How do I determine if Sod installation would benefit my yard?
There are many reasons for sod installation. Renewing sections of your patchy dying lawn to good health, completely covering your lawn so it looks lush and picture perfect, or to change the type of grass that you currently possess, sod installation can work many wonders for your property. The application of new turf can be pricey depending on square footage as well as the type of turf. Typically, you should expect to pay a minimum of around forty-five cents a square foot if you intend on doing it yourself. So for a 1,000 square foot yard it should be roughly around 450 dollars depending on the company you choose.
Step One: Test The Soil
The first step during sod installation is making sure that you have an environment where your newly laid turf will flourish. The majority of turfs will thrive if your soil is well aerated, and you water them with a slightly acid pH level; somewhere between 6 and 7.5. You can easily obtain soil testing kits from your local extension office or some gardening stores for around ten to fifteen dollars. In order to properly test your soil, you must first collect your samples of dirt. I would recommend doing so from at least five places around your yard. Two from healthy looking areas, and the rest from problem areas to give you a good idea of overall lawn health. These test can take up to two weeks for results so I wouldn’t put this task off, and certainly do not order the new turf before this test is done.
Step Two: Take Measurements of Your Area
As discussed previously the new turf can be very expensive so this step is of great importance. Double check your measurements so you don’t order too little or too much. As a golden rule I would say order at least five percent more than what your measurements show. This extra five percent is in order to compensate for curves throughout your yard or around any landscaping. There are many options for purchasing your new turf, but make sure that whoever you are purchasing from takes the time to ask important questions to better service you. Questions such as sunlight to shade ratio, hardiness of soil, how often people or animals are on it, and so on. All of these questions are to better guide you through your purchase. Try to plan on laying the sod the day it arrives.
Step Three: Mix Organic Materials and Prep the Soil
For this step I would heavily recommend getting your hands on a rototiller to dramatically loosen up the soil. You want to mix up at least 5 to six inches into the ground. Once your soil is loose remove any rocks, weeds, or unwanted inorganic debris from the foundation of your yard. This process allows your soil to breathe, improves water retention, as well as gives a great boost to the microbial population. All making your soil healthier.
Step Four: Make All Soil Level
If your lawn contains a system of sprinklers you want to be sure that your soil is at least one inch below the sprinkler system’s heads or paved walkway areas. This step of raking the entire area is beneficial for multiple reasons, but ultimately this process loosens the area for grass roots to grow more effectively.
Step Five: Unroll The Turf
The best way to go about laying the new turf is to make sure that the soil is moist. Once you have the soil moist you want to find the straightest edge of the area you are going to cover. Lay whole pieces, one at a time, end to end, and do not walk on the freshly laid sod. It is also important to rake out footprints in your soil as you go, before laying each piece of sod. Smooth out any wrinkles or problems now before it is too late. Make sure to gently push down to make sure there are no air pockets, before moving to the next piece. Once you have one even line across your yard begin to follow row by row, repeating the process. Cut out curves and uneven ends one at a time.
Step Six: The Sod Roller
This step consists of evenly pushing firmly down across all of the sod. This can easily be done with a lawn roller. The tighter the connection between the soil and new sod, the better the newly laid grass roots will grow. It is recommended to limit traffic on the new turf for up to three weeks while it is initially establishing.
Return to Home.
Helpful Links and Resources