we are going to out pave part of our lawn and re-sod the rest and the books tell us to "kill the lawn first, then mow, then till..." but i haven't found a way to kill the lawn without chemicals. I assume Roundup herbicide is not a good and safe thing to put on your yard if it kills the grass. We have a dog, 2 cats and a baby.
Help - is it unsafe - uncool to use Round-up and if so what is an alternative option to kill the lawn?
one option is to get some clear plastic. cover the soil and let the sun bake the ground. this is often used to kill weeds in preparation for new gardens or to try and sterilize the soil somewhat. it works best if you have some nice hot sunny days of course.
another option is to rent a sod cutter. I would use a combination of a sod cutter and solarizing the soil to kill whatever bits of roots might have been missed.
I would question the whole laying down sod thing. I suspect that your incoming sod is probably the same variety of grass as the grass you already have. So the new sod will just end up looking like the old sod.
I would think that the end mission would be "to have a nice lawn" and then we can talk about how to do that for $20 rather than $2000.
As for killing the grass .... I think that if you are going to lay down sod, and your existing lawn is crapulent - I would think the thing to do would be to till the existing lawn. That would be way better than spraying.
Before you go killing the lawn, maybe send in some pics if possible. Pictures will help with solving any underlying problems. Also any details about your lawn will help too. Is there any reason in particular that you need to have a stellar lawn ASAP, (hence the need to sod?) If there isn't any pressing need, (such as selling the house,) perhaps rehabilitating the lawn would be a much more economic choice. It sounds like you plan on being in the house for awhile. If that's the case, then rehabbing what you have is a better idea than starting from scratch. What are your current lawn maintenance routines? Mowing: how high? how often? Watering: how much? how often? Fertilizer: What kind? How much? How often? Pesticides/herbicides: Never use these. Read Paul's lawn care article. If your soil is poor, and/or you aren't using good lawn care techniques, no amount of work, including re-sodding, will solve the problem of a poor lawn. The book you're reading wouldn't happen to be by Ortho, or another chem company, would it? There is some great lawn care advice in those books. The only problem is those books are designed to sell a product. And just about every product it is designed to sell is bad for your lawn, you, and your family. Also some of the advice in those books only applies to chemically "enhanced" lawns. Such as aeration. Nature will aerate naturally if you don't kill her means with chemicals. Again, read Paul's article before you needlessly throw time and money at a problem that can be solved in a much better way.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller -- Jeremiah Bailey Central Indiana
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