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Lawn Basics: Let’s Talk About Sod and Dirt

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Are you keeping your yard healthy?

It can be quite upsetting to see holes, low spots, dry patches, or even worse, dead patches on your lawn.

No matter how much you try to ignore it, those things do stick out. If left alone, this can lead to much worse situations for your lawn.

Investing in Sod and Fill Dirt

It’s never too late for any lawn. One effective way to save or to spruce up your lawn’s look is through sod and dirt.

Sodding or Seeding?

Seeding and sodding are both ways to introduce or reintroduce grass to your lawn. Both options are available for a lot of grass varieties.

You can seed lawn areas by hand or use a seed spreader for larger parts.

Seeding, in general, is riskier. Seeds would need an ample amount of time to germinate and settle to the soil. If the seed is not rooted enough, it will not continue to grow.

Your seeds will also be competing for growth with weeds so regular weeding is crucial.

Sodding, though higher in price, is a better alternative, especially for larger lawns. Erosion on tricky parts like steep hills is more manageable with sods.
You get faster results as well. After preparing the soil, you immediately sod and fill dirt.

The Best Time For Sodding

Installing your sod requires the perfect time and season.

Setting up sods in any season, though it is okay, can lead to different results and maintenance.

The best time for installing sod still depends on where you are. For places in the South like in New Orleans, it is more suggested to set up sodding during Spring.

Most of the sodding experts recommend sodding during the early or midfall season.

The cooler weather is helpful for grass to grow. It can also increase the chances for a longer and better rooting to prepare for summer.

Some circumstances will not allow you to install sod on your preferred season.

Here are things to consider if you choose to do it in other seasons:

  • Fall – Early fall or mid-fall is most often the best time for sod installation. Once it is winter, even if the grass will seem inactive, once spring comes, it will be ready to grow again for spring. Adequate watering is still key to keep your sod growing.
  • Spring – Make sure that there is no more chance for the soil to freeze. On unexpected hot days, make sure to be ready to maintain watering the sod. Take note to water shadier spots less so the fungus does not grow.
  • Summer – This is the most difficult time to install sod. But to make it happen, make sure to water the sod enough. This means not overwatering and also not underwatering. The best time to water will be early morning, midday or late afternoon.
  • Winter – Watering can keep your sods from getting cold and dry. If it seems like your sod is not gonna make it, give it time. It will bloom in the spring.

Sodding Works When You’re Prepared

In order for sodding to last longer and give the best results, initial preparation is key. Installing the sod will be easier if you give attention to preparing your soil and choosing the best sod.

Soil Testing and Prep

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One important process to consider is how to prepare the soil.
You can know what your soil needs is through soil testing. You will know which things to add like fertilizer or organic matter. Sod and fertilizer go hand in hand with this method so determine if your soil is healthy or not.

Soil tests will also show if you need more lime, potassium, or phosphorus in your soil. You can contact a state university or a county extension service so they check your soil’s health.

Raking the soil also helps to smoothen it before you install your sod. You can remove buried rocks and other debris mixed up with the soil. The more you till the more your soil is also able to “breathe” and get more nutrients to make it healthier. Avoid mixing too much subsoil with topsoil because this will ruin the best topsoil for sod.

It will also be important to water the soil. This will show you puddles so you know where to level the soil and avoid depressions. Once you have done this, you can go ahead with rolling the ground.

Remember to never install sod on dry ground. Enough watering ahead of installation is best.

It’s helpful to have your ground moist before laying the sod but avoid turning your soil soggy.

Fresh Sods

Landscape grass sod service in New Orleans - Big Easy Landscaping

Have your sods brought to you once you are ready to lay it on the ground?

Choose sods harvested within 24 hours before installation. Check to see if it is still moist because sod is also prone to drying up. No matter how well prepared your soil is, once your sod goes bad, it is sure to decay in the future.

Once you are successful in installing your sods, keep people or animals off of your lawn. Give it a least three weeks before any activity on the grass. This will help to not disturb the rooting of your sod.

Hydrate Your Sod

It takes at least 10 days for installed sod to be well rooted in your lawn. It is critical that your sods are always moist.

Make sure to avoid watering during the hottest time of the day. Instead of hydrating your sods, they will lose more water because of fast evaporation. Watering at night is not also advised because the fungal activity is active now.

Purdue Extension instructs that you can water less once the sod is well established. Although you will water less often, you should give it more water. Inconsistent moisture is one of the reasons why sodding turns out unsuccessful.

Your perfect lawn does not grow overnight.

It would need a lot of good soil, preparation, water, and maintenance. Once you have invested in sodding, you are sure to see steady results on the health of your lawn.

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