How to Lay Sod?
A lush, green backyard is a stunning addition to your own home. All matters the same, improving your yard and lessen appeal can motive your own home value to leap more than any other home DIY undertaking. It makes your house more appealing and suggests which you care about retaining your private home. While it’s viable to make large strides and enhance your garden over a few years. The ones seeking a quick fix and immediate gratification may also decide to lay sod. In this Gardening Pool Post, You will learn what is sod and how to lay sod the proper way, imparting tips and hints to make sure your new garden doesn’t have unpleasant seams (or worse – die) when you install it.
What is Sod?
Sod is pre-grown farmed grass that has been grown beneath top conditions for 13-19 months.
It’s removed the usage of a lawn cutter and includes a layer of soil that stores the roots. Installing sod is an issue of laying it onto your new lawn like a rug.
What’s the Best Time to Install Sod?
Your sod installation time has to be decided by using in which you live, and what form of grass you’re buying.
It’s first-class to put in sod within the spring or in early fall in cooler regions.
In warmer climates, you may install sod at any factor yr-spherical.
In brief – most northern climate lawns will have cool-season grasses, and also you don’t need to plant the ones in the summertime.
Who Should Lay Sod Instead of Growing Grass from Seed?
Laying out sod can be ideal for you, mainly in case you’re seeking out a brief turnaround length to your lawn.
We suggest sod for owners who:
- Are going to sell their domestic and need to quickly improve scale back enchantment to enhance their promoting charge.
- Are short on time and gained have the patience to present grass seed the daily interest it desires to thrive.
- Have tons of cash and prefer quiet matters.
- A lot of humans will say that sod is simply too costly. But you’re not shopping for grass – you’re buying time.
You’re announcing that the time We’ll save via going with sod, is well worth the cash.
- Because sod grass has been maintained professionally for over 11 months, you’re ensured to get a quality garden quickly.
- Take a observe this earlier than and after photograph of a sod installation:
- When the usage of grass seed to develop a garden. It may take months or as much as a yr to grow out your lawn to the point that you’re happy with it.
- And you’ll warfare weeds that thrive inside the situations that grass seed needs to develop as well.
- Sod is without delay weed evidence and takes handsiest about 2 weeks for the roots to set for your backyard.
Getting Your Soil Ready to Lay Sod
When set up properly, sod can ultimate a very long term.
The maximum commonplace cause why sod backfires is that the soil doesn’t meet the proper situations for your sod’s roots to set inside the first vicinity.
If the roots can’t take maintain, then laying sod on your home is a waste of attempt, and worse, a waste of cash.
Why You Shouldn’t Lay Sod Right Over Your Lawn
Sod can’t be located over existing growth, like flowers or weeds, so clearing out any plant life is a need.
The simplest manner to do this is to apply a sod cutter, which can be rented for about $75 according to day relying on your area.
This is a system that slices grass under the roots for easy elimination. You run it over your garden slowly, and take away the old weedy turf in a wheelbarrow to make room for your new sod.
This is the fastest, maximum efficient approach, but if you want to shop a little money there are a few other options.
The first is you can spray herbicide over your lawn and let it take a seat, killing any existing grass. You’ll want time for that herbicide to run its direction earlier than laying your sod, so it’s time-ingesting.
It’s also bad for the environment, so I don’t suggest this approach.
What to Do After You Remove Your Old Grass
Once all present grasses are eliminated, it’s relatively essential to conduct a soil test.
Testing Your Soil
A do-it-yourself soil trying out tool can be bought at any local garden center, and it’ll come up with a reading for your soil’s pH stages and levels of critical vitamins, like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.
However, the most accurate effects may be from a county or kingdom lab, commonly offered through a county extension provider or university. I’ve used this check package from Amazon which you mail to a lab several instances and I find it reliable and a superb investment.
What you can now not realize is that a higher check isn’t particularly luxurious, and it’s going to give you a way greater correct effects.
This lets you to buy unique fertilizers or treatments to make sure your new sod lawn has the great risk to thrive.
Soil trying out is quality finished in either the spring or fall.
I suggest that you take small samples from at least 6 places to your backyard, 5.5-inches deep and at least 2.5-inches extensive, blending them together to get a terrific view of your whole garden’s wishes.
Remove any grass or thatch, then mix them collectively in a Ziploc bag to ship them into the lab.
Treating Your Soil Before Laying Sod
Once your grass is eliminated, it’s time to deal with the soil.
You’ll need to until the soil in order that it’s unfastened. This gives new roots the satisfactory possibilities to grow sturdy. You can rent a tiller out of your neighborhood shops for brief use. Even though a guide tiller or rake can be used alternatively.
Once tilled, to begin with, lay compost over your yard to enhance soil pleasant. This can be obtained from a network compost middle. You can make it yourself by the use of an outside bin. If your soil is mainly dense and clay-heavy, blending sand into your soil will assist make it free and ethereal. Once the ones are laid on the soil until it once more to make sure it’s nicely combined.
After that, and prior to laying sod, you’ll want to spread fertilizer and any cautioned components in your soil to help the sod take root. You need to choose a starter fertilizer this is excessive in nitrogen with a few phosphorous to help your new lawn increase a robust root system and green very quickly. Depending on your soil exams, it could be beneficial to spread lime over your soil to reduce down its acidity.
Where to Buy Sod?
Sod can be purchased from any lawn center or immediately from a sod farm. In reality, I have a whole guide to buying sod, with recommendations for saving money that you are probably interested in.
But the fast model is that it’s vital to pick out sod with grass types that fit your backyard’s conditions and to buy fresh sod.
Generally, sod is made up of a mixture of two or three turf grasses. If your yard is in color, make certain you’re getting a sod that thrives in either partial or complete color.
It’s also viable to request positive grass kinds that suit your soil or backyard, such as if your backyard is excessive moisture or greater dry.
Certain grass sorts are heartier than others, so bear in mind additionally in case your backyard will need to resist your kids playing on it, or if it won’t be walked or stepped on regularly.
Buying the Correct Amount of Sod
Making certain you get the right quantity of sod is likewise very crucial.
If you get too little, your yard may have naked spots, however getting an excessive amount of will waste precious bucks.
Measure out your backyard and calculate its square footage with the aid of multiplying its duration by using its width.
If your backyard has an uncommon form or quite a few curves, it may be beneficial to use an internet garden area calculator. These will make modifications relying on the shape of your backyard to make certain you get the maximum accurate amount. Many use satellite tv for pc imagery.
Once you have your measurements, regulate for a few overages to fill in any gaps. The trendy rule of thumb is to reserve 6-percentage over the amount of sod you calculate which you’ll want.
For instance, if you are trying to cover a 1,050-square-foot place of your lawn, you have to order 1,000-rectangular-toes of sod.
What to Expect for Sod Delivery Time
- It ought to take inside an afternoon for the sod you ordered to be introduced.
- Distributors will regularly reduce the sod overnight to hold it most up to date or save it in a barn in a single day to stay cool.
- Once it’s brought, the sod needs to be installed right away. Because it’s a living organism, the sod will dry out and your grass will die if no longer installed inside a day.
Typically, two people can deploy up to 1,050-toes of sod according to today.
Plan in advance, and invite some buddies in case you need some more palms.
Make sure your yard is ready to lay out the sod earlier than it arrives, and that weather will let you lay down your sod incomplete.
Correct coaching makes laying sod an easy DIY venture.
Tools for Laying Sod
Aside from renting a sod cutter or tiller to remove your current lawn. You’ll want to make certain you have got the essential tools and gadgets to ensure you get the task completed right.
It’s proper to have:
- A sod-knife with at the least a 2.5-inch blade (that is the one We use).
- A spreader and an iron rake,
- The necessary compost, fertilizer, and the opposite additives your soil test called for.
- It’s also useful to have a wheelbarrow for carrying the sod from the pallet to the site. However, in case you carry the sod one roll at a time, it’s not important.
How to Lay Sod in Your Lawn
So your sod has arrived and you couldn’t wait to get it rolled out and to proudly show it to your neighbors.
Hold on just a sec.
- Prior to laying out your first row, make sure your soil is level.
- Using a rake, take-down any high spots in your yard and fill them into low spots. Also make sure your backyard is set 1.5-inch beneath any paved surface, like a walkway or driveway.
- During this initial segment, We advocate that you water the ground lightly. The wet soil will assist the sod to adhere to the soil, and it’s going to also act as a hallmark for how to level your lawn simply is.
Water will pool in low regions, with a purpose to imply in which you need to degree out the soil.
Placing Your First Row of Sod
- Your first row of sod ought to be laid out in your longest, instantly edge of the lawn.
- In most yards, this is usually on a fence line, driveway, road, or lawn mattress.
- Use your rake to degree the region, then vicinity the sod, rolling it out and adjusting it so it’s flush and flat on the ground.
Don’t step on it whilst it’s being established and rake out any footprints as you go. Pat down the sheet to clean out any free areas and do away with any air pockets. Place the following sheet so it’s flat and touching, however not overlapping, the preceding sheet of sod. Using your hands, press down on the seams so that you can not tell wherein one sheet ended and the alternative began.
How to Lay The Next Sod Rows
- It’s critical to stagger your sheets of sod, row through the row, much like how you’ll lay brick.
- After your first row is positioned, cut the subsequent piece of sod in half and area it adjoining to the first sheet of sod you positioned in the first row.
- Hold directly to the half sheet to use a little later.
- Layout the next rows as a consequence, always raking any footprints away and urgent the sheets to hide the seams.
This receives difficult when laying sod around curves to your backyard.
If you’ve got a rectangular yard, you gained want to worry approximately this. But understanding how to set sod on curves is crucial.
How to Cut Sod Around Curved Obstacles & Obstructions
A rookie mistake when you have to put sod around a fence or lamp submit or other curved obstacle is to “guesstimate” the shape.
It’s a bad idea to do a cutout to your sod sheet, and then to % in little pieces of sod for a decent fit.
There are some reasons why this isn’t an excellent method, but the most important is this:
Small portions of sod dry out faster than big pieces, despite the fact that their intensity is similar to a popular piece of sod. Those small portions of sod you’re using to fill gaps around a curved item will turn yellow and be dead inside every week.
The manner We advise you to adapt to curves and limitations is to cut darts into giant portions and bend the grass to meet it.
This is a comparable method used by tailors taking in a suit jacket.
To try this, lay out the sod adjacent to the curve and pinch spots along the threshold together until it fits the curve’s contours. This raises a triangular upward fold, which you may then reduce. Cut on one side on the ground degree, then lay the flap flat. Make some other reductions in order that the sod fits cushy against the curve and take away the extra piece.
What’s Next After All Your Sod is in Place?
Once you have got laid out all your sod and cut it to healthy in which you need to, stand lower back and check your new lawn for gaps or unevenness in tough to attain or oddly shaped areas.
If there are obvious gaps, and you’ve got full pieces of sod leftover, try and tidy them up by greater specific cuts or positioning.
If all you have left is scraps, do your first-rate to patch in, and be conscious those areas of your garden would require more water till the roots are mounted.
One trick if you are attempting to fill gaps with small portions of sod is to add a touch more starter fertilizer to the soil there. This will help stimulate root boom (once more, We use and recommend Bio-Tone from Espoma for this).
If you have got irrigation inserts, which include sprinkler heads, ensure to reduce them out as properly.
Try to marry all of the seams of your sod as well as you could so that you don’t have a ptach-paintings, unprofessional look while finished.
Fill in small seams with a few free topsoils in order that the grass will grow in to fill them within the coming weeks.
If the sod looks or feels loose, take a moment to firmly press the sod right down to help it adhere to your lawn and eliminate any air wallet (watering your soil gently earlier than laying the sod allows).
Do I Need to Use a Lawn Roller on My New Sod?
If your garden is massive enough, you may bear in mind renting a lawn curler to ease it out. Some experts use and advocate this tool.
For your DIY sod laying task, you can lease a lawn curler from a nearby lawn middle.
Using a lawn curler does assist get full and uniform contact between sod and soil. But it isn’t important, so bypass this step in case you’re so inclined.
Watering Your Lawn After Laying Sod
New sod desires to be watered without delay. Within about half an hour of whilst you finish laying it on your home.
This facilitates the roots to take to preserve and ensures your new garden will thrive.
How Often to Water New Sod
Water your garden closely for the first week, slightly much less for the second week. After which once or twice according to week thereafter as you typically would.
The fine time to water new sod is inside the mornings. During the primary week, provide your new sod a lot of water so it doesn’t dry out. This is a vital time on your new sod.
After the primary week, you may either water heavily each other day or supply your sod with lower volumes of water on an everyday foundation. Your season and weather could be the deciding factor. Because you’ll have to determine to water greater or much less based totally on how hot and dry its miles.
When to Water New Sod
Morning is the fine time to water new grass or new sod.
If your water at some point of the freshest part of the day. The number of water will evaporate before your garden can soak up it.
Watering too late inside the afternoon or night will go away the grass damp at some stage in the nighttime. Which may result in fungal diseases.
How to Water Your Sod Lawn
For normal protection, water your garden closely, but once in a while, ensuring your soil is damp down to 6.5-inches.
During the cooler seasons, you may water as soon as according to week (if it doesn’t rain), and water two times consistent with the week during the hot, dry summer.
If you live in a rainy vicinity, We propose that you use a rain gauge or climate app to music rainfall.
Water your new sod garden-based totally on rainfall. For example, when you have heavy rains one week, you may pass watering. If it’s getting dry in one week, give water in additional times.
Common feel, proper?
We like to place the rain gauge right within the lawn and leave it there while. We’re watering – this way if it does rain We get an accurate reading of how plenty water my lawn is going in overall.
Adjust the amount of water you practice if components of your lawn care in the coloration. Shaded lawns require much less water because the moisture will evaporate much less quickly.
I commonly use a little much less lawn fertilizer there as nicely, however that’s a topic for another article.
Continuing to test your soil is beneficial. After watering, you want your soil to be damp to approximately three to 4.5 inches. When to start with watering, you want the soil to be damp down to 6.5-inches.
You don’t want a unique device to test the watering depth – a big screwdriver works well, and it’s what I use in my garden.
When to Mow New Sod
It’s important to allow your grass to grow to about three inches tall before you mow it for the primary time.
This is proper for any new garden – whether or not you’re installing sod or developing grass from seed.
After you lay sod down, it’ll take about 3 to a few weeks for it to set and develop to this peak.
Bear in your thoughts, your new lawn remains fragile. Use a walk at the back of the mower, and make turns gingerly the primary time you mow your lawn after laying sod.
A riding mower is heavy and places more stress on your garden. A tight flip ought to rip your sod’s tender new roots and motive the sod to shift out of function.
Before Mowing It Let It grow a little
During the warmer, summer season months. We constantly advise you to permit your grass to develop longer to inspire a deep root system and crowd out any weeds.
I even have equal advice for a brand new sod garden.
It’s better to permit it to grow a touch longer and mow it brilliantly excessive than it is to mow too early.
However, don’t let it develop too tall before slicing. And when you do mow your new garden. You want to avoid slicing a couple of third the period of the grass. Set your mower deck to go away at the least 2/3 the length of the grass blades regardless of the height of your new grass.
When to Fertilize Your A New Sod Lawn
If you follow my recommendation of amending the soil with a few starter fertilizers before laying sod. We advocate that you comply with up after about three to 4 weeks 3 days and broadcast starter fertilizer to your sod.
You can use extra Bio-Tone when you have a small phase of lawn, but for a larger sod garden. You can want to pick out a brief-launch synthetic lawn fertilizer.
When We’re over-seeding or starting a new lawn from sod or seed inside the fall, We use Scott’s starter fertilizer.
Generally, We try to stay natural on my lawn. But the brief-launch artificial fertilizers truly provide your new garden what it needs to thrive. We relatively propose Scott’s starter fertilizer merchandise. It’s the one time We use artificial fertilizer. It works clearly nicely.
After the utility of your starter fertilizer, cross again to organic in the next packages.
Natural, sluggish-release natural fertilizers paintings very well for this because they guide healthy root structures and correct soil excellent.
What’s in Starter Fertilizers that Make Them Work Well for New Sod Lawns?
Starter fertilizers have a few phosphorous in them to assist in fast increase a sturdy root machine.
A hit sod installation is predicated on the present root system of your grass growing speedy.
You want this root device to expand and paint itself deep into your soil. The phosphorous in starter fertilizer is prime to having achievement while laying sod.
It is critical to word, that relying on your vicinity, phosphorous can be regulated. Some areas restrict use for environmental motives.
If you are not allowed to apply a high-phosphorus starter fertilizer to your lawn. Pick an extra sustainable fertilizer with less phosphorous. A fertilizer with an excessive amount of nitrogen and a slight quantity of potassium will paintings well.
This will make your grass robust, and the nitrogen will help it green very quickly. The longer grass blades will assist the grass in evidently developing a deeper root machine. Let your new garden develop lengthily and mow it high to aid in root improvement.
Preventing Insect Damage in Your New Sod Lawn
Sod is specifically susceptible to insect infestations. The lush, new grass attracts many bugs that banquet on roots.
Regulations additionally do not allow sod growers to apply sturdy pesticides. So growers can best manage populations in preference to eradicating them altogether.
It’s crucial to be aware of this, as one of the demanding situations a few owners face after they lay sod can be in preventing bugs.
After laying your sod, it’s vital to hold a near look ahead to insect harm.
One natural (and effective) method to ensure your new turf does not succumb to insect pressure is to take the proactive step of making use of useful nematodes in your yard.
Beneficial nematodes are basically worms that are trying to find out and destroy the larvae of garden grubs and a ramification of other pests that can harm turf and kill the grass.
They will obviously save you harmful insect infestations even as still supporting wholesome populations of useful bugs. In addition, they aerate and fertilize your lawn for you.
We get them organized from Amazon because it’s clean. We upload a few to my lawn every spring to assist manage pests.
If an infestation worsens, you may follow more useful nematodes to trouble areas, or use insecticide (final motel) or Diatomaceous earth. Which is my endorsed fix for ant infestations to your garden.
Now You Know How to Lay Sod
Applying sod is a quick way to absolutely remodel your yard.
It’s additionally a smooth challenge that everybody can accomplish so long as you don’t thoughts putting in the paintings.
It’s my revel in that laying sod and enhancing your garden in a single day will offer a strong feeling of ownership over your yard, and the instant of pride whilst you stand returned and survey your new garden will offer you real pleasure.
The pleasure you’ll have in a task properly done will make your efforts more than really worth it.
The high-quality manner to make certain a healthful, long-lasting yard is to deal with the soil prior to set up. Then hold it and guide your grass with normal fertilization and bi-annual applications of compost.
After reading our guide now you will get an idea of how to lay sod and important things to consider. Let us know in the comment sections if it will help you.