The Q&A Archives: Revamping dead sod/lawn

Question: I moved into a new home this summer, we had a draght, and the entirety of my lawn/sod died. My plan is to replace alot of the yard with large shrub/flower beds/mulch, and perhaps reseed the remaining grass. Is it important that I till the entire lawn prior to doing so? Is this an easy thing to do or would hiring a professional to do the tilling be better....our soil is mostly NC clay. thanks!

Answer: You can remove your lawn yourself, if you're willing to do the work. I think the answer really depends upon how large the lawn area is, and whether or not digging it is something you can physically handle. For best results, the entire lawn, including the roots, should be dug. You can do this with a shovel or you can rent a rototiller and then rake away all of the debris. If the area is large, you may want to hire someone to do this. If you don't remove the underground roots in areas you want to reclaim, you may be battling sprouting grass for years to come. I'd take the time to do a thorough job of removing everything. Once you have a clean slate, you can spread some organic matter over the entire area and rototill it in to help improve the soil and facilitate drainage. Best wishes with your project!

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