Weekend Project: How to Install Sod
When choosing a sod type, take into consideration the maintenance required for each grass variety. Consider the amount of time you plan to dedicate to the upkeep of your lawn. Be cognizant of site specifications such as shade and traffic.
Measure the length multiplied by the width of the area. This will give you the square footage you need to place an order. We suggest adding roughly 5 percent extra (over the measured area), so you will have enough sod to cut and fit around the curves.Click Here to use the Yard Measurement Tool.
The best way to provide the perfect growing environment for turf is to test your soil. Take a soil sample 6 inches deep from several places around the area you will be sodding. Mix the soil, and place it into a soil testing bag available at any of our six farm outlet locations. Your sample should contain about 1 quart of soil. The soil report will tell you what your fertility requirements are and how to amend any deficient nutrients. Please allow two weeks for soil test results. Any fertilizer, lime or organic matter to be applied should be worked into the soil and can be lightly packed with a roller. Sandy, infertile soil may need be added to the topsoil.
Use a rototiller to loosen the soil to a depth of about 6 inches. Remove any debris, rocks or dead grass. Slope the site away from your foundation. Rake soil level, making sure it is at least 1 inch below the grade of sprinkler heads or paved areas, like sidewalks, patios or driveways. Be sure to water your soil 24 to 48 hours before installation. Your soil needs to be moist when you lay your sod.
Plan to install your sod the day it is delivered. Start laying turf along the longest straight edge, such as a patio, fence, flower bed or driveway. Work with whole pieces, laying them one at a time, end to end. Continue along in a staggered, brick-like pattern. The sod should be laid tightly together but not overlapped. Be sure to avoid walking on the sod as you lay it. When the installation is complete, the entire lawn should be watered and packed with a roller to ensure ground contact and flatten any air pockets.
Water your newly installed sod to a depth of about 1 inch within 30 minutes of installation. Your new sod should be watered regularly for the next two to four weeks. You do not want to saturate your new lawn. Water should not puddle. After the first week, taper off on watering to encourage grassroots to sink deeper into the soil. A deeply-rooted lawn is one of the secrets to growing a lush, healthy lawn resistant to drought and other stresses. Traffic and use of your lawn should be restricted for a minimum of one month.
Most healthy lawns require about 1″ of water per week. Generally, mornings are an excellent time to water your lawn. Use infrequent applications to penetrate deep into the ground.
Some grass varieties require more work than others but in order to thrive in a particular environment, all types require maintenance.
Although there is no specific formula that covers every type of grass care in detail, there are several general rules that can be applied to all lawns:
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