Want your yard to be the greenest on the block? Lay it down with Sod Yourself. Here’s a guide from our professional landscaping experts.
What To Know Before Laying Sod Down Yourself
Before you can start to lay your side there are several precautionary steps to take into consideration while planning installation. Check out the points below;
Materials and Tools Needed for DIY Sod Installation
Follow Our Comprehensive Sod Installation Guide
Step one: Soil testing
Materials: soil testing kit
Most sod thrive best with soil that is more acidic (between 6 and 7.5 pH level). To see where your soil stands, make sure to take soil samples from various sections of the desired area. Once you’ve collected the samples, package and follow the shipment methods on your soil testing kit. Depending on the soil sample kit purchased, you should expect to get results within 2 weeks.
Step Two: Measure
Materials: Measuring tools
Here is where you have the potential to lose money! Carefully measure the desired area as to not buy more sod then you actually need.
Hint: Try buying slightly more than you measured to have enough for those “ hard to measure” areas.
Step Three: Buy Your Sod
Now you’re ready to head to your local garden center or sod distributor. Be prepared to answer questions about your lawn’s hardiness zone, sunlight, shade and tread. These questions will help the professional choose the best sod for your needs. The professional will use the information to choose a sod that has the best color, texture and heartiness for your specific lawn. Once the sod has been chosen, be prepared to wait for another 24 hours for delivery.
HInt: make sure to schedule appropriately, as the sod should be laid the same day of delivery!
Step four: Start digging
Materials: Rototiller, Compost, lime and soil
Now that you have your measured area and the sod is delivered, it’s time to start the hard work. Begin by using the rototiller to loosen soil up to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. You will have to remove any debris and rocks from the area. Once you’ve done that, you can spread 2 inches of finished compost to the tilled area. Adding a clay like soil will improve your drainage during watering.
Hint: depending on your soil test results you may have to add lime to increase the acidity level of your soil.
Step five: Time to Rake
Materials: Raking tools
Time to smooth out all that hard work. Use a rake to level the newly tilled area, fill in any deep areas with soil. The soil should lay an inch below any sprinkler heads and paved areas like sidewalks or driveways.
Hint: raking encourages the grass roots from the sod to adhere better to the soil!
Step Six: Watering
Materials: Watering tools
Before you start laying the sod down, make sure the soil is damp. Start by watering the area 24 to 48 hours before installation.
Step Seven: Start unrolling
Materials: Sod and patience
Now you can unroll the sod! Use a straight edge as a reference like a driveway, patio or flower bed. It’s best to work with whole pieces, laying one at a time. Try not to step on your new green blades and rake out any footprints in the soil as you go. Then, pat the sod into place making sure there are no air pockets between the soil and sod. Keep an eye out for any bumps or wrinkles and be sure to smooth those out too.
Step Eight: Adding rows
Materials: Garden shears, sharp shovel, or hand shovel
Once you have the first sod piece in place, start layering the additional pieces against it. Tightly align the edges of the sod together but not overlapping. You can cut holes to fit in your sprinklers or any permanent garden gnomes. At this time, you can use garden shears or shovels to create straight lines for the trim work.
Hint: The tighter the seams the more neat your new sod will look. Tighter seams also decrease the chance of edges drying out and dying.
Step Nine: Filling in the seams
Materials: Soil and firm broom
Use a strong push broom to push potting soil into any loose seams. This creates a seamless look across the lawn and helps the sod mold into the soil.
H3 Step Ten: Roll it out
Materials: lawn roller
Now that you’ve laid everything out, roll over the sod and soil with the lawn roller. This step ensures that the sod will root itself to the soil.
Hint: Limit any foot traffic for the first three weeks, that includes the kiddos and dogs!
Step Eleven: Watering
Materials: Water Distribution Method
Your newly added sod should be watered thoroughly. If you notice any puddling, reduce the length or frequency of watering. Make sure to account for evaporation during hot summer days as this is when your new sod will need the water the most! After the first week, you can reduce watering to every other day. By the third week, water only twice and by the fourth week try to give an inch of water per week through rainfall.
Hint: Avoid watering at night, your sod may develop a fungal disease.
Step Twelve: Mowing
Before you start taming your flourishing lawn, it must be at least 10 days old and three inches tall. Opt for a walk-behind mower with a sharp blade this will be more gentle on your new lawn. Install a grass catcher to bag the clippings
Hint: Lawn clippings can create a harsh environment for your sod to thrive in.
Step Thirteen: Fertilizing
About four weeks into your new lawn, starter fertilizer should can applied. Continue to monitor heavy foot traffic until the fourth week. After that, kick off your shoes and enjoy your soft new grass! Continue to care for your lawn as you typically would.
How much to lay sod per square foot?
Depending on your local home goods provider the price can vary per square foot. However, the average cost for sod is about 08 to .30 cents per square foot. Including labor, materials and tools will raise this cost. Most lawn care services provide Sod services for approximately $1,100.
How can I lay sod on a slope?
Can I lay sod over existing lawn?
Laying sod over an existing lawn may not be the best option. Here’s why;
How to prepare soil for sod?
Soil can be classified into three textures of sand silt and clay. Clay soil is defined as having very small particles and a high concentration of CEC (cation exchange capacity). Good news for you, this means your clay soil has better capacity to hold nutrient and water. However, because of its density clay soil is easily compact therefore it takes a longer time to reach a warm temperature. Unfortunately, these characteristics of clay can make successful grass growth difficult and time consuming. Although the process isn’t easy, it is possible. You can follow these steps to ensure a healthy sod installation on your clay lawn.
Step By Step Guide
Can you lay sod over weeds?
All weeds and debris should be removed before laying new sod. Any existing imperfections can affected the ability of your new sod to thrive!
Is it hard to lay sod?
The following bullet points will help you gauge the maintenance required to properly lay new sod.
The pleasure of having the greenest yard on the block is good, but knowing that you did all that hard work is better. Take a step back and admire your new green pasture. While using sod requires time and work, it’s a great alternative to get that green lawn in no time. If you follow our how to guide you’ll be sure to achieve your emerald dreams.
Alternatively if after reading our guide, you feel like the task is too much to take on. We are happy to help our friends and neighbors in the greater boston area to professionally install sod at the most competitive prices in the area.