Jul 8, 2012

Replacing old lawn with new sod

Laying sod and installing a new lawn may be time consuming but it will greatly enhance the outside appearance of your home. There are, however, some things to be done first before you can get down to the business of laying the sod. Laying sod can be done any time but it is best during the Spring or Fall when he soil is not frozen.

What to do first

• Seeing as sod takes hours to install it is important that you get it right the first time. You can’t keep the sod in a bag for a week and leave it lying around in the sun. If you are not going to use the soil right away keep it in a shady location. Don’t allow the sod to dry out.

• To install a lawn can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000, so make sure you have the right person to do it, preferably one with knowledge of laying sod.

• Choosing the right sod is important. See that it is similar to your type of soil and site conditions. Some varieties thrive in sunny locations but there are types that will grow in the shade. Go online and find the type that will be best for your area.

Laying the sod

1 Remove the old lawn and pull out weeds and break up the compacted soil with a tiller.

2 Prepare the area prior to laying the sod. While the existing soil may be suitable for laying sod you may want to enhance the soil with organic matter to improve the quality of the soil and rooting process.

3 Spread a starter fertilizer high in phosphorus over the loosened soil. Rake the soil to level it out.

4 Starting at the outer edges, place strips of sod in a brick-like pattern on the area which has been prepared. If you are working on an incline, start work from the bottom upwards. Staple the sod in place with biodegradable sod staples.

5 Once the sod is down roll it to remove air pockets and water it thoroughly. Get the dogs off the lawn until the lawn takes root and becomes well established. Watering the lawn is especially important during the hot summer months.

6 Check that the roots are properly drained and that the lawn is not under a puddle of water. Take care not to hurt the roots and punch holes in the soil for more drainage. Make sure water is draining away from the house.

7 When you are through laying the sod, use the roller again. If you don’t have one you can rent it from an equipment hiring store. Rolling the sod a second time removes air pockets and facilitates in making good contact with the soil.

8 Tools you would need include a tiller, roller, sod, starter fertilizer, soil conditioner and a rake. Your supplier or expert will know during which times, depending on your area, it would be best to lay sod. Obviously, winter is not an option and early Fall and early Spring would be the best times.


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