We are happy to work with you to complete the install and save you the money involved with the early planning stages. Follow these steps to get your yard or area prepared the right way to make sure your sod can thrive.
STEP 1: SOIL PREPARATION
- In order for your optimum growth, turfgrass needs just four things: sunlight, air, water & nutrients. Out of the 4 essential factors, grass can obtain 3 of them from the soil. However some soils could contain to much clay which is not good for grass because air and water are not available to the roots, and some soil could have to much sand in which the water and nutrients wont stay in the root zone long enough to be used. Another important factor when preparing your soil is the pH (the degree of acidity or alkalinity). You want soil between a pH of 6.0-7.0 to produce a beautiful high-use low maintenance lawn. Failing to check and improve the soil before planting or laying sod will only invite a much greater and continual investment of time and money.
- “The beauty is in the blades, but the ‘action’ is in the roots.” When preparing your site for new sod this is an excellent quote to remember. The value of the proper site preparation and soil improvement before any planting takes place, is that it will be easier for the grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly. Follow these steps for your beautiful, healthy, and trouble-free lawn.
- Clear the site of all building materials as well as any buried stumps, rocks, stone or any other debris that is larger than 2-3 inches in diameter.
- Rough grade the area to eliminate any drainage problems on the property. This includes sloping the grade away from the building foundations, eliminating or reducing severe slopes and filling low-lying areas. When rough grading you will uncover more debris that needs to be removed and not buried.
- Initial tilling to about 4 inches should be completed prior to adding any soil amendments. This will control most annual weeds, alleviate subsoil compaction, permit bonding of the topsoil to the subsoil, and improve root penetration as well as air exchange and water movement.
- Incorporate fully decomposed compost into the topsoil by roto-tilling. Use only a basic manure-based compost at 3-4 cubic yards per 1000 square feet. You want to achieve a total topsoil depth of 4-6 inches. Do not add sand to your soil. Sand makes clay harder and adding compost will result in a good topsoil.
- Apply a Graff’s Turf fertilizer with an analysis of 20-20-10-3, it is not necessary to rake it in.
- After applying the fertilizer, grade the entire site, maintaining the rough grade contours and slopes, with a tractor mounted box blade for large areas or a heavy-duty rake for smaller sites.
- We recommend that the area be allowed to settle further with rainfall or by applying irrigation water at very short increments.
STEP 2: SPRINKLER SYSTEM INSTALLATION
The right irrigation system provides a uniform and efficient system for delivering water that maintains the health and look of your sod lawn. A well designed sprinkler system can conserve water, save money and time on maintenance and can also increase your home’s value. Watering at night or after sunset can minimize evaporation and allow for a more even soak.
STEP 2: SOD INSTALLATION
Here are some steps to follow to help make the installation of your sod easiest on you!
- Start at a straight edge like a sidewalk or straight walkway to keep the rolls straight and minimize the need for cutting
- Lay sod in a brick pattern with staggered seams.
- Start at the bottoms of hills, inclines and steep grades for a tight, even fit, staking the rolls as needed
- Pull the rolls taut with the edges butted tightly together with no overlap or open joints.
- Cut to fit around fixtures and obstacles
- Fill small areas with remnants or other small pieces
- Begin watering each section immediately
STEP 2: WATERING NEW SOD
The first month after laying new sod is crucial to the proper settling and establishment of roots. Water immediately after install to a deep soak. Keep new sod wet to a depth of at least 4”. Water 3-5 times daily for the first two weeks.
Keep in mind that the sod must remain damp. Dry sod contracts, browns, and dies. Proper watering promotes healthy root growth and even distribution for a consistently secure lawn. Keep traffic on your new lawn to a minimum for at least 2 weeks, but preferably 30 days!