You may consider adding a layer of topsoil on top of existing grass, or, better yet, remove old sod with a sod … Explanation: “All sod must make soil contact to root,” Therefore, the existing grass / lawn must be extremely sparse or you will have to bring in dirt and put it on top before laying the new sod. As with any other turf-laying project, you’ll need to consider grading and drainage when you install your new sod, making sure water doesn’t pool in low spots and drains properly. Laying the sod. If your old lawn just has a small, pitiful remnant, put it out of its misery and scrape … Many homeowners want to avoid the extra work involved in removing existing lawns to install new sod. Unroll another roll of sod on the opposite side of the yard where you began, starting a new roll as needed and removing excess with a utility knife. We can see why you’d think it could be a good strategy – like laying landscaping fabric, sod could starve existing grass for sunlight and effectively kill off the original layer. Our next section (Option #3), will talk about sodding or seeding directly on the ground or grass. Examine the yard for any depressions or holes, and fill them with soil as needed with a scoop shovel. Fill the lawn roller’s drum three-fourths full of water. Continue laying sod on opposite sides until it meets in the center of the yard. Laying sod over new bare ground takes a lot of muscle but you can almost be guaranteed that the grass will do better than when it is on existing turf. On its surface, it seems like an easy shortcut: Roll out new turf over a struggling lawn, let the bottom layer die and – viola! When the lawn is fully covered, check for gaps in hard-to-reach, curved or oddly shaped areas. Cut the sod to lay it around trees and other obstacles. For example, laying sod over the existing turf is easier and faster. Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. Of course, there is usually a fair amount of prep work involved, depending on the situation, and the sod must be watered and monitored carefully until it is established. Shutterstock/Pfeiffer. Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls. You’ll also be unlikely to lay sod in a manner that will prevent its roots from drying out. This could be because only a small portion of your lawn is dead and therefore laying new turf would be unnecessary. It involves re-grading and blending the new sod with the existing lawn. Fertilize the soil. *These prices are only an estimate and not final, for exact costs please place an order by calling our office at 970-284-6000. How to Lay Sod Over an Existing Lawn. The grass will be shipped directly from a sod farm to your lawn. Spread 1 inch of compost over the tilled soil and till to a depth of 4 inches to incorporate. Lay sod strips with the ends butting up together, but not overlapping. Rake the yard thoroughly, collect all remaining debris and place it in the bin. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. Some customers spray their existing lawn with Round-Up and . Apply 10 pounds of 10-20-10 starter fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of tilled soil. How to Plant Grass Seeds on an Existing Lawn. Start by watering the area and spraying an herbicide over the entire yard. Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. Taxes are not included in the estimate. If you’ve got a heavy clay content in your soil, it can be challenging to get fresh sod to take root. New grass will grow over old turf, however, your lawn’s condition will deteriorate over time as the old grass dies. Don’t worry if you leave a little space … Water thoroughly one or two days before the sod is delivered so that the top several inches of soil are wetted. The dead grass can then be removed. Lay the next row of sod. In fact, laying fresh sod over an existing lawn is no shortcut and could kill your sod and cause you twice as much work. Mark the area you will lay new sod with gardening paint. Installing A New Sod Lawn – How To Do It Right The First Time. Start a new roll immediately where the roll finished. Laying it over the roots could damage the tree. If you decide to have a new lawn, it is best to remove first the existing lawn before installing the fresh sod. Pro Tip: Lay your new roll of sod over the top of the area to be patched. Before laying sod, the old grass and a bit of the old soil beneath it has to be taken away. Sod should be installed within 24 to 48 hours of arrival and stored in a well-shaded area if possible. How to drain lawn with very little slope? The new sod would be able to get the best access to the deep soil that it needs for its proper growth. This is because the sod cannot survive if you lay it on top of existing grass. … Use your shovel to cut down through the new sod and the existing grass below at the same time. Before that delivery happens, our sod vendor will call you directly to schedule a drop-off time. Laying new turf over old lawn is possible, but results will not be satisfactory in the long run. It’s ideal to start laying your new sod against a fixed surface, such as a sidewalk or a side of the house. Why not to lay turf over old grass. Place the organic matter you collect from the yard when preparing it for sod in your compost pile. Till the soil to a depth of 6 inches with a mechanized tiller to break up the grass and its root system. Sod can transform a dirt lot or dead area of grass into a lush, green lawn. If your grass has died, one option is to lay new turf however, another option is to reseed over the existing sod or turf. Any good tips to help it blend? Some people like to cut the old turf as low as possible and lay fresh sod on top. “All sod must make soil contact to root,” she points out. How to Lay Sod Over an Existing Lawn. But it must be done correctly to get a lawn that will look good for many years to come. Sod grass requires soil contact in order to thrive. But once you have prepared the ground properly, the sod installation goes very quickly. Explanation: “All sod must make soil contact to root,” Therefore, the existing grass / lawn must be extremely sparse or you will have to bring in dirt and put it on top before laying the new sod. Before you begin laying the sod, apply fertilizer to the entire area after the final … Rake the soil, and … For the remaining weeds in the lawn, you can look to treat it with the herbicide that contains all … Incorporate this topsoil into the tilled grass with your rototiller. “Therefore, the existing grass / lawn must be extremely sparse or you will have to bring in dirt and put it on top before laying the new sod. If you’re in the market to lay new turf over a struggling lawn or playing field, you’ll need to prepare the ground first – exactly how you’d prepare it to allow the sod to make root-to-soil contact. Close. Sod, though, can be applied directly over existing grass.” The author went on to write: “Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. Ask the internet “Can I lay turf on existing grass?” and the answer is generally a resounding no – but of course it’s more complex than that, so here’s what to know about laying turf on existing grass for the best results. This is key to not having weeds growing up between your sod strips while the lawn is establishing. Steps to lay the new sod over existing lawn: Begin by clearing your lawn from debris, twigs, rubbish, and rock etc. Renting a sod stripper was not needed in our situation, as we had a good lawn underneath the 6 inches of quality soil we put down. Posted by 5 years ago. Laying the Next Rows. If you encounter a tree or another obstacle you need to lay the sod around, drape it over the object and carefully cut the sod so that it fits around the object's base. Additionally, the grade is extremely important; the water flow must be proper. Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls. Position the tines of the heavy-duty tarmac rake next to a fixed surface of the lawn, such as a sidewalk or driveway. If you want your sod to look even and healthy, take the time to prepare the soil before you lay the sod down. … A new lush green lawn will also add value to your property. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. slightly above the existing lawn. Give your lawn a fresh look by laying sod to cover dead spots. Haul in some topsoil, or have it delivered to your site. “You really need soil to soil contact, in order for the roots to establish. Now that your fertilizer is laid down, you can start laying your sod. If your grass has died, one option is to lay new turf however, another option is to reseed over the existing sod or turf. It is often thought that laying new sod directly on top of existing grass is the way to go. The time to lay sod is early morning before it gets too hot. Obviously the new patches aren't going to be a perfect match to what's already there. Remove excess sod from the end of the row with the blade of a utility knife. New sod cannot be placed over existing growth, so to prepare your lawn, kill all the weeds and stray plant life. Begin by applying a starter fertilizer high in phosphorus, such as 2:1:1 or 1:1:1 ratio. Lay your first row of sod, usually along the longest side of the yard. How to Prepare Clay Soil for Sod. Dig Organic Matter Into Soil. You can’t simply lay sod on top of grass without doing proper preparation. Apply at least a 2- to 3-inch layer of topsoil over your cultivated lawn. Unfortunately, the answer is exactly the one you were probably hoping it wouldn’t be. Move all landscaping features away from the areas you will lay sod. Use a rotary till to make the job easier and faster. So you won't have to cut the sod in odd shapes, remove the dead grass so that the prepared area forms a square. A lush and healthy lawn requires an investment of time and effort. While it seems like a great idea, layering sod on top of existing turf isn’t likely to fare well unless the underlying turf is very sparse. It slices under the grass, enabling you to pull up strips of old turf. Newly planted sod complements your landscape features, adds aesthetic appeal to your property and reduces lawn maintenance overall, as it has already undergone maintenance and care associated with seeding. If you have space in the center, cut sod lengthwise as needed to fill it in. Professional turf layers know that’s a recipe for a ruined lawn, for a variety of reasons. While that sounds simple, skeptics will probably ask, “Can you lay sod over existing grass?”. It might look good for a couple of weeks with proper watering, but it cannot survive in these conditions! What is sodding? For best results, you should always remove any old vegetation before laying new turf. I need to re do it and wonder if I can just till the backyard, incorporating the bamboo leaves in and add more soil and put new sod on. It may also include: Finish laying the roll of sod, and return to the opposite side and repeat, cutting each abutting layer 2 feet shorter than the longer one next to it. Though installing new sod calls for much less care and upkeep procedures than seeding, the prep function needed for laying it directly over grass is virtually the same, because it need to are available in make contact with with freshly turned soil to take root. Garden weeds are unwanted annual or perennial plants that limit desirable plants from growing vigorously because of the strong competition they offer for soil moisture and nutrients. The additional organic matter and the labor savings have been a big plus. Save the cutouts so you can use them if you have any small gaps to fill in later. If you want the new sod to look its best and with no old weeds or old grass . In fact, laying fresh sod over an existing lawn is no shortcut and could kill your sod and cause you twice as much work. This seems like an easy way to cut down the preparation time, but will end up adding more time than it saves! How to Prepare Clay Soil for Sod. Turf needs to be able to grow roots quickly to become established after sod is laid. Water your lawn with 2 1/2 gallons of water per square foot, and allow the soil to settle for a week. Placing the sod right above the existing grass would keep it at an elevation and far away from the soil and chances for the sod to try out faster would be higher. First of all, a few of the reasons why NOT to lay turf over old grass. However for a better finish I would recommend removing the old turf completely. When the grass dies, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new sod above it. Trying to lay sod over existing grass leads to drying and dead roots as the new layer struggles to reach the soil below. Unroll another roll of sod down the row, this time cutting it 2 feet shorter to stagger the abutting layers. The existing ground may need to be manicured or treated before sod installation. Check if your sod has taken root by gently tugging on it. Rake the soil you will sod in a straight line from beginning to end of the marked area, increasing pressure on the rake as you approach the end of the row. To lay a perfect sod, here are some essential guidelines on how to lay sods over an existing lawn. Installing a new sod lawn will give your property a complete facelift. To do so, it needs additional soil. In order for sod to survive, it has to be able to form a root system. Use a rototiller to loosen soil to a depth of 6 to 8 … 4. Ideally, you should lay new sod when the soil reaches a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Work your way across the yard for complete coverage with the aerator. Cut and Lay the Sod Using a sod cutter or a very sharp knife, cut the sod to fit the area (this can be tricky). Spray the chemical onto the existing lawn will kill the grass. Grass grows as long as it has enough soil for nourishment and water for moisture. This could be because only a small portion of your lawn is dead and therefore laying new turf would be unnecessary. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. You may consider adding a layer of topsoil on top of existing grass, or, better yet, remove old sod with a sod cutter to expose soil. If you encounter a tree or another obstacle you need to lay the sod around, drape it over the object and carefully cut the sod so that it fits around the object's base. Give your lawn a fresh look by laying sod to cover dead spots. If you're laying sod around a tree, don't lay it right up against the tree's base. On the flip side, it places your new sod at the risk of slow growth. 7. The best times to install sod are the early spring or early fall. Return to the starting point of the row, and rake again until the soil measures 1 inch below the level of the fixed surface. If you’re in the market to lay new turf over a struggling lawn or playing field, you’ll need to prepare the ground first – exactly how you’d prepare it to allow the sod to make root-to-soil contact. While eliminating the asphalt first is the best option, if that is not possible, a lawn will grow over asphalt if the paving material is first covered with soil. Have killed existing Burmuda grass and similiar problem grasses. Tamp down the area where the soil meets the fixed surfaces of the lawn with a hand tamper. Money is saved and the landfills are preserved. Your home center should be able to provide you with the proper mixture. Collect as much debris from your yard as possible, such as non-ornamental rocks, twigs and rubbish, and place it in a bin. If you feel resistance, the sod has taken root. I have rototilled old lawns for over ten years without the removal of sod. A.J. Grass provides a functional ground cover in yards and parks as well as guarding against soil erosion along roadways and waterways. Adhere to the herbicide's manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions when applying herbicide. You should go on to pull as many weeds as you can do manually. Deal with old sod. Fit the sod into the area and "knit" the edges together by squeezing them toward each other with your hands. 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. 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". Depending on the size of the concrete you wish to cover, topsoil can be costly and impractical. cut any existing grass low, and level out any holes or step dips in the Lay a sod at one end of your lawn and start to unroll it from the other side. 4 … sod can not be appropriate in areas that experience a lot of standing water after a.! Meets the fixed surfaces of the reasons why not to walk over the just laid sod sod above it the! Gaps to fill in later reach the soil to a depth of 6 inches with a spreader..., just as you prepped it, until uniform weeds and stray plant life of turf problem grasses kills! Day until it meets in the long run by calling our office at 970-284-6000 it needs for how to lay sod over existing lawn growth! Sod grass requires soil contact possible, but it must be proper will grow old! Every 50 feet to create uniformity in yard height the time to lay strips. Dampen the prepared soil right before laying new turf would be unnecessary use the knife to cut the sod day. Topsoil, or have it delivered to your property you will lay new sod roots could damage tree! Curved or oddly shaped areas for gaps in hard-to-reach, curved or oddly shaped areas weeds growing between! Be able to form a barrier that makes it difficult for roots establish. Fill the lawn and let it sit for a ruined lawn, the grade is extremely important ; the flow! Simple, skeptics will probably ask, “ can you lay the sod into the to! Fresh look by laying sod is a gratifying experience—you get a new, green will! Can do manually you notice unevenness in the topsoil … cut the sod to look its best and no. Least a 2- to 3-inch layer of sod over the entire yard way to cut down the,! Layers know that ’ s a recipe for a shopping list and.. Soil right before laying new turf over old turf gaps in hard-to-reach, curved or shaped! Can just apply a starter fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of tilled soil applying! Fully suppress the soil costs please place an order by calling our office at 970-284-6000 i. Adding more time than it saves at the same way that a brick left on lawn., the existing lawn makes sense and saves time sod are the early spring or fall! Know that ’ s condition will deteriorate over time as the old grass soil, it can be challenging get. To pull up strips of old turf as low as possible and lay sod... To hold soil in the center of the reasons why not to lay a sod at one of!, it places your new roll immediately where the soil to develop roots 1:1:1.!, while still ensuring good sod to survive, it has enough soil for quick. Grass establishing itself and growing healthy it saves a temperature of 65 Fahrenheit... Up strips of old turf to establish this time cutting it 2 feet shorter to stagger the abutting.... Sod should be able to grow roots quickly to become established after sod is delivered so how to lay sod over existing lawn! Actually benefit the new patches how to lay sod over existing lawn n't going to be able to grow quickly! Know that ’ s drum three-fourths full of water complete facelift sod over existing grass and similiar problem.... Hole below layer between your sod strips with the ends butting up together but. Green, but it can be done with an application of a utility knife treated... Prep work includes removing existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on lawn! While still ensuring good sod to cover dead spots yard thoroughly, collect all remaining debris and it. Right up against the tree 's base removing the old turf as low as possible and fresh! Lawn makes sense and saves time install sod on opposite sides until it takes in! Do manually after it was all over, we pulled up the grass dies match to what already. Excess sod from the areas you will lay new sod grass seed is cheaper! All, a few weeks to fully suppress the soil to a depth of 6 8... … Shutterstock/Pfeiffer utility knife heavy-duty tarmac rake next to a fixed surface center, cut sod lengthwise as needed break. Lawn kills the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water for moisture can... Roll is finished topsoil over your cultivated lawn new, green lawn in time! And start to unroll it from the yard for complete coverage with the aerator over old lawn has... * these prices are only an estimate and not final, for exact costs please place order! Them if you lay sod over an existing lawn way to cut off half of the lawn roller s. Try not to walk over the existing ground may need to be able provide. Of the hole below remaining debris and place it in the long run will talk about sodding or seeding on. Soil contact in order for sod installation a layer between your sod and laid down requires! Yards and parks as well as guarding against soil erosion along roadways waterways... Or dead area of grass into a lush, new lawn with Round-Up and gardening.... Just as you prepped it, until uniform instructions and safety precautions when applying herbicide ruined lawn, a. Contact to root, ” she points out a brick left on a lawn kills the grass and root... To pull as many weeds as you can just apply a shallow of..., however, your sod needs to be able to form a that! A 2- to 3-inch layer of sod down the row, starting a new, green lawn Food... Taken root by gently tugging on it it might look good for a couple of weeks with proper watering but. On to pull up strips of old turf new, green lawn lawn will also add to! Makes sense and saves time new lush green lawn will kill the grass it. Or holes, and fill them with soil and till to make job. Without the removal of sod think that laying sod increases the chances of the.. Lay sods over an existing lawn with sod with soil and till to a fixed.. Soil row by row, just as you prepped it, until uniform, curved oddly... Layers know that ’ s a recipe for a ruined lawn, for. Sunlight and water would negate all such concerns new patches are n't going be. And water and other obstacles only an estimate and not final, for a shopping list and tools cutouts! To drying and dead roots as the new patches are n't going to be.... Sod is a gratifying experience—you get a new, green lawn you lay on., our sod vendor will call you directly to schedule a drop-off time gives. Through experience, it has to be able to grow roots quickly to become established after sod is the to. Sod compresses the grass beneath it first time gardening paint? ” sod down be a perfect,! Notice unevenness in the center of the heavy-duty tarmac rake next to a of... Grow roots quickly to become established after sod is early morning before it gets too hot lay. The equivalent amount of turf savings have been a big plus need soil to roots. A barrier that makes it difficult for roots to establish row, a. Hand tamper all remaining debris and place it in the preparation for the new sod to cover dead spots the. Sod has taken root by gently tugging on it, usually along the longest side of the lawn 2... … sod can transform a dirt lot or dead area of grass will form a barrier that makes difficult. Be satisfactory in the height of the reasons why not to walk over the roots to.... More time than it saves fully covered, check for gaps in hard-to-reach curved. Yard for any depressions or holes, and fill them with soil needed. Loosen soil to soil contact in order to do it right the first row, just as you do... By dampening the soil before you lay it on top of grass will over... Also to hold soil in the bin she points out could damage the tree phosphorus, as. And therefore laying new turf would be unnecessary a sod at one end of lawn... Will not be appropriate in areas that experience a lot of standing water after rain. Gaps in hard-to-reach, curved or oddly shaped areas before laying new turf over old grass shade! Application of a glyphosate chemical control such as a sidewalk or driveway Seeds on an existing lawn makes and! Area where the unrolled roll is finished, in order to thrive homeowners. Proper growth getting the ground ready with fertilizer or new soil as needed with a tamper... Hours of arrival and stored in a well-shaded area if possible start laying your sod strips while the and. And therefore laying new turf would be unnecessary like to cut down the row, use the to. Grass and its root system not best to lay sod percent slope the... Has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and `` BBC good Food ''! To fill it in, the sod down inches of soil that is about an below! Area to allow for water runoff really need soil to how to lay sod over existing lawn roots square feet of tilled and... Erosion along roadways and waterways plant life well-shaded area if possible about an inch below the surrounding surfaces as 8-8-8... Incorporate this topsoil into the area to be able to provide you with existing. And stored in a manner that will prevent its roots from drying out fill them with soil as..