I'm putting in new sod and was wondering if the old sod has to be removed with a sod cutter or can I rotter til. Old sod is completly dead!
While any posting on this forum is appreciated, we just don't get mush activity. You'll get more info on the lawn forum.
My answer to your question is: Why did the lawn die? I think you would be better off to rent the sod cutter and remove the dead stuff. Then you can work in some rich compost, really till it in so you can break up the compacted soil and get the benefit of added nutrients. Plus, rent the sod roller and get the soil good and level before you seed or add new sod. Just laying over the existing dead stuff might make for a bumpy new lawn.
the real question, I'd say, is why sod?
there are places where turf grasses do just fine - most of them are technically in Oregon, unfortunately.
if you're going to insist on sod - cut it out, prep the soil, install underground irrigation, and a covered cachebasin, and then resod.
your other options are tedious, frustrating, and even more expensive.
What is the best way to remove old sod? The netting is tough. I want to put down seed for a new lawn.
on any plot bigger than a picinic table? I'd rent a sod cutter. otherwise, you take an edger or a trenching spade (which has a flat edge) cut through the root matt in strips, and 'scalp' the yard by wedging the edger under the root mat, and one person peels the clump away while the other person prys from underneath.
honestly? you're almost better treating the lawn with a pre-emergent weed control (corn gluten meal, for example) and then raking and seeding the bald spots - removing sod is high on my list of 'jobs I'd rather work in fast food than perform'