Help with laying sod

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  #1  
Old 07-23-12, 09:07 AM
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Help with laying sod

Hello all,

I live in Portland, Oregon and I'm looking to get my backyard re-done with grass. It had a lot of tropical/odd plants in built up little mounds and gravel walkways between, along with a sprinkler sysyem I wanted to keep intact. I got rid of most of the plants and some of the gravel. I'm now left with the mounds of dirt and the gravel. The gravel was pretty deep (drainage?) so I could not dig it all up. Along the sides of the yard is some semi-mature landscaping with gravel instead of barkdust.

There is one specific area that is a small bump in the yard that is about 1 & 1/2 feet higher than the rest of the yard. There were plants & small tree there, which are now gone. There is really no way to dig up that mound without some sort of excavtor (and I don't imagine one would be able to get back into the yard).

I wanted to push the dirt from the mounds over the gravel areas, add some fertilizer, give it a rough till by hand and lay down sod. I was planning on also laying sod over the small "hill" as well. Obviously, this not ideal as I should till and grade the whole yard. My fear is hitting the sprinklers with a roto-tiller and I do not have the cash to pay for a pro to do it.

My question is (after that whole story), what do you think about laying down sod over an area that is not leveled out? Will the small mound/hill be too difficult to lay it down or not get enough water?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 07-23-12, 09:12 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Laying sod is no small project, I would want things to be as perfect as possible beforehand - removing gravel and leveling the area.

Can you post some pictures so we can see what you do?
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
  #3  
Old 07-23-12, 09:37 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I will post some pictures later tonight to try to give you the scope of the yard. I would say it's certainly not perfect, although there is no large slope to the yard, the one mound is just a very difficult area to grade by hand.
 
  #4  
Old 07-23-12, 09:53 AM
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Yeah, I hear you. That said, I'd still try to do it first.

I bought a tool at Home Depot several years ago called a Garden Claw - it's manual labor but it does a pretty good job of breaking up the surface of the soil so you can rake it out.
 
  #5  
Old 07-23-12, 09:58 AM
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I think the mounds will probably look silly in your nicely sodded lawn. It will be difficult to properly water to tops of the mounds for the sod to take. And, your lawnmower will want to scalp on top of the mound, destroying your expensive sod.

Sod is not the cheap way to put in a lawn so I would certainly expend the time & sweat to properly prepare the site.
 
  #6  
Old 07-23-12, 10:05 AM
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Also, another thing to keep in mind is sodding is not less work than seeding, the results are just faster - the same amount of prep necessary for a good seed job is also necessary for a good sod job.
 
  #7  
Old 07-23-12, 10:08 AM
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The current mounds (which I guess I'd best describe as raised gardens, i suppose) will be flattened out over the current gravel paths. So, most of the yard would actually be fairly level. The only area that I'm wondering about is basically a very small hill that has a gradual grade up. I think a mower would be fine over that, I'm just not really sure if the sod would take in that area.
 
  #8  
Old 07-23-12, 10:21 AM
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I think we've just about exhausted what we can tell you without seeing it for ourselves, I'll wait on the pictures.
 
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