Few things can take backyard life to the next level like having a beautifully sodded lawn. And, few things can help homeowners realize this like knowing the proper steps to lay sod.
Steps to Lay Sod
Before installing sod, a simple soil test should be done to determine the amendments that need to be added to ensure a healthy lawn. Once this has been determined, loosen the top six to eight inches of soil with a rototiller. Next, spread two inches of compost and two to three inches of sand to clay-like soil to help facilitate drainage, tilling both in. Then—based on the results from your soil test—use a spreader to lay down the appropriate starter fertilizer (and, then, lime if needed).
After you’ve filled and leveled the soil, begin placing your sod in straight rows. Be sure to position each piece tightly against the others around it, and offset your seams.
Finally, use a weighted roller to press the sod into the soil before you begin watering it generously.
The Best Time to Lay Sod
Although sod can be successfully laid throughout the year, from a broad perspective, early and mid-fall are generally the best times to do so. Different times of the year may be better depending on where you live, so it’s always good to base your final installation decision depending on what area of the country you live in.
Can Sod be Laid Over Existing Grass?
Contrary to popular belief, sod can, in fact, be laid over existing grass. Doing so will kill the existing grass by compressing it, and limiting its exposure to sunlight and water. When the grass dies, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new sod above it. The main nutrient that the dead grass layer provides is nitrogen. Applying sod directly over grass is advantageous because it requires less work, namely by limiting the need to till or apply herbicide treatments.
Now that you know best practices for laying sod, simply get started making your dream lawn a reality!