Looking for advice for sod cutter operation

mmorton89(6a)May 3, 2014

Hello! So my lawn is very uneven and lumpy. I considered just buying new sod and redoing the lawn but blue grass in my area costs ~0.50 cents a square foot and just my front lawn alone is about 1600 square feet. So that is way out of my budget range.
After doing a bunch of googling, I learned that you can reuse sod if it is in good condition and is cut out cleanly. So I went to a Sunbelt Rentals and rented a sod cutter for 100 bucks. Unfortunately the guys at the rental place did not tell me it was too wet to cut sod that day and let me rent the tool anyways. After an hour or two I gave up and took the loss and brought the sod cutter back.

This was yesterday (5/2/14) and it has not rained yet since then, but my yard seems like it is still too moist to cut.

My main questions are, how long will it take to dry out and how dry does it need to be for the sod cutter to work?

It might rain later this week and I want to do it before then, but I do not want to rent a sod cutter again if it wont work, considering its a 100 dollar per day rental.

I am very new to lawn care and landscaping, the only experience I have with lawns is cutting my fathers grass when I was in high school lol. After wasting a bunch of money yesterday, I want to make sure everything will work the way I have it planned before blowing even more money on this project.

Thanks for your time!
Mike

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Too bad you didn't write earlier.

Search this forum for "leveling" and "dproud". Several years ago Dave Proud wrote an excellent tutorial on leveling lawns. His was a bermuda lawn so a few adjustments would have to happen, but the basic idea would be the same. Here is a basic outline:

1. Get the lawn growing well. Fertilize and keep it watered.
2. Mow it very short but not too short to kill the grass. The shorter you mow the less sand you'll end up using.
3. Cover the area with only enough sand to fill in the low spots.
4. Use a drag to spread the sand and knock off the high spots.
5. Water it to settle the sand.
6. Let the sand dry and check to see if it is level enough. In not repeat steps 3-5.
7. When you have it perfectly level, start watering just enough to moisten the top sand several times per day until you see the new grass coming in through the sand. Then start to back off on the watering frequency. Ultimately you'll get back to watering a full inch once per week.

Also search YouTube for lawn leveling.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 3:26PM
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mmorton89(6a)

Thanks for the reply!

I think I read that tutorial yesterday! (that's how I found these forums)

I guess I should have explained why I need to cut and remove this turf and I am sorry for the confusion.

Putting down sand or topsoil to level might work on a few parts of my lawn, but some parts are too high and need to be lowered.

I have done tons of searching for lawn leveling but every solution involves raising the turf, which I do need to do on a small part of my front yard and basically my whole back yard but at least half my front lawn needs to be lowered.

This is why I need to cut and remove parts of my lawn.

Also is sand bad for leveling? I mean since sand is smashed up rocks, it has no nutritional or organic value. I just assume top soil would be better for this.

This post was edited by mmorton89 on Sat, May 3, 14 at 15:59

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 3:49PM
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