Sod installation and establishment isn’t a one-day project. Once you’ve decided which sod is best for your yard and you’re ready to install, it takes careful preparation and immediate, consistent care after the fact for the fresh sod to thrive. Carolina Fresh Farms has everything you need to get a sod installation project going from turf selection to the products and expertise you’ll need along the way in order to create your beautiful new lawn. On this blog, you’ll find an overview of what the sod installation process requires from start to finish.
1. Test the Soil
Fresh sod on unsuitable soil won’t survive, so it’s important to test the existing soil in your lawn for moisture and pH. If it turns out that the soil just needs a little boost or requires partial or full replacement, there are many ways to get the soil suitable for receiving turf. Finding out what kind of nutrients your soil already has and needs will map out your next steps to ensure overall success for your new lawn.
The next step is to measure the yard so you can determine how many sq. ft. of sod you will need to purchase. This can be done manually with a tape measure or using an online tool like this area calculator https://areacalculator.sodsolutions.com (Make sure this is a new tab with tracking…is this something we want to include?). It’s always best to purchase a little more than the measurement total so that there is left over sod for cutting and laying in the oddly shaped corners and areas of the lawn.
3. Grade the Soil
Once you have removed the old grass, your soil should be raked or tilled until it is level and smooth so that you can apply the new sod evenly. Proper site preparation makes it easier for new grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly. As a result of deeper roots, your lawn will be more dense and drought resistant, which allows for more efficient use of water and nutrients. Prep your soil by reducing compaction with a shovel or hoe and then smooth out the soil’s surface to get a visual for how leveled your lawn is.
It is a good idea to irrigate the leveled soil to help it settle a little more and then smooth the surface one more time. Water the soil about two days in advance of installation to get it moist and ready to receive the new grass.
5. Lay the Turf
On the day that your fresh sod is delivered, be ready to install—you don’t want the grass laying around for very long. Lay the sod end to end, avoiding any gaps. Seams should be tight but not overlapping. It will be necessary to cut some pieces of sod in custom shapes and sizes in order to cover the entire ground seamlessly.
6. Water Again
After laying sod, it must be watered 2–3 times a day during the establishment process. After a few weeks, you can back off to watering the sod about twice a week. Appropriate irrigation is extremely important as the sod begins to take root.
Wait a week and a half to two weeks for the first mow. Don’t mow more than about ⅓ of the grass height. Remember to mow only when the grass is dry and with sharpened blades.
Nutrition is a non-negotiable for a thriving lawn. Fertilizer selection should be made depending on the type of sod and the time of year. For more information, check out our fertilization programs for each type of grass.