Do I Need To Rototill Before Laying Sod
Yes, unless its a small area. And youll need other tools. Count on one weekend to prepare the soil for sod and another to lay the turf. If your yard is covered with patchy grass, youll need to remove it first.
This is best done with a sod cutter , which slices it off below the roots. While youre at it, youll want to rent a rototiller . Youll also need a sod-cutting knife with a 2-inch blade, a spreader, an iron rake, compost, and other soil amendments, including fertilizer and lime, depending on what your soil analysis dictates. Two people should be able to cover 1,000 square feet in a day get extra hands if you plan to lay more than that.
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How To Lay Sod To Start A New Lawn
Laying sod is the perfect DIY project for any homeowner to spruce up their lawn. With our step-by-step guide on how to install sod the right way, you can use our preparation and maintenance tips to encourage root growth and a happy, healthy lawn!
Step 1Step 1Choose the Best Time of Year to Lay Sod
Finding an ideal time for installing sod is crucial to a successful lawn. Although you can lay sod at any time of the year, it is best to choose a clear day, preferably in the fall when temperatures are cooler, but when grass is still able to grow.
It might seem intuitive to choose the summer months to start your lawn, but temperatures can be too dry and lead to overwatering. However, spring can be a second-best option to fall, especially for grass that thrives in warmer weather.
Depending on the type of grass you choose, you can follow the recommended care tips in terms of maintenance, watering, and mowing.
Step 2Step 2Measure and Plan Your New Lawn
Before starting your project, measure your yard to ensure you purchase the right amount of sod. As yards are measured in square feet, you can walk the area to calculate the size of your space.
Walk the perimeter and multiply the number of steps by three to determine the length and width. Then, multiply those two numbers to find the square footage.
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Decide Whether You Need A Soil Improver
This does take more time and also adds to the expense of creating a new lawn. As a result, many people skip this step.
However, it makes a huge difference in how well your lawn establishes and grows in the long term. As such, I advise you to improve your soil if you can.
Heavy, Clay-Like Soil
If your soil is heavy and clay-like, add some fine gravel to improve drainage and add compost or well-rotted organic matter to add nutrients which your soil might be deficient in.
If your soil is sandy and free-draining, add some compost or well-rotted organic matter to improve water retention. This will add nutrients and also help to keep moisture in the soil where it can be used by the new grass.
No matter if you have clay-like soil or sandy soil, the addition of compost will always help. I like to use Rolawns Soil Improving Compost for larger areas but any compost, well-rotted organic material or manure will do.
To mix it into the soil, spread it over the surface and turn the soil over again with a fork, spade or rotavator.
Now That You Have Prepared The Surface Its Time To Make Sure That Your Edges Are Prepared Properly
You may have already done this in step one of How to Install Sod, but if you have not be sure to now.
Be sure that edges along any paths, parts of the driveway, or garden beds are dug down enough that when the sod is laid it will be even with the surface. Usually this will be about 1 inch below the fixed edge you are installing around.
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How Long Does It Take For Sod Lines To Disappear
Youve finally decided to win the patchy brown war in your backyard by installing an instant lawn. Thick, lush sod strips generally provide immediate satisfaction through the appearance of a finished lawn, but how long will it take for sod lines to disappear?
Generally, it will take between four and six weeks for sod likes to disappear. Initially, the roots will develop and strengthen before the visible seams start to disappear. However, if you install the sod rolls by following the correct techniques, the sod lines can disappear within four weeks.
Once the sod roots establish and the panel lines disappear, youll have an aesthetically pleasing backyard. Luckily, well discuss a few tips on how to ensure sod lines disappear on your fresh lawn.
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What Is The Best Time Of The Year To Lay Sod
Sod can be installed spring through fall . In areas of the country that favor cool-season grasses, like the Northeast, it avoids the problem of sprouting a nice crop of weeds when seeding a lawn in spring. And in southern states, which favor warm-season grasses like Bermudagrass, zoysia grass, and centipede grass, sod is the best way to cover the yard at any time of year, since these turf types cannot be grown from seed.
Sometimes sod gets a bad rap, but thats usually because of mistakes people make while laying it, says Roger. Put down on properly prepared soil, it will thrive. Turf likes a well-aerated base thats slightly acidic and nutrient-rich. And the only way to know what kind of soil youve got is to test it. For about $15, your local extension service will send a soil sample to a lab for analysis results will come back within a week or two and indicate precisely what amendments you should add and in what quantity.
The Basics Of How To Prepare Soil For Laying Sod
There are six steps to preparing the soil on a lawn for laying sod. The best lawn prep will include all six of these steps.
Try to avoid skipping steps to save time. Any effort skipped now often means more work in the long term on an ongoing basis.
Unless youre in a time crunch, try to make sure all the prep steps are complete before the fresh sod is delivered to site so that it can be laid as soon as possible.
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Loosen Soil Base To Break Up Hard Dirt
Step 4 is to loosen the cleared soil. Breaking up hard, compacted soil will help add important air voids into the soil structure. Porosity in the soil allows the roots of the turf grass to access air, and also provides pathways for good water drainage.
Use a shovel or rototiller to loosen up the top layer of the soil. Focus on breaking up the top 4 to 6. Take care to break up chunks of soil. Remove any debris that is unearthed, like sticks or rocks, from the area.
Adjust The Soil Level And Unroll Turf
Adjust the soil level by raking it at one inch below the sprinkler head. Moist it well and start unrolling turf. If possible, start the installation process from the end of your yards towards the exit to avoid walking on the fresh sod and leaving any footprints. Make sure that you match edges tightly and prevent any overlaps.
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Remove Old Turf Plants And Weeds
The first thing to do is clear the area where your new lawn is going to be laid or sown.
You should remove every last piece of plant material from the area.
Spray the area with a Glyphosate-based weed killer. Choose one that breaks down on contact with soil like Elixirs Glyphosate Weed Killer Concentrate.
Wait for 2-3 weeks until the whole area has died off and gone brown before removing the old lawn, plants or weeds with a spade or turf cutter.
Great Ways & Tips To Care For You New Sod Grass
Home / Great Ways & Tips To Care For You New SOD Grass
If youve just installed new sod in a home or office, you might be wondering what next. What can I do to keep my sod healthy?
You must learn how to care for your new sod.
After installation, water your sod regularly for the first two weeks. It usually takes between 10 to 2 weeks for sod to root.
We recommend that your new sod be thoroughly soaked to encourage growth. The first week, water should be soaked to 4 to 6 inches. You can check the moisture level by lifting a corner of soil and touching it.
It is better to wait for your new sod to grow. For the first two weeks, water your new sod daily. It may need additional watering depending on the season.
After 10 days, you should stop watering roots as they will need water.
After the sod is in place for a couple of weeks, you can reduce the amount that you water. Depending on how long the sod has been in place, you will still need water it at least three to five days per week.
To prevent rapid evaporation, deep watering is advised in the mornings and evenings. This will help maintain a healthy level for your sods moisture. It can take several months for your sod to establish itself fully.
Once your sod has established, you can water your lawn less often. Its a great time to adjust your sprinklers or watering systems to improve your grass. Its also a good time to mow your lawn more frequently and do other lawn maintenance like fertilizing.
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How To Install Sod Without Removing Existing Lawn
In my experience if you have an existing lawn it is not always necessary to remove it, in order to install sod,as long as you can level the ground with some organic material.
But remember you will need make the sod level with any edges such as walkways, driveways, or any other surface level with 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. Bring in a top soil/ compost mix and spread it evenly through the yard. In most cases it won’t be necessary to add too much extra dirt, but the little bit of compost will help give some nutrients to the roots while your new grass becomes established
What You Should Do Instead
Properly eliminating your old lawn before laying new sod is the first critical step in ensuring that your new sod grows a strong root system. A strong and healthy root system makes your lawn more resilient, less maintenance and more attractive.
Start by mowing your old lawn as short as you safely can. Bag or rake as many clippings as possible and make sure to remove any loose debris like sticks or rocks from the lawn as you work. Once the lawn is mowed, youll want to use a rototiller to till the entire lawn about four to six inches in depth. Youll need to rake any loose debris again during this process. Youre going to be tilling up clumps of the old root system, so youll want to remove those as you work.
Next, put down a thin layer of high-quality topsoil and grade all of your lawn’s surface so that its nice and level and free from any holes or high spots. Youll want your sod to rest about an inch below any hardscapes like walkways or sidewalks, so take that into consideration as you grade your surface. Once everything is nice and level, you need to apply a turf starter fertilizer thats right for the kind of sod youll be laying. Your home center should be able to provide you with the proper mixture.
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Remove Existing Vegetation From Lawn Area
Step 3 of preparing the soil for sod is to remove all existing vegetation from the lawn area. This includes weeds and old grass that might be in the existing soil. While these small plants could be tilled into the soil, removing them from the area completely lessens the possibility of a lumpy lawn due to clumps of grass decaying and leaving depressions.
First, pull any large weeds by hand. A weeding tool also works well for this. Small weeds can be removed along with the old grass.
To remove the old grass, youll need a sod knife or a sod-cutting machine. A sod knife is a gardening tool that looks rather like a large serrated bread knife. It is used to cut the grass plants off a couple of inches below the soil line. A sod cutter machine does the same thing, but more quickly . Sod cutters can be rented from tool rental companies, usually for less than $100/day. Roll up strips of the old grass and compost them.
Can I Put New Sod Over Old Grass?
You certainly could put new sod over old grass, but that is not the recommended method. Sod prefers a well-aerated soil matrix, not a mat of thatch and dead grass. Grass WILL grow over stones, but it grows best in loose, nutrient-rich soil. Remove the old grass prior to laying new sod. Itll take a bit more time now but the results will be so much better! Make your investment in the rolls of sod worth it by properly prepping the soil.
How To Prepare Your Lawn For Sodding
It takes just one weekend, and the effort is entirely worth it.
Sod does great things for a lawn that’s seen better days. For starters, it replaces tired-looking, yellowed grass with a lawn that’s thick, lush, and resistant to weeds and diseases. But you can’t just lay down new sod on top of the old lawn-take the time to properly prepare the existing soil for a healthy new carpet of grass. First, figure out how much sod you need to order. Don’t worry, it’s surprisingly simple to determine using basic math. All you need to do is multiply the length of the area you want to sod times the width to get the total square footage to order.
Now it’s time to get your lawn into shape. Here’s everything you need to know about prepping your lawn for sodding.
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