Can you lay sod over chips and dust? I’m not going to say that I did this correctly, but as dumb luck (and a lot of rain) would have it – my lawn took without having to remove the gravel!
If you have kids then you know (perhaps better than others) the transitional nature of things. Toys come and go, activities change as they mature, and even larger investments like playgrounds and swimming pools fall by the wayside.
It saddens me to say that our swimming pool – an 18′ x 52″ Intex pool that we took up and down each year – no longer holds any appeal to my girls, and with Daddy not living here, the chore of maintaining a pool holds no appeal to me either. This year we (the girls and I) decided to send our pool to a new home for someone else to enjoy and take back our eyesore of a yard.
Yup, from October to late May this is what our yard looks like (although some snow hides it in the winter).
Certainly not something I want to look at all summer long, so I bit the bullet and decided to try sodding my back lawn.
I did a bit of research and most articles I read said that any gravel/chips and dust should be dug out prior the Sod Installation. The truth of it is – I HATE DIGGING. I’ll build just about anything you want, clean toilets, pick up dog poop – any other chore that is less-than-pleasant, but digging is where I draw the line. Maybe I should look into working with someone similar to Greater Brisbane Gardens experts so I don’t have to do any digging in the future if I want to take on more ambitious garden projects.
I went online and polled my FB and IG readers to see if any had suggestions on how to lay sod over top of the 2″ of chips and dust that we had levelling this section of the yard for the pool. Most came back with “you have to dig it out”, a few said “rent a tiller and blend some soil into the chips and dust”…
Only one person said “screw the digging, just lay the sod over top.” (and she will forever be my best friend)
I looked into roto-tiller rentals, and while they aren’t expensive – about $35 for four hours – getting one to and from my yard would involve renting a trailer or paying extra for delivery and then I’d have to hope and pray that I was strong enough to control it. More work and expense than I was ready for.
I decided to take a $250 risk (the cost of the sod), and see if laying sod over chips and dust would work.
I raked up a bit of the chips and dust and moved some of it towards the slides to try and create a more gradual slope to the yard, but for the most part, the gravel stayed about 2″ thick over the 19’x19′ area I needed to cover.
I made so many almost-mistakes with this project it was ridiculous. First off sod is supposed to be installed within 24-48 hours of being delivered; I didn’t get to it until 4 days later. Fortunately we’ve had a really wet Spring here and the rolls didn’t dry out. Unfortunately, wet rolls of sod are heavy as hell.
My Step-Dad and I lugged 62 bags of topsoil to the backyard and poured one bag out about every three feet. This gave us a layer of soil approximately 2″ – 3″ thick over top of the chips and dust.
Again, 62 bags of soil don’t make for a light load either.
We spread the soil with a rake, then tamped it down with our feet, before rolling out the sod over top.