When it comes to getting a thick and healthy lawn, nothing gives you instant gratification than sod. Sod is a section of mature grass-covered surface soil, which has been held together by the roots and has been cut into thick rolls. It costs a bit more, but they are convenient and quick to install.
Sod can be laid down any time of the year. However, it is a standard rule to plant sod during the cooler months, especially if you’re planting in dry areas like Utah. Late summer or early fall is the best time to plant sod, as this will allow your lawn to adapt to the cold winter months and be prepared for spring. The key for that visually striking lawn, however, is to make sure you are laying your sod the right way.
Avoid these few but critical mistakes for sod laying:
Failing to Take Measurements
Installing sod is more expensive than seeding your lawn. So, it is important to measure the area you plan to cover before ordering your sod.
Failing to Prep Your Site
The ground where the rolls will be placed must be prepared by removing all rocks, debris, and weeds from the area. You can’t place sod on top of any type of soil and expect it to grow. Steps to encourage root growth should be followed. These include testing and adjusting your soil pH, checking the soil’s macronutrients, filling your dirt with organic materials, and tilling the soil. After preparing the soil, be sure to level out the area.
You have to remember that sod has to be planted within 24 to 72 hours after being harvested. Delaying installation may prove fatal for the sod. If in cases the rolls cannot be laid down immediately, place them under a shaded area and make sure they are constantly moist. Plan and prepare your soil accordingly before your sod arrives.
Install sod along a straight edge and work with whole pieces by patting them carefully into place, one at a time, side by side with no air pockets and gaps along the seam. Overlapping rolls is not a good idea. It might be tempting but you’ll only end up with a lumpy and uneven lawn. Avoid walking on the sod as you install it and work out any wrinkles to keep the lawn nice and even.
Small pieces of sod should not be tucked along the edges of the lawn, but instead, lay them into the center of the lawn. Placing them along the edges will expose them to shrinkage and they’ll eventually die out.
Forgetting to Roll
Rolling is important to ensure that the roots of your sod come into firm contact with the soil below. This gives the roots immediate access to moisture. Rolling will also remove any wrinkles during installation and will help the lawn stay clean and level.
Not Watering Your Sod
Fresh sod is living, breathing grass and requires a lot of water. The best time to water is early in the morning to promote healthy roots. Follow the requirement of watering the lawn daily for the first one to two weeks, and then move on to watering twice a week. Forgetting this step will result in an unhealthy root system.
Installing sod will create a nice base for a beautiful and healthy garden or landscape. It requires careful planning and execution, but the rewards will be visually appealing.