Installing sod is easy but it needs to be laid right. How to lay sod to ensure the best results.
Easy? Well...it is labor intensive but the process is pretty simple.
Have your soil tested before prepping. The results will tell you what amendments (lime, compost, etc) need to be added.
Renovating an Old Lawn: Old grass can be stripped with a sod cutter or sprayed with Roundup weed killer 2 weeks before sodding - the dead grass can then be tilled. Tip: Mark sprinkler heads before tilling or sod cutting.
Rough grade and rake up any rocks and debris.
Add top soil and amendments and then till to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Next, apply a starter fertilizer and work it into the top inch of soil.
The finished grade should be 1 inch below edges, sidewalks, driveways and curbs to make room for the new sod. Tip: Drag a section of chain link fence behind a lawn tractor to smooth large areas.
After finish grading, roll with a water-filled lawn roller to firm up the soil enough to be walked on.
Starting a New Lawn: If possible, remove constriction debris - buried wood, stumps, large roots. Large pieces of decomposing wood will cause Mushrooms in lawn and can also cause fairy ring. Tilling and grading is the same process as renovating (see above paragraphs).
Sod deteriorates quickly in warm weather! Install it as soon as it is delivered. Whatever you cannot lay right away should be stored in a shady spot - unrolled and kept moist.
Tip: To make your job easier - ask the delivery driver to spread the pallets around the job site (or close to where you're working) so the rolls don't have to be carried far.
Lightly water to cool the soil. It should be moist - not wet - at the time of sodding. Why? Because the sun will heat up bare soil and laying sod on hot, dry ground will slow rooting - even if properly watered after installation.
Start by establishing a
straight line for the first row. Run a string line or follow a sidewalk
or driveway. Subsequent rows should be staggered (in a brick-like
pattern) so that the seams do not line up. Staggering the rolls makes
them fit tighter. Tight seams keep the sod from drying quickly and
helps to hold it in place. The finished lawn will also look nicer!