Laying sod is the fastest way to produce an attractive lawn. Check out this quick video for some useful DIY tips.
Laying sod, whether for a new lawn or for a lawn you are renovating, requires careful attention and proper handling during installation. Sod comes in rolls, or in large square or rectangular sections, that must be cut to size to cover all areas of the lawn.
Take measurements of the area to be sodded with a tape measure. Sod is more expensive than seeding your lawn, and you should only buy what you need to cover the desired area of your property. Ensure that you are purchasing the right type of sod grass for your needs.
Learn more about choosing seed versus sod for North Texas lawns, so you can make the right decision for your landscape.
Sod should be installed immediately after it arrives, so be sure that the preparatory work is done ahead of the delivery. This means you want to begin preparing your lawn about 2 weeks in advance.
Here are the preliminary steps:
- Use a rototiller or spade to till the desired area at a depth of 6 inches.
- Remove all debris from the tilled area, including rocks, wood, and roots.
- Then, level the area with a rake. The soil should be 1 inch below driveways, sidewalks, and sprinklers.
- Use a lawn roller to press the soil to a level surface.
- Fill in any low areas and roll the area once again.
- Apply an herbicide to eliminate weeds, 10 to 14 days before you intend to install the sod.
- Pre-fertilize the soil with 1 pound of 6-20-20 fertilizer for each 100 square feet of prepared area.
- Finally, you should irrigate the soil prior laying the sod.
Once the initial work is completed, you can begin laying your fresh sod:
- Begin laying the sod along a straight line, such as a sidewalk or driveway.
- Butt the edges of the pieces together tightly, neither overlapping them nor leaving any spaces between them.
- Stagger the joints between rows of sod, as you would do if you were laying brick.
- Use a sharp knife to fit in corners, around trees and other obstacles.
- Once the sod is installed, water the entire lawn area to a depth of 8 to 10 inches.
- After that, you will need to water the new sod three times each day, for 15 minutes, for 10 consecutive days. This allows the root system to establish. Read more about new sod watering tips.
If you need a sod installation expert to help you in the DFW area, please call us today for a free estimate
The sod must be kept moist at all times, whether it is waiting to be installed, laid down, or already completed. Sod can dry out quickly and die, so don’t waste money by allowing sod to perish before the root system is established in the topsoil.
Do not allow water to pool on the new sod. If this occurs, reduce watering and give it time to soak into the turf.
Avoid watering at night.
After 10 days of keeping the sod moist to encourage root development, it is then safe to mow your lawn. Set your mower height to ensure that you do not take off more than a third of the grass blade. Don’t use a lawn rake after mowing, as it will pull up the loosely held sod.
Aside from mowing and watering, you will need to stay off the newly sodded area for three weeks in order to allow good establishment. This includes keeping children and pets off the lawn, especially large dogs. Avoiding foot traffic for a few weeks will ensure that the turf remains even and level as it roots.