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. Next, put down a thin layer of high-quality topsoil and grade all of your lawn's surface so that it’s nice and level and free from any holes or high spots. Here’s what you need to know. 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. To install sod on an existing lawn, cut any existing grass low, and level out any holes or step dips in the yard. Be sure to add enough to make up for the soil you removed, but still leave enough space so that your sod will be level with the rest of … garden beds, house, sidewalk etc. Mark the area you will … In order to do this, your sod needs to have contact with the soil beneath it. Now you can replant grass in any bare spots. All rights reserved. Get started today and get your lawn mowed with out making a phone call. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. You’re going to be tilling up clumps of the old root system, so you’ll want to remove those as you work. Reduce the height of grass to allow for easier raking and seeding. Overseeding is spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. Sod was used in places where 2 inches or more of soil needed to be added. This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to create a lush, new lawn with sod. Hi, I'm Gene Caballero and I'm the co-founder of GreenPal How to Place Sod Over Existing Grass. So, in theory, it makes sense to simply mow your lawn short and lay new sod right over the existing lawn. Once you have decided on your turf and had it delivered, you are now ready to install your new greenery. Using a shovel, cut a patch of the sod to fit the bald spot in your lawn. HGTV shares tips for getting the perfect lawn. If you live where rocks and roots are not an issue, you can use a tiller or bedscaper, to till existing grass into the soil. Join the party! But remember you will need make the sod level with any edges such as walkways, driveways, or any other surface level with the ground. Remember to water your sod as soon as you have an area large enough for your sprinkler to cover. Using a glyphosphate like Round Up you can spray your existing lawn, and sod over the dead grass. Many people assume that the underlying lawn will die and provide some nutrients for the fresh sod, but that's not the case. Learn how to inspect and replace damaged risers and heads in a lawn sprinkler system. Dig Organic Matter Into Soil. You’ll want your sod to rest about an inch below any hardscapes like walkways or sidewalks, so take that into consideration as you grade your surface. GreenPal helps you get multiple competitive free quotes from lawn care services near you for free. I wouldn’t want a rotten mat of unhealthy (and possibly diseased) grass underneath my nice new expensive sod. Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds. Tilling the soil will help mix in the topsoil … Bring in a top soil/ compost mix and spread it evenly through the yard. 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. Getting Started. Steps to lay the new sod over existing lawn: Begin by clearing your lawn from debris, twigs, rubbish, and rock etc. 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. Trying to lay sod over existing grass leads to drying and dead roots as the new layer struggles to reach the soil below. 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. 4. Use a rototiller to loosen soil to a depth of 6 to 8 … Cut the edges of the area straight. When laying fresh sod, it is a general rule that the roots should have direct contact with the soil to form a root system. Fertilizing now will allow all of your fertilizer to get fully beneath the surface to feed the roots. People often think that laying sod over an existing lawn makes sense and saves time. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. Overseeding keeps your lawn competitive and steeped in … Start by mowing your old lawn as short as you safely can. You should go on to pull as many weeds as you can do manually. Limit traffic on the sod for the first three weeks while it’s establishing. Your home center should be able to provide you with the proper mixture. If you have a fescue lawn, sod it with fescue, etc. At GreenPal, we're helping hundreds of thousands of Americans solve one of the trickiest problems: a reliable, fast, and affordable way to get lawncare taken care of. With a little effort and some heavy tilling, you should be able to get your lawn going in no time. Tips for reducing the sneeze-makers in your landscape. Place it over the problem area. Now that your fertilizer is laid down, you can start laying your sod. 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. 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. 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. Usually this will be about 1 inch below the fixed edge you are installing around. If you are really determined to remove that grass, and don't want to use chemicals or can't use a tiller, then a shovel may just be your best option. As grasses mature, thinning is normal—especially if you enjoy your lawn and use it often. Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors. Using scissors, clippers or a knife cut your edge in, laying the sod parallel to the longest fixed edge. When the grass dies, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new sod above it. Instantly renew your lawn by installing sod. Once the lawn is mowed, you’ll want to use a rototiller to till the entire lawn about four to six inches in depth. 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 are installing your grass during the summer months, you'll need to double the watering to at least twice a day for a one hour duration to compensate for the high temperatures . Pick the best place to start unrolling the sod that minimizes the amount you might have to carry. Bring in a top soil/ compost mix and spread it evenly through the yard. 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. In fact, laying fresh sod over an existing lawn is no shortcut and could kill your sod and cause you twice as much work. Mow once the grass is at least 3 inches (7.6 cm). The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. Use a utility knife to cut out sod that is placed over irrigation heads or any other obstruction on your lawn. Start with the longest fixed edge or any edge in the landscape that can not be moved e.x. The biggest part of the job is tilling the old lawn. Merge the edges of the sod with the surrounding grass by pressing it with your hands. Don't make these 4 mistakes. . Though you can add fertilizer after laying the sod, you may lose some of it due to runoff. Laying sod is hard work, so it’s no wonder why people are always hunting for a shortcut when they’re installing a fresh lawn. Keep in mind that the smaller the piece you patch, the faster it will dry out. 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. 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. Pro Tip: Lay your new roll of sod over the top of the area to be patched. This includes children and pets. 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. Your fresh sod will be unable to reach the soil to develop roots. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. Removing your old lawn before laying new sod is crucial for a healthy root system. To install sod on an existing lawn, cut any existing grass low, and level out any holes or step dips in the yard. A tight connection between sod and soil is the secret to roots knitting quickly into soil. But first you'll need to do a little prep work. Sprinkler heads should stick up about ½ inch. 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. 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