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How Do I Prepare My Yard for Garden Sod?

It’s always nice to go outside and step on a lush green carpet.

In reality, however, caring for your lawn requires a lot of time and effort.

It’s frustrating when your lawn turns pale, patchy, and weedy.

While you have the option of reseeding your lawn, you may want to consider going for garden sod instead.

What is Sod?

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Also known as turf, sod is a grass that is part of the soil beneath it and is held by roots or thin materials.

It’s typically used for gardening, golf courses, and athletic fields.



Why Choose Garden Sod?

Many homeowners wait for the grass to grow, but it can be annoying to look at a massive patch of dirt for months.

By using sod grass rolls, you cut the need to wait until the summer before renewing your lawn.

Reseeding vs. Sod

Reseeding is a popular choice due to its cheap cost.

It’s also less labor-intensive as you only have to water a couple of times a day.

But, it takes at least a month before you see the results you want.

Not to mention, things can go wrong, especially when the germinating seed dries out during a sunny day.

For instant gratification, sod grass is the way to go.

It’s like getting a perfect carpet of grass with a snap of your fingers.

It requires very little maintenance once it’s laid. But you need to educate yourself about proper soil preparation for optimal sod results.

Tips in Preparing Your Yard for Sod

1) Prep the soil

Using a rototiller, loosen the top 6 inches of soil.

Grab some finished compost and spread about 2 inches.

Get some claylike soil and add another 2 inches to improve drainage.

Have your soil tested, preferably by your country extension service.

This proves critical in determining your soil’s pH level. Depending on the results of the soil test, lay down a starter fertilizer.

2) Make sure the surface is level

You’d want to make sure that there are no high spots, so get an iron rake to remove any you find.

You should also fill in low spots to guarantee that the soil is level.

Remember that the soil level should be at least 1 inch below walkways, driveways, or any paved surface.

Keep the soil damp by watering it lightly.

3) Lay the first row

Your yard’s longest straight edge should serve as your starting point.

Unroll your first garden sod along the edge.

Be sure to keep off the sod throughout the installation process.

Keep a rake nearby so you can take out footprints as you move along.

Pat down on the sod to make sure that it’s completely flat against the soil with zero air pockets.

4) Lay more rows

Once the first row is laid properly, you can move on gradually to the next rows.

This requires more effort as you have to cut off half of the next roll to stagger the short seams. Think of it as laying bricks.

When installing, pay attention to the edges and corners of the turf, ensuring that they fit snugly against each other.

Don’t forget to cut out holes using a knife for in-ground sprinkler heads.

5) Water Regularly

After laying down all the rows of sod grass, it’s time to water them.

This helps in settling the soil. Avoid any kind of foot traffic for at least a week.

water your sod - Big Easy Landscaping

Water the sod every morning.

Avoid watering at night because the sod can keep water and attract fungal diseases.

After a week, switch your watering routine to every other day, and then only twice a week during the third week.

6) Mow the lawn

It’s always wise to stay prudent with your mowing, especially once the grass reaches 3 inches in height.

Avoid ride-on type lawn mowers since your new lawn is fragile. Make sure you use a sharp blade for a perfect cut.

7) Add fertilizer

fertilizer for sod - Big Easy Landscaping

All that watering washes away essential nutrients.

This is why you should add fertilizer after about three to four weeks.

Doing so reintroduces the nutrients that the grass needs to stay healthy.


Why You Should Get Sod from Sod Farms

Your local garden center may be the most convenient source of garden sod, but you’d do yourself a favor by getting fresh rolls from sod farms.

Keep in mind that sod dries out quickly.

In most cases, sod farmers cut their turf at night and deliver it the following day.

This gives you the best chance of getting fresh pieces of sod which you can install immediately.

It’s clear that using garden sod offers a wealth of benefits.

Despite its higher price tag compared to reseeding, sod allows you to enjoy a perfect green lawn almost instantly.

You can do all the prep work yourself, particularly soil testing.

How to Install Sod

sod installation - Big Easy Landscaping

But if you find that the installation itself is out of your league, then you can always work with our experts at Big Easy Landscaping.

Allow us to do what we’re best at and just sit back until we’re done with your lawn makeover.

Get more backyard ideas here

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