The Q&A Archives: How to remove old lawn.

Question: Hi, I just wanted to know what the best way to remove my old weed infested lawn is. What equipment do I need to rent and what is the best way to use it. Does my lawn need to be watered before, so that the soil is soft? Is is ok to leave behind any reminants of the lawn when putting new sod in? Thanks very much.

Answer: To prepare an area for a new lawn, whether seeded or sodded, you'll want to remove all of the vegetation that's currently there. You can kill the vegetation chemically (use Round-Up according to label directions) or mechanically with a rototiller. After chemical application (if you're using one) or immediately (if you're not), rototill the area to a depth of 12" and then rake out all the debris. Rake the area smooth and then install the sod. If you leave any grass or weed roots, they may sprout and overtake your new lawn so be thorough when removing the debris. I wouldn't water the area first - you'll end up with clods of mud when you try to rototill. Good soil preparation will pay off in the long run - you'll have a healthy lawn that will crowd out future weeds. Best wishes with your renovation project!

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