Five Questions To Answer Before Sod Installation

If you are ready for a grassy lawn to relax and play upon this summer, sod is the quickest way to achieve this goal. Sod provides an instant green lawn that is ready for recreation within a few short weeks. Before installation, though, make sure your questions about the process are answered.

1. What Grows Best in Your Area?

If you want a healthy lawn, you must start with the right grass. If you live somewhere with hot summers, then a warm season grass like Bermuda grass is a good option. In areas with freezing winters or cooler summers, opt for a fescue or Kentucky bluegrass. If you have both hot summers and freezing winters, sod featuring a combination of a warm and cool season grass may be the best option.

2. Is Your Soil Ready for New Sod?

You shouldn't lay sod until the soil is ready or the grass may not survive. First, have the soil tested so you can see what nutrient deficiencies need to be addressed. Then, work in fertilizers to supply these nutrients, along with compost to add organic matter and structure to the soil. Use extra compost or additional topsoil if you have heavy clay or very sandy soil, as these materials will help correct the drainage issues common in clay or sand soil types.

3. Should You Have the Lawn Graded First?

Grading refers to the slope of your yard. Ideally, the lawn should slope away from your home and towards the street or a drainage area. There should be no low spots, particularly no low spots that aren't graded to drain quickly. Have the grade measured and adjusted as necessary before you begin sod installation.

4. How Long Since the Sod Was Harvested?

Once the soil is ready, you can order your sod. Check with the sod company to see how often they harvest sod. Ideally, you want the sod delivered for installation within 24 hours of harvest and 48 hours tops. This means you need to work around the cutting and delivery schedule of the sod company when planning out your installation day.

5. Are There Special Care Instructions After Planting?

Laying the sod is only part of the process. You will need to take special care of the new grass for two weeks following planting, which gives the sod time to fully root into place. This means twice daily watering for one hour. You must also skip mowing until the grass has grown three inches and until after it is rooted.

Contact a sod company for answers to any other questions you may have.