“It sure would save my back if I didn’t have to take out the old turf…”
Often, homeowners ask us this same question. It makes sense because laying sod can seem like a daunting task. You want to be outside enjoying your yard, not hard at work.
Do Not Lay Sod Over Old Turf
Unfortunately, the answer is exactly the one you were probably hoping it wouldn’t be. You do need to take out the old turf before you put in new sod.
One of the main reasons is that if you put new sod on top of old vegetation, the new sod’s root system will never actually make contact with the soil. The roots will not be able to penetrate to the other side of the old turf, and it will die.
Upon hearing this, their next question is whether they can put a layer of soil on top of the old turf, and then put on the new sod. Unfortunately, this scenario doesn’t work either. The old turf will break down (decompose), and this process releases gasses that will kill your new sod.
In addition, by having that layer of vegetation under the soil, the roots still can’t grow through. You will also be creating drainage issues.
The best thing you can do to prepare for new sod is to completely remove the old turf. Once that’s done, mix some Black Garden Soil in with your existing soil. We recommend BigYellowBag’s Black Garden Soil; it will work perfectly. Finally, its time to lay the new sod.
Don’t forget to thoroughly water your new sod within half an hour of it being laid. Water it frequently for the next two weeks. You can find more information on watering sod in this blog.
A little bit of extra work at the start of the project will ensure that you get to sit back and enjoy your new lawn! It’s totally worth it when you have a lawn that’s the envy of the neighbourhood for a long time to come.