Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors. Plant Grass if Needed. At this point, you’ll notice that the underlying layer of sod, instead of decomposing, turned into a matted slimy mess instead of composted nutrients. Use a rototiller to loosen soil to a depth of 6 to 8 … ​Trim your Crape Myrtles like a pro. Start a new roll immediately where the roll finished. Rake the yard thoroughly, collect all remaining debris and place it in the bin. Be sure that edges along any paths, parts of the driveway, or garden beds are dug down enough that when the sod is laid it will be even with the surface. Then, lay compost atop the lawn and let it sit for a few weeks to fully suppress the soil. In order to do this, your sod needs to have contact with the soil beneath it. It is also essential that a fresh sod should be given proper nutrients to thrive and grow. HGTV shares tips for getting the perfect lawn. Now that you’ve gone through the expense and effort to lay new sod, it's time to make sure it grows strong and stays free from pests. Use your shovel to cut down through the new sod and the existing grass below at the same time. While your at it add some compost and fertilizer, and mix it in. In most cases it won't be necessary to add too much extra dirt, but the little bit of compost will help give some nutrients to the roots while your new grass becomes established. If you need help deciding on a turf variety check out our turf variety guide. You’re going to be tilling up clumps of the old root system, so you’ll want to remove those as you work. A strong and healthy root system makes your lawn more resilient, less maintenance and more attractive. How to Place Sod Over Existing Grass. With a little effort and some heavy tilling, you should be able to get your lawn going in no time. Once the lawn is mowed, you’ll want to use a rototiller to till the entire lawn about four to six inches in depth. . Tips and insight from the manager of one of the most famous baseball fields in the country. The biggest part of the job is tilling the old lawn. Shutterstock/Pfeiffer. Before laying sod, the old grass and a bit of the old soil beneath it has to … Don't make these 4 mistakes. As grasses mature, thinning is normal—especially if you enjoy your lawn and use it often. We’ll help you develop a system to stay on top of the most important part of lawn care. 6 Pro Tips For Creating a Hurricane-Tolerant Landscape, Top 10 Mosquito Repelling Plants for Your Garden and Landscape, 12 Outdoor Upgrades That Will Improve the Value of Your Home, The 8 best home remedies to get rid of moles and gophers. Check out some of GreenPal’s other articles. Overseeding keeps your lawn competitive and steeped in … Use a lawn roller to push sod firmly against soil beneath. You’ll need to rake any loose debris again during this process. Bring in a top soil/ compost mix and spread it evenly through the yard. Cut the edges of the area straight. In order for sod to survive, it has to be able to form a root system. Thorough watering is crucial to your new lawn’s ability to develop strong roots. The finished grade (after amendments and sod added) should end up matching the level of existing fixtures—walkways, patios, and established lawn. In my experience if you have an existing lawn it is not always necessary to remove it, in order to install sod,as long as you can level the ground with some organic material. Existing grass should be able … Once your new sod has died on top of your previous lawn, you'll now have to remove two layers of sod to get any new grass to take root. But first you'll need to do a little prep work. In areas where we put down less than 2 inches, the old grass will grow through and blend with the sod (under 2 to 3 inches). People often think that laying sod over an existing lawn makes sense and saves time. Start by mowing your old lawn as short as you safely can. Get started today and get your lawn mowed with out making a phone call. Cut the grass in your lawn to a height of 2 inches with a lawn mower. Overseeding is spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. If you have a fescue lawn, sod it with fescue, etc. Adding topsoil to an existing lawn does involve a careful process, and there are a couple of little things you should know before you go ahead with it. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. If the sod seems higher than the surrounding lawn, remove a little soil out of the patch, smooth and try again. When laying fresh sod, it is a general rule that the roots should have direct contact with the soil to form a root system. Sod was used in places where 2 inches or more of soil needed to be added. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Start by watering the area and spraying an herbicide over the entire yard. Reduce the height of grass to allow for easier raking and seeding. (See below for a shopping list and tools. If you install sod on top of your existing lawn, the existing grass forms a layer between your sod and the soil beneath. Done right, it's a straightforward process that gets results. Properly eliminating your old lawn before laying new sod is the first critical step in ensuring that your new sod grows a strong root system. Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls. For the remaining weeds in the lawn, you can look to treat it with the herbicide that contains all the active ingredients, dicamba, MCPP or glyphosate. Place it over the problem area. That translates to between 0.4 and 0.8 cubic yards of topsoil for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Your surface has been leveled and prepared, and it’s time to unroll your brand new lawn! Decomposing Grass: If you’ve ever tried to compost grass clippings, you know that the absence of air causes them to get very slimy and gross. This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to create a lush, new lawn with sod. 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. Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. If you're adding topsoil to fix dead patches, you'll only need to add a 1/8- to 1/4-inch layer of topsoil over dead or dying areas. Tilling the soil will help mix in the topsoil … Please feel free to say hi on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn. 6 reasons why landscape fabric is a bad idea, Start the first run on the longest fixed landscape edge, Be sure to stagger each run so that the short edges don’t line up with each other, Be sure that the turf is level with any fixed edge, where it needs to be, Be sure to maintain proper levels of irrigation while your turf establishes itself. Homeowners Guide: Planning a Successful Landscape Design. Be sure your surface is level when you are through. Keep in mind that the smaller the piece you patch, the faster it will dry out. Merge the edges of the sod with the surrounding grass by pressing it with your hands. On behalf of GreenPal, I've been featured in the Indianapolis Star, the Sacramento Bee, Entrepreneur, Inc.com, and dozens more. Should your lawn care company haul off the lawn clippings? Properly eliminating your old lawn before laying new sod is the first critical step in ensuring that your new sod grows a strong root system. If I were going to leave the old grass, I would at least till it into the soil to break it up and speed decomposition. Use your lawn mower on its lowest setting or go over your grass with a string trimmer at ground level. Wait patiently until the grass is at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) tall, and gently pull up on several areas of sod to confirm it is firmly attached. Limit traffic on the sod for the first three weeks while it’s establishing. This type of lawn preparation is timely, but may be the best way to really give your sod a head start. View Entire Discussion (3 Comments) If you will be replanting with seed and adding one inch of amendments then the grade should be one inch lower than your fixtures. Should You Fire Your Landscaper? You may have already done this in step one of How to Install Sod, but if you have not be sure to now. Using a shovel, cut a patch of the sod to fit the bald spot in your lawn. Check out our watering tips and care advice for your new sod to make sure your lawn stays healthy, strong and weed-free. Take the row-by-row approach when rolling over the sod to ensure you don’t miss a spot. 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