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Removing Sod to Re-sod

Posted by kenmichelle CA (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 26, 10 at 2:28

We need to get rid of our front lawn and redo it. It's one big rectangle of about 650 square feet. I have read conflicting advice about how to remove old sod when you are going to lay new sod. Some say just till under the old sod because the organic material helps the new sod. Others say you must remove the old sod and get rid of it because if you till it under it may transfer fungus or disease to the new sod.

So I'm not sure what to do with the grass I currently have - till it or remove it. What is the general opinion on this site?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Removing Sod to Re-sod

I like the grass even with my sidewalk, driveway, etc.
Sodding on top would add additional height to the area, plus the tilling makes it a lumpy bumpy mess as it settles in the following years.

Rent a sod cutter. Make a nice smooth even seedbed for the new sod.

[David, if you see this - post that picture of the grass too high and going over the sidewalk.]

RE: Removing Sod to Re-sod

[David, if you see this - post that picture of the grass too high and going over the sidewalk.]
I call this "Topdressing gone wild."

That lady has been applying a little topsoil for decades. At the highest it is 8 inches above the sidewalk (out of the picture to the right). In the distance ahead you can see the topsoil over the sidewalk is so deep that the grass is growing all the way across. I thought the sidewalk was missing there, but no, it's still intact.

Here is what the level should look like.

Rent the sod cutter and remove the grass. Tilling is the worst option of all. Fungus is not a problem but lumps and bumps down the road is always a problem after tilling.

RE: Removing Sod to Re-sod


I got two questions:

1. Can a sod cutter cut through small tree roots? I have many small (about 1/4/to 1/2 inch diameter) tree roots just below the surface and in some cases on the surface.

2. How do you get rid of the old sod you're removing?


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