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Help on "Removing" a Lawn?

4862 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Steamguy
I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of any good reading material on "replacing a lawn?"

I am looking at a job to completely replace a front lawn in a suburban neighborhood. The lawn is probably 50 years old, and has "built up" over the years to the point that it is 3"-4"-5" inches higher than the concrete of the driveway, sidewalk and curb. It's high enough that it is practically impossible to mow without scalping certain areas. The overall condition of it is very poor, with crabgrass, etc. ...and the bottom line is that it NEEDS TO GO and be re-done.

Would the best way to start off be to rototill? I have seen where some use a sod cutter ...but I question whether or not that would be of any benefit and the "manual" ones are out of the question. I have not seen any GT sod-cutter attachments ...debated on trying to fab one up and try it. Thought about fabbing up a "root knive" type attachment (vertical blade) for the back of the GT and make several passes to break up the soil some prior to rototilling.

Right now I'm thinking of rototilling when the ground is soft, blade work (front and rear) to scrape off 6" or so, add underground sprinkling piping, layer of topsoil, seed (or possibly sod). Does that sound about right?

I have tried searches on the subject (both here and on the rest of the WWW.) and have pretty much come up empty handed. Anyone have any ideas or good links on the subject?


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I would take a non-selective herbicide (kills anything it touches, so be careful) to the lawn. Once everything is dead, till it up until it totally decomposes. Rent a bobcat and get rid of any extra dirt you may or may not want, or re-grade. You'll have to wait a while to seed after applying the non-selective herbicide (6 weeks probably). By then, a few new weeds will appear, so take a rototiller to it again right before you seed. I would recommend hyrdoseeding, as it is the fastest, and applies seed, mulch, and fertilizer all at once. Slit seeding also works wonders. Be sure and apply a starter fertilizer at the same time you seed.
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