The Essential Guide to Installing New Sod
Having a beautiful lush green yard is the dream of many homeowners. Unfortunately some people live in areas that are just not conducive to a naturally beautiful lawn. Whether you live in a desert climate or some other area that doesn’t grow very nice looking grass, it can seem hopeless for you to ever have the yard of your dreams. Thankfully there’s hope with sod. Sod is basically grass that’s been transplanted from another area, onto your yard. It works kind of like a hair transplant, but with far higher success rates.
It’s just as simple as buying a bunch of sod and dumping on your yard, however, there is a step by step process you need to follow if you want to make sure your sod is installed correctly and ends up lasting for a decent amount of time. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to ensure your sod is properly prepared and installed, ensuring long-term health.
- Soil Test
- Measure the Area
- Mix in Organic Matter
- Rake the Soil
- Roll out Turf
- Sweep and Roll the Sod
- Water Regularly
- Long-Term Care
Sod tends to thrive in soil with a pH level around 6 or 7, so buy a soil test kit and send in a sample of your soil. The sample should take about two weeks to get back to you. Once you learn what kind of soil you’re working with, you can adjust your strategy for preparing the soil accordingly.
Measure the Area
This step is extremely important so that you don’t end up buying more Sod than you need, wasting money for no reason. You’ll want to order about 5% extra sod to adjust for curves. The best place to buy your sod is usually a sod farm or a garden center. You should plan to lay your sod down the day it gets to your house, and if possible request that it be cut within 24 hours of delivery, to ensure freshness.
Mix in Organic Matter
Organic matter will help improve water retention and soil aeration while boosting the microbial balance in your soil. Use a rototiller to loosen up your soil and mix in organic material.
Rake the Soil
This is important for loosening soil particles and making it easier for roots to take hold. Rake your soil and make sure it’s about an inch below any features like driveways or sprinkler heads.
Roll Out Turf
Lay out your sod piece by piece, from end to end. Rake out footprints as you walk and pat the sod into place carefully. Lay your sod out like a bricklayer would lay bricks, in a staggered pattern. Push the seams together but don’t create any overlap. Use small pieces of sod near the middle so they don’t dry up and die. Use your garden hose as a guideline to cut curves with.
Sweep and Roll the Sod
Next you need to sweep topsoil into the seams of your sod, and get a sod roller to roll the sod tight to the soil beneath it. Don’t walk on your sod for the first three weeks after rolling it.
You must water your sod daily for the first week, then every other day after that, unless you get rainfall. By week 3 you should water it twice a week and eventually you only want to water your lawn with one inch of water per week, this will help it grow deep roots.
Long Term Care
Only mow your lawn once the grass is three inches long, and use fertilizer about a month after laying sod.
Sod can be the answer to your prayers if you live in a desolate area, but it’s not as easy as it sounds to install it. Follow the steps in this article and you will be well on your way to a beautiful, lush yard you can be proud of in no time!