Proper sod installation can help ensure the protection of your sod investment while supporting the long-term success of the newly planted sod. It is essential to the health of your sod to consider all the steps that are necessary to getting the best performance out of your sod and avoiding future problems. Before you get started, make a plan and secure the appropriate tools you’ll need beforehand. You should also understand the procedures required in caring for a newly established lawn after sod installation.
#1 – Test the Soil & Order Your Grass
Soil testing is the first recommended step before applying any chemical intended to kill the old grass and before sod installation. The health of your soil determines your lawn’s overall health. For exceptional grass quality, it is always advisable to work from the ground up.
At this point, you may be tempted to select a grass that is appealing to the eye. However, in addition to considering aesthetics, research the types of grass that fit the climate and environment you live in. Also consider the amount of time and maintenance you are ready to put in when making this decision.
Before you decide which turf grass to go for, consider the following suggestions:
- Be familiar with the various grass aspects.
- Study your area and the climatic conditions.
- Have an insight into the visual difference existing between the texture, color, and other physical characteristics of the grass.
- Be clear on the amount of square footage you are looking to cover, so that you order the right amount of sod for your project.
#2 – Kill & Remove Old Grass
Clear the existing vegetation, grass, and remains from the area you want to install your sod. To begin removing old grass, apply Roundup or any glyphosate product 10 to 14 days before the installation. Apply for the second time after four days if the grass does not dry fast enough. Once the grass is dry, use a roto-tiller or sod cutter to get rid of the upper layer.
#3 – Prep & Level the Soil
Proper preparation of your site makes it easier for the grassroots to infiltrate in the soil evenly and smoothly. With deep roots, your lawn can efficiently utilize nutrients and water available and become denser and more resistant to drought.
To begin prepping and leveling the soil, loosen it with the use of a hoe or shovel and add some organic material. Next, smooth out the surface of the yard so that it is as level as possible. Finally, irrigate and allow the soil to settle and smooth the surface one more time.
#4 – Lay Your New Sod
The grass you’ve ordered should be delivered to your property the day of sod installation. When laying the sod, place the sod in a convenient location within the yard after the delivery. Use wheel barrels or wagons to carry slabs to your working area. For best results, lay sod pieces in a brick pattern with offsetting seams. If need be, use a landscape edger for cutting at the edges and around the corners. Then, make sure that the pieces are placed tightly together for moisture retention and suppression of weeds.
#5 – Water Sod and Add Fertilizer
The turf should be thoroughly watered during the installation of the new sod to prevent it from drying out. By now, you will have received the results of the soil analysis conducted in the first step. Select a fertilizer that goes in line with the required nutrients for your soil and grass. The soil should also be moist at least four inches deep. Do not over-water your lawn for an extended period as the turf can be seriously damaged. A lot of water can also induce rotting of roots and induce diseases.