Preparing for new turf - remove existing lawn or kill it ?

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by Pengwyn, 16 May 2010.

  1. Pengwyn

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    It's all in the title really.

    I am preparing for a new lawn in the back. The existing one is uneven and all different colours and patchy.

    I have done all of the decking to the height we require for the house etc.
    Now for the lawn.

    I understand all of the preparation etc. But the one thing that is confusing me is whether to kill the existing grass or dig it up and remove it ?

    My younger brother worked with a landscaper for a few years when he left school so has some experience in this and he said to kill it. But the more I read on the net I suspecting that removing the existing grass would be better.

    Any advice, preferably from people who have done this or any experts out there.

    Thanks.
     
  2. tommyl18

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    cultivate the existing turf and then weedkill it all to make sure no weeds come through the new turF lay some top soil on top if needed and then lay new turf
     
  3. Thermo

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    two options really, either is correct. you can apply a systemic weedkiller a week or so before then rotovate the grass into it. That way it will kill off any weeds as well.

    the other option is to lift the old turf, but you will need to remove any weeds to stop them coming back through, and then rotovate the soil under, before you do the rest of the preperation. Only problem with this method is you have to get rid of the old turf.
     
  4. Pengwyn

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    I am not sure what you mean by "cultivate the existing turf" :)

    So am I correct in thinking that if I use Roundup to kill the existing grass and weeds, then rotavate and add any topsoil if necessary, the weedkiller will NOT effect the new turf. Is this right ?
     
  5. chrisjroyce

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    I'm in the exact same boat as you...

    I look forward to the reply...

    I was planning on killing, rotovating, topsoil if needed to bring level. Turf.
     
  6. Thermo

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    cultivate, rotovate....same thing.

    yes use a systemic weedkiller such as round up, no problems with residual killing any new turf
     
  7. chrisjroyce

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    So we don't have to worry about scraping the top layer (1-2") off or any of that?
     
  8. Pengwyn

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    Another question.

    After rotavating, how much would you expect the lawn level to drop.

    The problem being my lawn will be level with my decking and I want it to be spot on. So how much higher will I need to put the lawn to let it settle to the decking level over time.
     
  9. tommyl18

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    the level shouldnt drop of anything it will be higher because it wont be as compacted so u will probably need to wacker or roll it 1st
     
  10. Thermo

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    whatever you do do not roll or whacker a lawn or the soil when preparing it. it compacts the soil and causes probelms with drainage.

    when youve got it level you need to walk over it to lightly coompact it, and do the same with any topsoil, and then rerake it. It will compact slightly with watering and foot traffic. We normally take the topsoil to the level you want the grass to finish at and then the turf itself is above your finished level. over time it will drop down to the new level.
     
  11. Pengwyn

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    Well it has been about 6 weeks now.

    It is not the best time to lay turf I know. The weather has been dry and relatively warm. But I have been watering the lawn regularly.

    I have cut the grass height down gently and now it is down to the level where I want it.

    The problem is that there are yellow patches where the grass is not growing.

    Is this something I should be worried about or will it remedy itself ?

    I also have noticed that the lawn is dropped in places. Should I start putting small amounts of soil down to build it up or am I too soon to start thinking about it.
     
  12. taycast

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    Given time, and decent amounts of rain, your yellow patches will regrow but I think you would be better re seeding or patching with some turf. Remember though, patching with smallish pieces of turf is tricky in dry conditions as they dry out very easily.

    The best way to deal with any lower bits is to sieve top dressing over the lower bits, let the grass grow through, then repeat, until the desired level is reached, but again this takes time.
     
  13. anthonyUK

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    It maybe a bit old fashioned but I wouldn't consider herbicidal chemicals a good idea before planting a lawn. When I did a similar thing I turned the top 6"-8" inches over then raked and levelled.
    Harder work but worth it in the long run.
     

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