aren't going to be a perfect match to what's already there. Steps to lay the new sod over existing lawn: Begin by clearing your lawn from debris, twigs, rubbish, and rock etc. The additional organic matter and the labor savings have been a big plus. “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. Apply at least a 2- to 3-inch layer of topsoil over your cultivated lawn. Examine the yard for any depressions or holes, and fill them with soil as needed with a scoop shovel. Sod, though, can be applied directly over existing grass.” The author went on to write: “Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. 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. 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. Till the soil to a depth of 6 inches with a mechanized tiller to break up the grass and its root system. 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. The soil in the planting area should be moist, not soggy or dry. Save the cutouts so you can use them if you have any small gaps to fill in later. Work your way across the yard for complete coverage with the aerator. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. To do so, it needs additional soil. Plus trees grew and shade killed the rest of the grass. Killing existing weeds prior to laying sod increases the chances of the grass establishing itself and growing healthy. In order for sod to survive, it has to be able to form a root system. Installing A New Sod Lawn – How To Do It Right The First Time. When the grass dies, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new sod above it. I often get asked if you can just apply a shallow dressing of soil over grass and then lay sod on top of that. Use your shovel to cut down through the new sod and the existing grass below at the same time. Here is how you can resod your lawn: Remove and dispose of the existing sod. Laying the Next Rows. Return to the starting point of the row, and rake again until the soil measures 1 inch below the level of the fixed surface. If you install sod on top of your existing lawn, the existing grass forms a layer between your sod and the soil beneath. Tilling the soil will help mix in the topsoil … How to care for your new sod patches: Mowing: You can resume mowing immediately with your Husqvarna Automower, but you’ll want to … This row, you want to stagger the seams “like you are laying brick.” Install … Laying it over the roots could damage the tree. … 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! This seems like an easy way to cut down the preparation time, but will end up adding more time than it saves! You can’t simply lay sod on top of grass without doing proper preparation. Dig Organic Matter Into Soil. 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. 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. Our next section (Option #3), will talk about sodding or seeding directly on the ground or grass. 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. This is because the sod cannot survive if you lay it on top of existing grass. People often think that laying sod over an existing lawn makes sense and saves time. You should go on to pull as many weeds as you can do manually. Don’t worry if you leave a little space … Before that delivery happens, our sod vendor will call you directly to schedule a drop-off time. Haul in some topsoil, or have it delivered to your site. Grass seed is much cheaper to buy than buying the equivalent amount of turf. 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. Then, lay compost atop the lawn and let it sit for a few weeks to fully suppress the soil. Adhere to the herbicide's manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions when applying herbicide. Professional turf layers know that’s a recipe for a ruined lawn, for a variety of reasons. In fact, laying fresh sod over an existing lawn is no shortcut and could kill your sod and cause you twice as much work. The original layer of grass will form a barrier that makes it difficult for roots to establish. 4. Move all landscaping features away from the areas you will lay sod. 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. If you have space in the center, cut sod lengthwise as needed to fill it in. Check if your sod has taken root by gently tugging on it. A.J. Apply a starter fertilizer with a rotary spreader to the area such as an 8-8-8. Unfortunately, the answer is exactly the one you were probably hoping it wouldn’t be. Any good tips to help it blend? 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. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. slightly above the existing lawn. “All sod must make soil contact to root,” she points out. Sod can transform a dirt lot or dead area of grass into a lush, green lawn. So you won't have to cut the sod in odd shapes, remove the dead grass so that the prepared area forms a square. How to Prepare Clay Soil for Sod. How to Plant Grass Seeds on an Existing Lawn. Moisten the soil lightly with a garden hose, and place the open end of the roll of sod where you started prepping the area. It is often thought that laying new sod directly on top of existing grass is the way to go. Lay your first row of sod, usually along the longest side of the yard. But it must be done correctly to get a lawn that will look good for many years to come. Your fresh sod will be unable to reach the soil to develop roots. Sod is the practical choice for a quick lawn, both for the quick green, but also to hold soil in place. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls. Many homeowners want to avoid the extra work involved in removing existing lawns to install new sod. “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. Grass provides a functional ground cover in yards and parks as well as guarding against soil erosion along roadways and waterways. Spray the chemical onto the existing lawn will kill the grass. Remove excess sod from the end of the row with the blade of a utility knife. How to Prepare Clay Soil for Sod. The grass will be shipped directly from a sod farm to your lawn. If you feel resistance, the sod has taken root. Give your lawn a fresh look by laying sod to cover dead spots. Use a rake to smooth the prepared surface for your sod installation. After it was all over, we pulled up the old sod and laid down . Lay the next row of sod. 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. Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. 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