Lawn Care Tips: Sod Laying Advice For Different Sod Types

Enjoy the benefits of correctly selecting and planting sod of any variety for a lawn that will serve it's purpose for years to come.

Good sod laying advice begins prior to laying the sod. Although there are many varieties of sod to choose from the following advice should be considered for planting all sod types. Once the sod is established individual maintenance may vary according to variety.

First, measure the area to be planted. Implement an irrigation routine and plan. Water is crucial to sod growth and survival. Break the soil about two inches deep killing and removing all vegetation and debris. Next, select the type of sod to be planted. It is advised to choose the sod type prior to soil preparation so as to determine exactly what nutrients are necessary for a particular sod type or mix. Two general categories of sod varieties are cool season sods and warm season sods. Each type has special blends and mixes to choose from depending on the climate it will grow in and the use it is intended for; ornamental or recreational. Growing conditions and sod varieties vary by region.

It is best to choose a cultivated certified sod to ensure that the sod has been grown from certified grass seed and where the soil has been tested and certified weed and pest free. Certified sod must be inspected for weeds, pests and diseases in advance of cultivation and sale. Avoid pasture sod. This sod is likely to contain weeds, pests and diseases which may appear a few months after planting. This sod commonly originates from construction sites and cow pastures infested with surprises and lacking nutrients.

Now test the soil for nutrients. An application of lime and fertilizers are necessary for successful sodding. Generally mix one to two inches of soil with ten to fifteen pounds of fertilizer per one thousand square feet followed by fifty to seventy-five pounds of ground limestone per one thousand square feet. Blend well with the underlying soil to prevent layering. Sod does not grow well with layered soil. Layers of soil can exhaust the normal development of roots. Avoid layering the soil.

Inspect the freshly delivered sod. Ideally, sod should be harvested and delivered within a day of planting. Upon delivery inspect the sod for strength, holes, appearance, and heat damage. To inspect strength consider one-fourth soil to one-half inch of grass roots. Thicker sod is stronger, nut thinner sod is quicker to take root. A three to four foot strip of sod should remain together when suspended. Avoid sod with holes as this is a convenient place for weeds to thrive. Avoid sod that is very dry or bluish green in appearance. Refuse heated sod that may be yellowish-green in appearance. Keep the sod in a cool shaded area. Spray with water frequently to maintain moistness.

Finally begin laying the sod along a straight edge: a fence, sidewalk, or driveway edge for instance. Lay the first row in strips along the straight edge fitting ends snuggly together while avoiding overlapping. Stagger the second row and so on. Watering the soil and roots as you lay the sod. Roll the sod to encourage roots to bond with soil. Water the freshly laid sod to a depth of six to eight inches to create a moist environment. Avoid sogginess.

Refrain from using your lawn until it has firmly established itself. Sod generally bonds well with the underlying soil within two weeks. Sod roots need about a month before they are strong enough to withstand a slight drought.

Maintain your lawn with regular feeding, watering, and mowing.

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