A thick, healthy lawn is a great addition to the exterior of a home. It could be a stand-alone feature – an open green space to spend time in or it could be the foundation of an elaborate landscape. One of the most popular ways to quickly get the lawn you want is to use sod grass rolls. The concept of sod installation seems simple enough – roll it out and the lawn is there. The truth is that it’s not that simple. There is a lot you need to know and do to get a lawn that adds to the appeal of your home. That’s why DIY efforts are never likely to produce the right results and professional landscaping is always the best way to get the lawn of your dreams.
Here are a few of the basics of sod installation you need to know.
- Prepare the Soil: This will involve loosening the soil, spreading compost and if needed, adding sand to the soil to improve drainage. Some fertilizer may also be required.
- Level the Surface: Use a rake or other tool to break down any lumps in the soil and fill in any depressions. Ensure that the final leveling leaves the soil an inch below any paved surface like a driveway, walkway, etc.
- Start Straight: The first row must always be laid along a straight edge or surface. This could be along a fence, a patio or even along the wall of the house. This will allow proper alignment of subsequent rolls. Use the longest straight edge (such as a fence) as the starting point.
- Avoid Footprints: Keep off the sod as it is being laid and if stepping on it is unavoidable, rake out any footprints that may be visible. Pat downs the new sod to push out any air pockets trapped below.
- Align the Rolls: When laying subsequent rolls, make sure that they are all properly aligned. Make sure the butt sections fit tightly against each other without any overlapping.
- Cut Where Needed: Use a knife to trim edges if needed and to cut holes for a sprinkler system, if there is one.
- Stay off the New Sod: No weight should be placed on the new sod for a week. This will allow the rolls to settle and will prevent depressions and dips on the surface.
- Water Every Day: Water the sod every day for the first week. After that cut it back to alternate days and then bring it down to twice a week by the end of the third week. Increase as required in hot weather.
- The First Mowing: Cut the grass when it reaches 3 inches. Use a lightweight walk behind mower instead of the heavier ride-on type for the first few trims.
- Fertilize: After 4 weeks, feed the grass some fertilizer to make up for the nutrients that were washed away during the initial heavy watering schedule.
There are still more factors to keep in mind like the best season for laying sod, where to buy it, and so on. Laying sod is not as easy as rolling out a new carpet. To get the best results, consult a landscaping professional who will be able to not just tell you what needs to be done but will also do an expert installation for you. Just go online and search for “sod installation near me.”