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Old 11-04-2008, 06:53 AM   #1
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Want new sod, where do I start


Hello,

I just bought my first home here in Florida in Sept. The "lawn" is really nothing but a large patch of weeds that the bank had been mowing (it was a foreclosure). I want to fix up the front yard and have been thinking about laying sod. I was reading another thread where they talked about renting a sod cutter before laying new sod. Could some one explain to me what a sod cutter does and if I need to do that before laying new sod.

Also any step by step instructions on the sod process would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 11-07-2008, 08:49 PM   #2
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I know it sounds like a smartass thing to say, but a sod cutter is a machine that cuts sod. it will cut the grass away with just enough dirt to keep to roots in tact

so say you have a nice thick backyard, and you want to put in a paver patio, you could rent a sod cutter to neatly remove the grass from the area where the pavers would go, and you'd have some nice pieces of sod that you could replant elsewhere

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Old 11-09-2008, 06:24 AM   #3
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I know that is sounded basic, what i guess i didn't understand is what you do with what it cuts up? My front yard is nothng but weeds. So I guess there is no point is using a sod cutter.
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:19 AM   #4
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I guess you could rent a sod cutter to cut away what is there, discard it, and then lay the new sod. this would give you a good surface for the roots of the new sod, and remove the roots of the weeds, so they don't come back right away

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:41 PM   #5
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Want new sod, where do I start


Maybe we should post a separate thread with these instructions. Nothing on you, kimbur96, but this seems to be a common question every couple of months.

Because you asked, a sod cutter has a knife type blade on the bottom that pulsates forward off of an elliptical drive and cuts (shave like fashion) the sod at an adjustable depth. The purpose is to save the sod with roots attached so that it can be replanted. Or, in some instances just to clean the ground to bare soil. Or, just ditto on what Mr. Chips said. FYI- It does not cut the sod up but leaves it in solid strips.

You are right in thinking that this will serve no practical use for your purpose. Just an extra expense and labor step.

It would help to know how far south in FL you are and how large an area you are working with.

A. I would hit the area with a Round-Up type product. Give it about a week to ten days to work. Glyphosate has no residual soil activity. I would cut, spray, wait about a week, spray again if needed, cut again real close after all is completely dead.

B. The area should be fairly smooth; rocks removed and low areas filled. It could help to rototill or use a dethatcher. Not that you may have thatch, but that process helps loosen the top of the soil as a median step between completely tilling or no mechanical prep at all.

C. I would make a light fertilizer application with water soluble about 1/4 strength.

D. After installing, water very well. See my thread "check out these roots."
After a few days, you should see white roots with root hairs putting out when you gently lift the sod.
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:05 AM   #6
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Thank you Downunder. I am sure this is a common question. And you have answered it step by step just like I was hoping. I am in Fort Lauderdale. And the front yard is 25 x 57. So it is a pretty big area, at least in my opinion. I am glad to hear i don't need a sod cutter, because i wasn't sure how i would get it in and out of my jeep by myself....although i am sure i would figure something out. I have already sprayed the area with image (I read about it here on another thread) should I spray over that with round up? After the weeds are dead, how long do I have to wait to lay sod?
Again thank you for your help.

Last edited by kimbur96; 11-11-2008 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
I have already sprayed the area with image
You may have read about Image in a thread that I contributed to. To repeat, or if that was another thread I am thinking of, Image is too expensive to be cost effective for your use and does not kill everything. Before anyone asks, it is expensive because it kills certain weeds (notably nutsedge) but does not harm the lawn. It will also controll some broadleaf weeds. Manage does the same thing and costs even more.

I would rent a roto tiller or hire someone to prep it for me. Not absolutely necessary but would help. 25 x 57 is about the size of a garden in lots of places, but I suppose your yards are small there.

"how long do I have to wait to lay sod?"
Read the label on your Image. If my memory serves, there is a time frame there. Not so on the glyphosate (Round Up). Notwithstanding that, no need to wait for things to be dead. You just want to keep them from coming back through the sod, which is unlikely but what I recommended is how I do it. Actually, I till it, rake it smooth and level, spray it at the end of the day and sod it the next day. The glyphosate is just insurance. If you dig everything up, you shouldn't have anything to wait on to die. Mowing and spraying is an alternate plan instead of the proper prep.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:00 PM   #8
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Downunder, thank you so much. Looks like i will be renting a tiller this weekend
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:07 PM   #9
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Kimbur: I also live in florida, but, in central florida near Orlando. We have a local garden show on the am radio saturday mornings with the "Garden Rebel". He has lots of experience, and of course, gets lots of questions about sod. I recently made a LARGE investment in new sod, and was petrified of losing my lawn again. I was listening to the radio show and someone called in and the garden rebel recommended they water their new sod in with TurfPro. I went to the Garden rebel website and he had a link to the www.turfprousa.com website, and so I did some reading, yada yada, more info than I really wanted. Anyway, I just took his advice and used it and my lawn did fantastic. I also started using it for different compost tea mixtures and just spraying it everywhere on flowers, etc. Hope it helps you.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:11 PM   #10
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keep in mind Florida has the kind of climate where you want grass that will NOT die ...like ST Augustine grass

Biaha [bad spelling] grass is very common for delveloped homes and once that kind of grass die it's gone for good.

Before you put the new sod on the topsoil put fresh grass seeds then water then put the new sod on.

This way new grass seeds will come up as undergrowth of the new sod - this makes it very thick and green.

Turfpro sounds like a good thing to use.

Keep in mind water restricitions are not tuff on new sod so you'll be able to water your new grass for like the 1st 90 days - everyday


I'll add to it that when you do start cutting your lawn never make the lawn mower too close to the topsoil for cutting

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