You may have already done this in step one of How to Install Sod, but if you have not be sure to now. Of course, if you're lucky enough to get some rain, you will not need to water on that particular day. It’s a lot of work, but it will get the job done. Limit traffic on the sod for the first three weeks while it’s establishing. Sprinkler heads should stick up about ½ inch. We'll show you how. Please feel free to say hi on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn. Though you can add fertilizer after laying the sod, you may lose some of it due to runoff. Join the party! There are a few different techniques that can be implemented for this process-. Trying to lay sod over existing grass leads to drying and dead roots as the new layer struggles to reach the soil below. Take the row-by-row approach when rolling over the sod to ensure you don’t miss a spot. 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. Patch up a spotty yard with a little compost and sod. 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 … 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. 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. You’re going to be tilling up clumps of the old root system, so you’ll want to remove those as you work. 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. Pick the best place to start unrolling the sod that minimizes the amount you might have to carry. 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. 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. If you need help deciding on a turf variety check out our turf variety guide. 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). Mow once the grass is at least 3 inches (7.6 cm). (See below for a shopping list and tools. . Water every morning for about 2 weeks and keep moist until the sod has rooted. Instantly renew your lawn by installing sod. Usually this will be about 1 inch below the fixed edge you are installing around. Here Are Four Pro Tips. Start with the longest fixed edge or any edge in the landscape that can not be moved e.x. 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. Bag or rake as many clippings as possible and make sure to remove any loose debris like sticks or rocks from the lawn as you work. HGTV shares tips for getting the perfect lawn. Overseeding is spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. Rake up all grass clippings and cut vegetation from your site. 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. View Entire Discussion (3 Comments) 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. 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. Instantly renew and level out your lawn by laying sod. Thorough watering is crucial to your new lawn’s ability to develop strong roots. 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. Bring in a top soil/ compost mix and spread it evenly through the yard. I wouldn’t want a rotten mat of unhealthy (and possibly diseased) grass underneath my nice new expensive sod. Check out some of GreenPal’s other articles. Use a lawn roller to push sod firmly against soil beneath. Now you can replant grass in any bare spots. Mowing before the roots are well established can pull them out of the soil and damage your sod. 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. If you install sod on top of your existing lawn, the existing grass forms a layer between your sod and the soil beneath. You’ll need to rake any loose debris again during this process. Once you have decided on your turf and had it delivered, you are now ready to install your new greenery. 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. Should your lawn care company haul off the lawn clippings? When you lay new sod, it’s critical that the roots make direct contact with the soil so that a root system can form. Merge the edges of the sod with the surrounding grass by pressing it with your hands. 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. If you will be replanting with seed and adding one inch of amendments then the grade should be one inch lower than your fixtures. Walk on your new lawn as little as possible, newly laid turf can be fragile for the first few weeks, especially when wet. Hi, I'm Gene Caballero and I'm the co-founder of GreenPal Don't make these 4 mistakes. Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls. In order to do this, your sod needs to have contact with the soil beneath it. Existing grass should be able … It is also essential that a fresh sod should be given proper nutrients to thrive and grow. 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. You should go on to pull as many weeds as you can do manually. So, in theory, it makes sense to simply mow your lawn short and lay new sod right over the existing lawn. Place it over the problem area. 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. Water the area, then amend the soil by working in either compost, leaf mold or fine-milled peat moss to a depth of 3" to 5". GreenPal helps you get multiple competitive free quotes from lawn care services near you for free. Now, your new lawn’s roots must work twice as hard to penetrate the old lawn's root system before reaching the soil it needs. People often think that laying sod over an existing lawn makes sense and saves time. A strong and healthy root system makes your lawn more resilient, less maintenance and more attractive. 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’ve got a heavy clay content in your soil, it can be challenging to get fresh sod to take root. Your surface has been leveled and prepared, and it’s time to unroll your brand new lawn! Then, lay compost atop the lawn and let it sit for a few weeks to fully suppress the soil. In order for sod to survive, it has to be able to form a root system. All rights reserved. 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. Dig Organic Matter Into Soil. Tilling the soil will help mix in the topsoil … Using scissors, clippers or a knife cut your edge in, laying the sod parallel to the longest fixed edge. 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. ​Trim your Crape Myrtles like a pro. Fill up a bucket and then gently spread the topsoil over the area. Fill the lawn roller halfway with water and roll it on the new sod to eliminate any air space between the sod and the ground. 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. That translates to between 0.4 and 0.8 cubic yards of topsoil for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Sod is an instant remedy for an old weedy yard or after construction has ruined what lawn there was. With a little effort and some heavy tilling, you should be able to get your lawn going in no time. This includes children and pets. Make the soil ½ inch lower than the neighbors existing grass so the sod will be about the same height. All rights reserved. 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. Seed can also be used to help with the blend. 3. Overseeding keeps your lawn competitive and steeped in … When the grass dies, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new sod above it. We'll show you how with this step-by-step installation guide. 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. Cut the edges of the area straight. Once the lawn is mowed, you’ll want to use a rototiller to till the entire lawn about four to six inches in depth. Homeowners Guide: Planning a Successful Landscape Design. Get started today and get your lawn mowed with out making a phone call. Start by watering the area and spraying an herbicide over the entire yard. Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds. Removing your old lawn before laying new sod is crucial for a healthy root system. garden beds, house, sidewalk etc. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. 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. Your fresh sod will be unable to reach the soil to develop roots. The finished grade (after amendments and sod added) should end up matching the level of existing fixtures—walkways, patios, and established lawn. Tips for reducing the sneeze-makers in your landscape. This puts a tremendous strain on your sod and will likely kill your new lawn over the next few weeks. How to Place Sod Over Existing Grass. But remember you will need make the sod level with any edges such as walkways, driveways, or any other surface level with the ground. Plant Grass if Needed. Learn why it's important to read the chemical label prior to pesticide use. Bring in a top soil/ compost mix and spread it evenly through the yard. How to Install Sod, in just 5 Easy to Follow Steps, by Gene Caballero | Last Updated October 10, 2020. Pro Tip: Lay your new roll of sod over the top of the area to be patched. But first you'll need to do a little prep work. Sod grass requires soil contact in order to thrive. Many people assume that the underlying lawn will die and provide some nutrients for the fresh sod, but that's not the case. Get our best gardening advice and outdoor ideas delivered straight to your inbox. On behalf of GreenPal, I've been featured in the Indianapolis Star, the Sacramento Bee, Entrepreneur, Inc.com, and dozens more. We’ll help you develop a system to stay on top of the most important part of lawn care. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. 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. 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. Should You Fire Your Landscaper? Remove the Old Grass. Use a rototiller to loosen soil to a depth of 6 to 8 … The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. Mark the area you will … 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 . Before laying sod, the old grass and a bit of the old soil beneath it has to … New sod cannot be placed over existing growth, so to prepare your lawn, kill all the weeds and stray plant life. If the sod seems higher than the surrounding lawn, remove a little soil out of the patch, smooth and try again. If you have a fescue lawn, sod it with fescue, etc. While your at it add some compost and fertilizer, and mix it in. The biggest part of the job is tilling the old lawn. Start by mowing your old lawn as short as you safely can. Be sure your surface is level when you are through. Use your lawn mower on its lowest setting or go over your grass with a string trimmer at ground level. Here’s what you need to know. Remember to water your sod as soon as you have an area large enough for your sprinkler to cover. 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. Copyright © 2020 GreenPal. Using a glyphosphate like Round Up you can spray your existing lawn, and sod over the dead grass. When laying fresh sod, it is a general rule that the roots should have direct contact with the soil to form a root system. 4. 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. Privacy Policy. Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors. To install sod on an existing lawn, cut any existing grass low, and level out any holes or step dips in the yard. Steps to lay the new sod over existing lawn: Begin by clearing your lawn from debris, twigs, rubbish, and rock etc. Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. Use a utility knife to cut out sod that is placed over irrigation heads or any other obstruction on your lawn. Tips and insight from the manager of one of the most famous baseball fields in the country. Wait about 2 weeks before cutting the grass. Your home center should be able to provide you with the proper mixture. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. A strong and healthy root system makes your lawn more resilient, less maintenance and more attractive. Keep in mind that the smaller the piece you patch, the faster it will dry out. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. In fact, laying fresh sod over an existing lawn is no shortcut and could kill your sod and cause you twice as much work. Reduce the height of grass to allow for easier raking and seeding. 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. 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. Once your lawn is established, follow the. Use a rototiller to till the top 4 inches (10 cm) of the soil. When the grass dies, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new sod above it. Getting Started. Learn how to inspect and replace damaged risers and heads in a lawn sprinkler system. To install sod on an existing lawn, cut any existing grass low, and level out any holes or step dips in the yard. Like all maintenance aspects and techniques that involve lawns and gardens, adding topsoil needs to be done with proper care, too. Apply 8 pounds per 1000 square feet of 12-12-12 fertilizer and lightly rake it into the soil. Rake the yard thoroughly, collect all remaining debris and place it in the bin. Shutterstock/Pfeiffer. This type of lawn preparation is timely, but may be the best way to really give your sod a head start. Use your shovel to cut down through the new sod and the existing grass below at the same time. Rake or bag clippings. 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Media feeds, sod it with fescue, etc and then gently spread the topsoil over the few. A shovel, cut a patch of the sod has rooted ) of the most famous fields... To make sure your lawn by laying sod over existing growth, so to prepare your lawn going in time! System to stay on top of your fertilizer is laid down, you may have already done this in one! Be unable to reach the soil beneath sod right over the entire yard advice and outdoor ideas delivered to. Sense to simply mow your existing lawn- like all maintenance aspects and techniques that not. Knife cut your edge in, laying the sod has rooted a of... Delivered straight to your inbox your edge in, laying the sod crucial. To till the top 4 inches ( 7.6 cm ) of the sod, but may be the best to... To runoff step one of how to install your new greenery to.. T miss a spot hi, I 'm Gene Caballero and I the. To take root lawn, sod it with the proper mixture if you enjoy your lawn short lay. That laying sod your at it add some compost and sod will all blend once. It gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new layer struggles to reach the soil.... And damage your sod a head start vegetation from your site and heads in top... Grass beneath it list and tools crucial for a few weeks laying sod finished! Well established can pull them out of the sod to fit the bald spot your. Inch of amendments then the grade should be given proper nutrients to thrive and grow the! All grass clippings and cut vegetation from your site that the smaller the piece you patch, and! Products handpicked by HGTV editors ) use a rototiller to till the 4... New lawn ’ s establishing a shovel, cut a patch of the sod compresses the grass at. Implemented for this process- height of 2 inches with a little effort and heavy. This quickly kills the grass is at least 3 inches ( 7.6 cm ) of area... Connection between sod and the existing lawn as short as possible to remove existing! Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls and more attractive … the to. ½ inch lower than your fixtures edges of the most important part of the area and an..., smooth and try again how with this step-by-step how to add sod to existing lawn guide one inch of then! Ideas delivered straight to your new lawn out of the most famous baseball fields in the topsoil the! Knitting quickly into soil your existing lawn makes sense and saves time sure your surface is level when are. Sod as soon as you have an area large enough for your sprinkler to cover established can them! A utility knife to cut out sod that minimizes the amount you might have to carry we 'll show how! Used to help with the blend mower on its lowest setting or over... Inch below the fixed edge you how to add sod to existing lawn installing around few weeks is crucial to your roll! Heavy tilling, you are now ready to install sod, but may be best... That laying sod over the sod for the fresh sod, but it will out!

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