Lay Sod Easily with These Tips
Every homeowner can grow grass, of course from the time you plant the seed it’ll take months of time, and constant ongoing care to grow a lush lawn. Instead of spending time, energy, and money hoping you end up with a beautiful green lawn, consider laying down sod. Newly sodded lawns typically take a little over an hour to install, and about three weeks to be ready to use. Check out these tips on how to easily lay sod and boost your homes value with a beautiful, green landscape.
Prep Your Soil
Good soil is necessary to ensure you have a successful sod project. Take your time and pick out a soil that will optimize it’s growth, and other benefits that should include:
- Denser sod
- More uniform sod
- A more forgiving lawn that can withstand wear and tear from children and pets
- Less reliance on water and chemicals
- Less necessary maintenance
Sod works best with well-aerated soil that is rich in nutrients and has a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Sod also prefers prefers sandy loam, loamy sand and loam soil, it doesn’t grow as well on clay soils. If your soil has a higher percentage of clay, add some sand when aerating to create a mixture that’s loose enough for the sod to establish its root structure.
Prepare Your Area
Two months or so prior to laying your sod, start prepping your lawn. Clear the area of any stumps, debris, and rocks, if it’s possible, grade the area so it slopes away from your home, this will prevent any potential flooding near the foundation. Top off the area with 2-4 inches of topsoil before working 4-6 inches of composted organic material into the soil, level it off with a rake once you’re done.
Apply a starter fertilizer that contains a high phosphorus, work it into the top 4 inches of the soil, and finish by raking over the area on heels, start from one direction and work right in the opposite direction. Use a lawn roller and fill it with 1/3 of water to settle the surface area. Water the planting area to add moisture, this will help the soil settle.
Schedule Your Delivery
Get your measuring tape out and measure the area you plan to sod, using those measurements sketch out your lawn and note the length, and width, on paper so you can refer back to it later when ordering the sod. Keep in mind, you should add an extra 5% to the measurement of your yard to give yourself some cushion if you have to cut areas that aren’t straight.
Depending on how close you are to a place that sells sod, you may or may not be able to see it in person. If you live near a garden center you’ll probably be able to check out the sod before you purchase it. Check the sod is free of weeds and disease, tell the company you order from about the levels of sun in your yard as well. Fresh sod gives the best result, ideally you want to receive your sod delivery within 24 hours of it being cut. If you can lay down the sod the same day, that would give even better results, laying sod is a time sensitive project so you’ll want to be fully prepared and ready to go when your delivery comes.
How to Lay Sod – A Step by Step Guide
- Moisten the soil in the area you’ve prepared right before you start laying the sod. Start by finding the straightest edge and unrolling the sod to create the first row. Press the ends and edges of the pieces together as you lay the rows so that you eliminate gaps and overlaps without stretching. Cut and trim corners as necessary.
Tip: If the weather is hot on the day of your project, stack the unlaid sod in a shady area and cover it with moist burlap to prevent it from drying out while you work or until it’s cool enough in the day to begin the installation process.
- Continue laying the whole pieces one at a time, positioning them end to end against the edge of the previous row and staggering the joints similarly to how a brick wall is arranged. Avoid walking on the turf while you work, and smooth any wrinkles as you go. As you lay each piece, pat it gently into place to get rid of any air pockets.
- Avoid arranging small pieces of sod at the edges of the new lawn, where there’s a greater chance that they’ll dry out. Lay them in the middle of the area before scattering sandy loam into the joints to fill in any gaps.
- Begin watering your new lawn within 30 minutes of laying it. Water it well by saturating at least an inch of soil below the sod.
- Water every day for the first week to keep it moist while it becomes established. Starting in the second week, water every other day to encourage deep rooting. By the third week, water twice a week. Beginning in the fourth week, make sure the sod receives one inch of water every week by rainfall or supplemental irrigation.
- Once the sod grows 3 inches high and at least 10 days have passed, you can begin mowing the grass. Use a walk-behind mower with a bag to catch the clippings.
- Fertilize the grass with a starter fertilizer after it’s been growing for four weeks.
We hope you found this post helpful and can use it as a guide when laying your sod! Remember spring is a great time to create a lush, green, landscape that you and your family will enjoy all summer long! If you plan on doing any major landscaping and foresee a ton of yard waste debris, consider renting a dumpster from us at Dumpster Rental Inc! Call us today for a free quote and get started on your landscape project!