The single most important thing you can do to ensure a nice lawn for years to come is proper soil prep. Consider using a reputable landscape professional to help.
- For best results we recommend at least 6 inches of fertile topsoil. Mixing some good compost into the soil is also recommended.
- Rake the soil to a nice even grade while making sure there is a gentle slope away from any buildings. It may be necessary to rake out the soil more than once because some areas will settle more than others.
- Remove all rocks, especially those larger than a silver dollar. If the soil is compacted and hard, use a rototiller or other proper machinery to break it up.
- The root zone of the sod is about 3/4 of on inch thick. So leave the soil about 3/4 of an inch below any sidewalks or driveways. This way the ground will be level when the sod is installed.
- Installing sod on dry ground will make the job a little easier.
- When laying hand rolls of turf grass, it is recommended that you stagger some of the rolls so the seams are not all in the same place. Sort of like stacking bricks. This is especially important if the sod is being placed on a hillside or sloped area. If the ground is very steep, you may need to use landscape staples to hold the sod in place until the grass is firmly rooted into the soil.
- Make sure the sod edges are pulled tightly together. This will help the seams disappear more quickly and keep the grass roots from drying out.
- Any sharp knife will work to cut sod. We have found that box knives with replaceable razor blades work well. Cutting on the dirt side is recommended when possible
- Watering the new turf grass should begin immediately after installation. For the first 2 weeks, make sure the soil beneath the sod stays wet. This will encourage the grass roots to grow into the existing soil. How much water this takes depends on the outside temperature and how much water your sprinklers spread.
- Use a probe to ensure the soil beneath the sod is wet at lease 3 inches deep. You can lift the sod to inspect the soil beneath for the first 2 days, but be sure to lay the sod back down firmly onto the soil.
- Pay special attention to sod edges and smaller sections because they will dry out quicker. Using a hose may be necessary to keep these areas wet.
Enjoy Your New Lawn!
It is OK to walk on the newly laid sod immediately after installation. Just be careful to not create any gaps along the seams or edges.