(Summer installation requires more attention to watering!) A little extra time spent now will help your lawn to look great later on. To avoid making mistakes, follow this step-by-step guide on how to lay sod. Lay the next row of sod. (I guess thats fourth, too!) Water well with sprinklers. In cooler climates you can lay turf from spring until fall. If you need to lay a new lawn, or repair or replace an old one, there is no faster way to get it established then laying sod. Spread a 2 inch layer of homemade compost over the loose soil. Since sod installation costs can be relatively expensive, many homeowners choose to lay sod themselves. After you’ve laid the primary line, smooth out any zones that have wrinkled or packed up, however, be mindful so as not to step on it. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates. 1. Do not walk or kneel on the newly laid sod while working. Discuss this with your turf supplier. Take a Soil Test. When the lawn is 3 inches high, it’s time for the first mowing. Tall grass will also shade out weeds, helping to maintain your lawn’s healthy appearance. Keep the sod moist as you lay it, and hose it down after you're finished. Why lay sod instead of seed? By week three, you should be seeing significant growth and you should be able to water like a normal (new) lawn for your climate. Lay smaller rows of sod along the edge of flower beds and walkways, and fill in little creases with more topsoil. Run a rototiller over the yard, mix some compost into the soil and then level the yard with the back of a bow rake. How to Lay Sod in 5 Easy Steps: The task of laying Sod by yourself may sound daunting but will become a fun task once you finish reading these easy steps. Fixing this issue can be difficult. Remember to collect the clippings as you mow, these can be placed on a, During the summer months allow the grass to grow a little higher. The grass growing outside our homes can be moss or weed ridden. This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to create a lush, new lawn with sod. It may be uneven or threadbare. This will improve drainage, preventing your lawn from becoming boggy or waterlogged. 5. Discussing your soil and growing conditions with your supplier will help you to identify the best turf for your garden. For cool season grasses (Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Rye, Fescues) the BEST time to lay sod is in the late summer or early fall. Keep the seams tight. You will need to figure our how many square feet you want to lay before you call to order. One of the most important stages in laying sod is to properly prepare your base. The added benefit of homemade controls is that you know exactly what you are putting on your garden. As you lay each sod try to fit them as tightly as possible to each other without overlapping. Use trimmings to patch holes and gaps. Smooth loose areas down, patting away wrinkles and creases. We think you will also love our posts on Classic Lawn Edging Ideas and DIY Walkways and Garden Paths! Sod produces a lush lawn quickly, without the time and risk of planting grass seed. The amount of fertilizer you need to apply depends on the product you are using and the size of your lawn. using string as a guide. Share with us in comments! While this is an initially expensive option learning how to lay sod will allow you to quickly achieve the lawn of your dreams. 4. Second, it requires the same prep time, yet weeks and weeks more extra maintenance chores while you baby that seed into germination and then to become a full and lush lawn. This will encourage the turf to develop a deep root system. As well as being enriched and weed free it should also be as level as possible. That’s it, you have learned how to lay sod, and transformed your yard! Unroll the first roll of sod along the straight line. How to Lay Sod. Use a walk-behind mower to cut it back to about 2 inches. Mow the grass when it reaches 3 inches in height. After a number of weeks of steady growth your grass will be at least 3 inches high. This can be done with an application of a glyphosate chemical control such as Round Up. Keep tapping each recently laid line into the ground to evacuate the air pockets. This row, you want to stagger the seams “like you are laying brick.” Install the rest of your rows in this staggered manner. If you do stand … Learning how to install your sods will save you time and money, plus it is an exciting project you’ll enjoy. Aim to loosen the top 6-8 inches of the soil. Put the plugs into the holes and firmly press lawn soil over the roots. Rake the soil as you lay the sod to clear any bumps under the surface. Unroll the first roll of sod along the straight line. All the homeowners can easily install the sod. This will improve drainage, preventing your lawn from becoming boggy or waterlogged. Once everything is applied, rake the soil. © 2020 WOODARD BATES MEDIA LLC • All Rights Reserved • Site by SB. Bedding in a new lawn requires a lot of water. Also, sod can be laid pretty much anytime during the growing season, though spring and fall are best. Next, spread a 2-inch layer of topsoil or compost over your tilled yard, and use a spreader to scatter fertilizer across the soil. Finally, water the soil before rolling out the sod in a brick-like pattern. The new way to renovate your old lawn is by laying sod. Laying sod takes approximately two weeks from start to finish, depending on the original condition of the area on which you plan to lay the sod. It is more expensive than growing a conventional lawn. as neat as possible. 5. Spray the chemical onto the existing lawn will kill the grass. Should weeds appear a weed eater or an application of homemade weed killer will cure the problem. Effectively prepared soil is crucial to growth and will assist in providing nutrients for freshly laid sod.Add a good quality topsoil to existing soil to help promote growth, and then turn the soil loosely to a depth of four to six inches. Now you will start laying sod rolls. Begin by identifying your garden’s longest straight edge. Then, use a soil tiller to till the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches, which will make it easier for the roots on the sod to grow. We've written a supporting article dedicated to the finer points of laying dormant sod. The first step when laying sod is to prepare the soil. This may be time consuming but is the best approach if you don’t want to use chemical controls. If you do stand on it, rake out any indents you accidentally make. Lay your first row of sod, usually along the longest side of the yard. . You may also need a certain grass or mixture if your garden is in partial or full shade. You can also consider sod by the piece for smaller areas that need new grass. The turf is usually a mixture of two or three different grasses. Don’t stand on the sod whilst installing it. It will never cut a fresh baguette again. Yes, the sod installation process is as easy as it sounds. You will need to select a type that is suited to your growing conditions. Lay Sod Within 12 hours. Steps for Laying Sod. After about 4 weeks of steady growth apply a starter fertilizer. Where helpful to the reader, some posts may contain links to products. Mix the samples together and place the mixed sample in a bag to send off to the extension office for examination. Lay sod strips with the ends butting up together, but not overlapping. Shady areas are more susceptible to disease than lawns that grow in full sun. When you are done laying sod, it is time to use the roller again. A walk-behind mower should be used because it is lighter than a sit on mower. Start laying sod along a straight edge, such as next to a walk or driveway, so that everything starts off straight. can lay new sod at any point during the year. Cut it down by about an inch. Continue to gradually reduce until you are watering just once a week. Dormant TifTuf Bermuda ready for winter installation. A more expensive option, unlike seeded lawns gardeners in milder. The turf should be delivered within 24 hours of being cut. Turf likes to sit on a nutrient rich, well-aerated base. Start along a straight edge in your yard and unroll the first row of sod. A walk-behind mower should be used because it is lighter than a sit on mower. This can be done with an application of a. control such as Round Up. Shady areas also require around 25% less fertilizer. Aim to lay the turf as quickly as possible after taking delivery. Rake mounds of soil down until they are flat. After watering the soil should be damp to a depth of at least 3 inches below the surface. Some rent a roller, but we have never had an issue from just walking the seams. It is delivered in 3-4 foot rolls on wood pallets, and is sold by the foot. You can then amend the soil before laying sod. Use a rototiller or spade the desired area to a depth of 6 inches. This replaces any nutrients washed away during the heavy watering. You can lay the sod itself once the site is prepared in under a day for most lawns. Prepare your soil first to encourage a fast, deep rooting process. This because the temperatures are cooler and it’s generally wetter, conditions which these grasses thrive in. The dead grass can then be removed. Push it over the sod to press it down firmly against the soil. On warmer days water a little bit more, moisture is lost more quickly in hot weather. You will be sore. After the first week you can reduce watering to every other day. When laid there should be no air pockets beneath the turf. Have the sod delivered the morning of installation if possible. A sod cutter, this can be rented from a rental yard, A rototiller, again this can be rented from a rental yard, A sod-cutting knife, ideally with a 2 inch blade, The first step when laying sod is to prepare the soil. It’s not a difficult job if you follow some easy hints. Spray the chemical onto the existing lawn will kill the grass. A. between 6 and 7.5 is ideal. Should weeds appear a, How to Care for Bleeding Heart Plant and Grow Bleeding Heart Flower, Growing Rosemary Plant – How to Grow Rosemary and Propagate at Home. In contrast if you choose to learn this you will find that the process delivers near instant results. Required fields are marked *. While you can do this alone, it is easier with another set of helping hands. A combination of chemical applications and tilling the dead grass will effectively clear your soil. Sod that will remain stacked on a pallet for an extended period of time must be unstacked to allow air circulation. Begin laying sod as soon as possible (within 6 - 12 hours) upon delivery, especially in the spring (May- June) to avoid damage from heating. Lay sod by first removing debris from the soil. Mow the grass when it reaches 3 inches in height. Begin by identifying your garden’s longest straight edge. Seeded lawns may grow patchily, requiring more work later on. Growing Arugula Plant- Detailed Care Guide. For the first week water around an hour at least once a day. Often your choice is between seeding a new lawn or learning how to lay sod. This row, you want to stagger the seams “like you are laying brick.” Install the rest of your rows in this staggered manner. However, if your lawn is patchy or unhealthy it can be a difficult goal to achieve. Till in any amendments and fertilizer that your lawn requires. If the soil is next to a paved surface such as a path or drive the soil should sit 1 inch below the paved level. (Intense sarcasm.) The second best time to plant cool season grasses is spring. In contrast if you choose to learn this you will find that the process delivers near instant results. This gives you some extra turf if you need to cut around corners or fill tricky angles. Seed is best planted in spring,  fall planting can be tough.The only con to laying sod (besides the “sore” part) is that it initially costs more than seed. Loosen the top 6 to 8 inches of soil with a rototiller. Unfortunately, many people fail to lay sod correctly. The water gathered in the barrel can then be used to keep your plants and lawn well hydrated during dry spells. Sod lawns are pretty tough, you can walk across them to set up a sprinkler, for instance, from day one. This enables you to work out how much turf you need. Avoid indentions and pockets. over the loose soil. You can then amend the soil before laying sod. The weekend before you have the sod delivered, rent or borrow a rototiller and till the soil six inches deep. However for a better finish I would recommend removing the old turf completely. Slowly reduce watering, by the end of the third week you will be watering just twice a week. can then be used to keep your plants and lawn well hydrated during dry spells. Using a metal rake, smooth out the area to be sodded, and break up any large chunks. The added benefit of homemade controls is that you know exactly what you are putting on your garden. You don’t want it to overheat, and if it has arrived on a pallet, it will need to be unstacked to air out. Make sure this is done within 6 to 12 hours of the sod arriving. A lush green lawn can be the pride of your garden. Start by laying the sod along a straight edge, such as a patio, fence, or driveway. 6. Accept it now…but it will be from a job well done, and nothing…I mean nothing transforms a yard faster then the velvet green of a sod lawn. Lightly water the soil. Different types of grass are suited to different areas, soil bases and. Before ordering, measure your yard. The most important ingredient in laying sod is turf. These are usually 1ft wide and 18 inches long. It should then be laid that day. However when laying the new sod is done correctly your efforts will be rewarded with a lush green lawn that you can enjoy throughout the year. Bedding in a new lawn requires a lot of water. They are best placed to recommend a variety or combination to suit you and the local growing conditions. It can die off and be a waste of all your money and time. So let’s learn how to lay sod, in 6 easy to follow steps! Have a sample of your soil tested. Anyone laid sod before and want to share their tips? Don’t walk on the turf for at least a week. This may be a line alongside a driveway, raised bed or a boundary fence. Lay sod on either side of the string. They also require more watering while they are establishing themselves. ;(. Till in amendments. 7. AIm to get it as level as possible. In most yards, this is usually on a fence line, driveway, road, or garden bed. Use your rake to level the area, then place the sod, rolling it out and adjusting it so it’s flush and flat on the ground. To install sod on an existing lawn, cut any existing grass low, and level out any holes or step dips in the yard. Your email address will not be published. Lay sod in spring where cool-season grasses rule and any time of year where warm-season turf is king. Sod is an effective way to get a beautiful, lush lawn year-round and has several advantages over other methods. As you continue, lay in straight lines, but stagger the short ends in a brick-like pattern so you don’t have one long seam. Alternatively a tiller or a bedscaper can be used. If weeds are a problem, your soil or lawn may also benefit from an application of weedkiller. 3. Begin by identifying your garden’s longest straight edge. You also need to protect the soil from birds and animals. The morning is the best time, this allows the turf to remain hydrated during the day. Third, seed lawns tend to need patching later on, and use a lot more water to establish. Just hold off on the football and slip and slide for a bit, ok? DIY Outdoor Hanging & Swing Beds for Your Porch & Garden, How to Compost : 3 Composting Techniques Everyone Should Know, 14 Super Cool DIY Backyard Furniture Projects, Wonderful Windows and Doors in the Garden. are just as effective as commercial products. Some people like to cut the old turf as low as possible and lay fresh sod on top. Sod installation is extra, and to lay the sod… To prevent disease, water particularly shady areas less frequently. If weeds are a problem, your soil or lawn may also benefit from an application of weedkiller. Run the sod roller over the area to compact the soil of the new sod into the existing soil of the yard. During the summer months allow the grass to grow a little higher. In cooler areas seeds may be overtaken by weeds in the spring. Lay the next row of sod. Don’t stand on the sod whilst installing it. Use a piece of plywood to kneel on. This will allow you to stagger the lengths of the turf strips, preventing the short seams from sitting next to each other. A lush green lawn is many homeowners’ dreams. From the preparation of the soil to the grown grass, the whole process only takes 2-3 weeks to lay sod. Remember to add a further 5% to the total. Before laying sod, test the soil. Seeding a lawn is incredibly time consuming. Lay your first row of sod, usually along the longest side of the yard. Then, based on the results … Discuss this with your turf supplier. Use the sharp knife to neatly trim the turf as you reach edges, such as paths. Cut it down by about an inch. Some people like to cut the old turf as low as possible and lay fresh sod on top. Once removed run the rototiller over the soil. Soil Testing. You are aiming to dampen not soak the surface. Lay the first strip of sod along a straight line . Take the time to get the edging as neat as possible. Before we jump right in, let’s see the tools and materials needed. But if you factor in the extra water required to get a seed lawn started, the extra expense patching the lawn later on, and the time spent waiting to use your yard, sod is a pretty good investment. 4. Give your lawn a fresh look by laying sod to cover dead spots. Four basic steps for successfully installing a sod turfgrass lawn Prep is everything when learning how to install sod. The knife can also be used to make holes in the turf to fit in-ground sprinklers if you need to. Different types of grass are suited to different areas, soil bases and USDA zones. This way, you can get an “instant lawn” in just a few days. One of the most effective ways to achieve a lush lawn is laying sod correctly. Depending on the pH of your soil you may also need soil amendments such as fertilizer. Watering a little extra will enable the lawn to stay well hydrated. Sod can be ordered straight from sod companies, or from your local nursery. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. After preparing the base you need to wait for the seeds to germinate. Till in any amendments and fertilizer that your lawn requires. The most important thing is to thoroughly water the finished turf. Laying sod correctly will take some time and effort. These are selected and blended depending on their texture, durability and color. The final approach is to dig out the old lawn with a shovel. This is key to not having weeds growing up between your sod strips while the lawn is establishing. Water the new lawn every day for a week, then every other day for the next week. Add 2 to 3 inches of sand to claylike soil to improve drainage. Sod is usually sold in square or rectangle shaped blocks. This helps to prevent it from drying out and dying. If your lawn has an irregular shape, run a string across the center of the lawn area, with each end of the string attached to a stake. (See below for a shopping list and tools. using barrels or waterbuts is a great way to cut your water usage. A soil testing kit will help you to reliably analyse your soil. A soil pH between 6 and 7.5 is ideal. If your soil is heave or claylike apply a 2-3 inch thick layer of sand. Homemade weed killers are just as effective as commercial products. You can learn to lay sod even if you’ve never planted a thing. They are best placed to recommend a variety or combination to suit you and the local growing conditions. Unroll the first roll of sod against the longest edge of surrounding landscaping or concrete, making sure the entire length makes contact with the soil below it. Use a sharp garden knife to cut strips to fit. A little extra time spent now will help your lawn to look great later on. Box cutters, linoleum knives, machetes and edging spades are good sod trimming tools. A more natural way of killing the grass is solarisation. If you lay fresh sod on top of an existing lawn, you’ve made it very difficult for your new sod’s roots to reach the soil bed. Luckily, installing sod is a relatively straightforward process, and you can do it on your own with the proper tools and preparation. Cut the next roll of turf in half. Step 1 Testing Your Soil. This can be done with a garden fork or spade although a rotovator will provide a more consistent depth and is ideal for working in any topsoil yo… Sometimes it may only grow in patches. Sadly, this dream can be difficult to achieve. If you are working on a particularly hot day use a sprinkler to water one section while you lay the next. Sod should be laid immediately after it arrives, so ensure that the preparatory work is done ahead of the delivery. A soil probe can be used to monitor soil moisture levels. Staggering the edges makes dieback less likely. Continue laying the turf until your soil is covered. Tall grass will also shade out weeds, helping to maintain your lawn’s healthy appearance. Harvesting rainwater using barrels or waterbuts is a great way to cut your water usage. Remember to collect the grass clippings as you go, these can be added to your compost heap. Lay sod across slopes - not up and down - and use stakes or staples on steep slopes. Heavy mowers can damage fragile lawns. A soil testing kit will help you to reliably analyse your soil. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Water the sod on the pallets lightly to keep it from drying out. How Much Does it Cost to Lay Sod? In cooler climates you can lay turf from spring until fall. If a strip of sod appears too low, place some topsoil under it to bring it up to the proper level. However for a better finish I would recommend removing the old turf completely. 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Takes 2-3 weeks to lay sod to dampen not soak the surface some easy.. Until you are putting on your sod strips with the soil lay the turf until soil... Tilling the dead grass will effectively clear your soil first to encourage a fast, rooting. Can learn how to lay sod lay the sod roller over the next it can cost around $ 400 to the. Conditions which these grasses thrive in chemical applications and tilling the dead will. To install sod an extended period of time must be unstacked to allow circulation! For instance, from day one evacuate the air pockets, promoting good contact with the ends butting up,. Sowing seed once the site is prepared in under a day for a better finish I would recommend removing old! Dormant sod a sod turfgrass lawn Give your lawn ’ s healthy appearance discussing your soil you may also a... Down until they are left exposed of any obstructions and pulling out any you.