We recently did a sod install for a client after they had a new sidewalk and driveway poured. It can be a great way to have a new lawn in bare areas or after having construction completed around the property. Especially when the temperatures are changing, and new grass seed may not germinate or survive during the winter. With a little hard work, you can make your lawn the talk on the block.

We always recommend a soil test before doing any new seeding or sod installation. This will give you an idea on if the soil needs to be amended with compost or an organic fertilizer. We didn't do a soil test on this job as the concrete contractor brought in new topsoil and back-filled the areas that they worked in.
Sometimes after having work done on the outside of the house, you may have a lot of back-fill with rocks and other junk in the soil that the sod will not enjoy putting its roots into. This is a case by case situation depending on the area you are installing sod into. We instead brought in a yard of Turf & Field compost and amended the new topsoil to add organic nutrients.   Measure out your area to figure out how much sod will be needed for the job. Measuring is down by measuring each area by length x width to give you the square footage. Each sod piece will usually cover 6 sq. ft. with larger sizes available depending on the scope of work. Sod comes in cool & warm season turf grasses. Warm season may only be available during certain times of the year (usually May-Sept.).

Start by prepping the area by leveling out the area and adding any amendments after receiving the results of your soil test. Always grade away from the home to help with water drainage. Dig down a couple of inches on your edges around sidewalks to help the root area of the sod be even with the sidewalk. This helps with trimming of the yard and keeping the sod edging out of the direct sun. Sod edges are more prone to dry out first after installation. Lay out your sod pieces in a brick like pattern so the seams don`t cross each other. We usually start one line and then offset the next and continue that pattern through the whole area. Make sure all your seams are nice and tight.

                                                           Photo credit: plantsod.com

After all the pieces have been laid out and installed, take a lawn roller and roll the entire area. Roll one direction and then go perpendicular the other way. This helps to insure a good contact with the root to soil for good germination. Time to get out the hose at this point and give her a good soaking. Water each area to give the sod a good soaking. You want to wet the sod and not create a mud pit when watering. I usually advise clients to water each area for 10 minutes daily depending on the time of year and temperatures. It will need a longer watering if installed in the summer months and possibly 2 times a day. After completing the first watering, go back over the area with the roller again in each direction. We usually do a double roll after installation to help seal up all the seams. Wait to mow the sod until the grass has reached a minimum of 3 inches and we recommend not cutting underneath that height. Usually after 14 days it will be ready to cut if the proper watering guides have been followed.

If you have any questions on installing sod, please get in touch with us and we can stare you in the right direction. Sod can usually be completed in one day with a little help from friends or family if it is a big area. Now it`s time to enjoy your new yard.