Sod installation is a gardening chore that homeowners often tackle themselves. Sod can replace dead grass and help create a beautiful, new, healthy lawn. Prepping the soil for new sod is essential before the actual sodding process.
This post will discuss the steps you need to take for a successful and straightforward sod installation process.
Soil Preparation: Basics For Laying Sod
Consider The Time of Year
A soil test will help you determine what you must add to your soil to make it healthy and prepared it for new sod. The findings will inform you of which nutrients the soil in your lawn is lacking.
To get a sample of your soil, fill a pail with the top 10-15cms or 4-6 inches of your soil from no less than ten various areas where you’re placing the sod. Then, contact your local extension office to find out how to submit your sample.
Submit your soil sample to a local extension service or local garden centres a few weeks before you intend on laying down the sod so you have time to receive the assessments.
Remove Existing Grass
You must never lay sod on top of old grass. Laying sod over existing grass increases the grade of your yard by roughly 1 inch (2.5 cm) and this can induce drainage issues and result in flooding.
First, apply a herbicide to kill all the vegetation and weeds on the site you plan to sod. Execute this at least two weeks before pulling grass. Exercise caution and wear proper safety equipment.
Next, remove the existing grass. You can rent a sod cutter from a local hardware store. Use the sod cutter to eliminate old grass and the top 3/4 inch (2 cm) of topsoil. By doing this, you enable the sod to be installed on the ground where it can grow roots.
Remove Other Debris
Till the Soil
It’s vital to till the soil before planting new sod as it lessens compression, ensures good contact with the soil, and makes it more accessible for the roots to creep into the soil. Furthermore, the loose soil will absorb moisture better, mitigating the amount you need to rinse.
Dig down as deep as viable (3-4 inches is advised) and break up the soil using a tiller. Work through the area numerous times to smash any big chunks. If the soil is quite hard, it may be practical to water it the day earlier, making digging more manageable.
Add Soil Amendments
Amending the soil is when the soil test findings from the 2nd step become significant. Use the time now to enrich the soil and make it nearly perfect for lawn growth.
Typical soil amendments are:
Establish A Rough Grade
Add Good Quality Topsoil
After your new lawn is established, it will require plenty of nutrients so that the root system will grow adequately. To provide your new lawn with what it needs to thrive at its finest, you’ll need to spread some starter fertilizer before the sod is laid. Preferably, rake the fertilizer into the top 1-2 inches.
For this prep work, remember to use the proper safety equipment and read the fertilizer’s instructions before initiating the method to guarantee that exact steps are followed.
Settle The Surface
You need to level out your soil again in preparation for installing sod. Use a lawn roller to settle the surface, and smooth out small lumps and air pockets. Fill in any low areas. If time allows, leave the site to establish further rainfall or an irrigation system.
Now, your area is prep to install sod!