Do I kill all existing grass before rotavating

This coming autumn it is my intention to revamp my tired weed-ridden and wet lawn. The plan is to;

spot kill weeds > rotovate > dig drains > spot kill weeds again > rotavate again > new layer of topsoil> reseed.


It’s a 0.5 acre patch and I would like to keep the use of chemical weed killer to a minimum. My question is, will I achieve desired result if I start rotavating a lawn where all existing grass has note being killed?

Any advice would be much appreciated!


Thanks
Conor

Posts

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,504

    Grass is alright. It's rotovating weeds that's a bad idea. Depends what weeds you have but quite a few of the most persistent ones (bindweed, for example) will be spread by rotovation. Buried grass rots down quite quickly. Buried dandelions and docks don't.

    You might be better off getting a turf stripper doobrey and lifting it all then stacking it in a corner to rot down over winter. Dig up the weeds that appear in the stripped ground and remove roots that you find while you're digging your drains. In spring, sift through the turf stack to get out weed roots, spread the clean soil over your thoroughly weeded and free draining patch. Add whatever other topsoil/sand/etc you need for a perfect base and then re-seed.

    Last edited: 12 September 2017 14:08:14

    It's hard to love, there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
  • Thanks

    Would killing all the weeds first using a minimal amount of weedkiller work? then rotavate later in the autumn when they are all killed off, or is it too late in the year for that particular approach.

     

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,504

    It rather depends on the weather. The weeds usually need to be 'in active growth' for the chemical weedkillers to work, which most aren't this late in the year. If you strimmed it over, you may get regrowth if we have a mild damp autumn (wouldn't be unusual) in which case the chemical approach may have some traction. You do need to get two applications in perhaps 6 weeks apart ideally, and on days when it doesn't rain, so the weather is going to be working against you. But you might be lucky image

    It's hard to love, there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
  • Thanks :-)

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