There is no better time to enhance a lawn’s ultimate beauty and success than by improving the soil before any planting or garden landscaping takes place.
Benefits of Proper and Complete Soil Preparation
- Improved Uniformity
- Increased Density
- Faster recovery from wear
- Reduced Use of Water, & Fertilizer
- Reduced Maintenance
- How Deep Should the Soil Be For Sod?
The absolute minimum quality soil depth for a carefree lawn is 4 inches; however, for deeper root penetration and the benefits that brings, the accepted standard is 6 inches.
Can Soils Be Improved?
Not only can most soils be improved, they usually need to be improved to get the maximum results.
The knowledge of what’s necessary, the amount and availability of materials and the immediate costs of time and money are the factors that typically deter people from taking the steps necessary to improve the soil. While some people do not fully understand the importance of good soils for grass, many also believe they can save time and money by ignoring the need to improve their lawn’s soil.
The fact is that failing to improve the soil before planting is only inviting a much greater and continual investment of both time and money that will never return its value as fully as preparing the soil properly before planting any grass.
How Is Sod Installed?
STEP 1 – Measuring and Ordering
With a tape, measure the area where you want to lay your sod. Each roll of sod is 2 feet by 5 feet and covers an area of 10 square feet.
Schedule your order for delivery of sod after you have completed the preparatory work and you are ready to install. Prompt installation on the day of delivery is crucial to a strong beginning for your lawn. Sod should be installed within 12 hours of delivery.
STEP 2 – Soil Preparation
Old grass should be removed or turned to ensure proper growth of new sod. Soil should be rota-tilled to a depth of 2 inches or new topsoil spread. Ensure there are no drainage problems in the area. The area should then be rolled to pack the soil and to level out the ground. All rocks, roots, sticks, or clumps of soil should be removed and the top two inches of soil should then be loosened in order for the roots of the new sod to establish in the ground. The area is now ready for sod.
STEP 3 – Sod Installation
Sod should be installed within 12 hours of delivery. Installation should begin along the longest and straightest edge of the area, such as a driveway or sidewalk. Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching. Sod should be laid in a brick-like fashion, staggering the joints (seams) avoiding any gaps or overlapping. To cut the sod and avoid overlapping edges you can use a sharp knife or an exacto-knife. To avoid causing indentations or air pockets, avoid repeated walking or kneeling on the sod while it is being installed or just after watering. The new sod should be rolled after installation to remove any air pockets.
STEP 4 – Watering
Watering should commence immediately and should continue everyday until the sod has rooted into the ground when watering can be gradually decreased. When watering, ensure that all the new grass receives a good amount of water. Water areas near buildings more often where reflected heat dries the turf. To measure the quantity of water, lift up a corner of a roll and ensure that the water has gone through the grass and has penetrated into the ground at least an inch. The hotter the weather the more water the grass will need. The best time to water is in the morning or in the evening.
New grass should not be walked on very much for the first two weeks as the grassroots are establishing in the new soil. The first cutting of the newly laid sod should come 10 to 14 days after installation, when the sod has established roots and growth is apparent. The first cutting should be with the highest level on your mower, and following cuttings should gradually bring the height of cut to the desired level.
STEP 5 – Enjoy
Your new sod lawn increases your property value significantly. With proper care, it will remain a great asset, providing beauty, a clean playing surface, and an improved landscape environment.