Laying sod is a quick way to have an instant lawn that looks good. Sodding the lawn may be more expensive than planting seeds, however it saves time and provides an immediate finished look to a landscaping job. Showcase your lawn in your neighborhood by following these ten easy steps to lay sod.
Prepare the soil
Remove all weeds and stones from the site where you want to lay sod. Apply organic compost and fertilizer if you wish, to give the new sod a head start. Rake the organic matter into the soil making it level and smooth. The bed you prepare for laying the sod should be an inch lower than the existing lawn. This ensures the new sods will be the same level as your existing lawn.
Sod is sold either folded, rolled in strips or piled high on pallets with the grassy side down. Strips range from one to two feet wide and anywhere from four to ten feet long. The price ranges depending on where you live and what kind of grass you are planting. All the grass on the new sods should be the same color and at least two inches long. The soil should be a rich, dark moist color, about 1 inch thick, and have a dense heavy grouping of healthy roots.
Lay sod immediately, green side up, or as soon as possible after it has been dug. Keep the sod moist and store it in the shade until you are ready to place in your yard. If it is left stacked for more than twenty-four hours in the heat, it may die.
Lay the first row in a straight line
You may want to snap a chalk line to keep it lined up. However if you are laying sod along a sidewalk, this will do. String pulled between two stakes is another method for keeping the sod in a straight line. Unroll the sods gently so as not to tear them.
Place the second strip of sod so the end neatly abuts the first piece
Continue laying subsequent rows in a pattern that is staggered, as you would stagger bricks. The end seams of one row should be in the center of the row before. Fill any gaps with loose dirt.
Lay sod for slopes in a perpendicular pattern to the slope
This will keep it in place when it is being watered. Use stakes to keep the sod secure if the slope is very steep. Each roll will need two to four stakes.
Cut sods to fit irregular shaped areas
Use a utility knife, hatchet or square edged shovel to cut sods.
Tamp the sod
Use a special roller to tamp the new sods, helping them gain contact with the soil in your hard. If air pockets are allowed to remain under the sod, they can dry out and die. Avoid standing on the new sods. If you must stand on it to pat it down, place a board on it to distribute your weight and avoid damaging the new sods.
Water sods often
After you lay sod, water the lawn deeply and often. Watering every other day for two to three weeks will your new sods become firmly established. Seams along edges and walkways dry out faster than the center areas. Using a sprinkler in the area where you lay sod is the easiest way to keep it freshly watered.
(Photo credit: Ryan’s Landscaping)
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