Planning and Preparation
As in most projects, the majority of the hard work is in the planning and preparation of the area to be sodded.
An in-ground sprinkling system is not an absolute must for your yard but is very helpful. The system can be put in after your sod is laid but it is much more efficient to install and test your new underground system before laying the sod. Having a water supply in place and in working order can make your newly sodded yard much easier to care for.
Adapting to Your Soil
Our sod is grown on mineral soil and therefore adapts to most soil types that you may have. Many golf course superintendents and professionals prefer to work only with sod that is grown on mineral soil because of its adaptive nature.
Site Prep and Soil Quality
Most construction areas are left with a rough grade at the site. This site is often quite compacted and there may or may not be any topsoil left in the area.
The first task to complete in your project is to clear the entire area and remove any debris or rocks that are larger than 2 inches in diameter.
Next, you need to grade the entire area in order to avoid any future drainage problems. Be sure to slope the grade away from buildings and try to avoid any severe slopes; fill in any low areas.
Rototill or spade the entire area to a depth of at least 2 inches prior to adding any topsoil or fertilizers. This will control most weeds and allow the topsoil or fertilizers to be more thoroughly blended into the existing soil. If needed, mix in a good quality topsoil to a depth of at least 4” and for deeper root penetration keep in mind an accepted standard is 6 inches of good quality topsoil depth.
**Adding topsoil is not a must, but topsoil is the water and nutrient holding layer under the grass---adding topsoil and mixing it into the existing soil will help to create a solid foundation for your sod.**
After loosening, mixing, and leveling the soil in the site area, it can be beneficial to test the soil to see if added nutrients are needed for improved topsoil quality.
We highly recommend that you apply a starter fertilizer to your project area prior to sod installation; this fertilizer can be found at most area lawn and garden stores. To avoid possible injury to your new turf grass, rake the fertilizer thoroughly into the topsoil before laying sod.
Final Prep Work
Smooth and finish grade the entire area, removing any remaining large stones, rocks or clumps of soil. If desired, the area can be rolled at this time to settle the soil and help to fill in any low spots in your project area. Allowing the soil to be further settled by irrigation or rainfall is also helpful.
You might need to lower the topsoil level approximately ¾ of an inch around sidewalk and paved areas to allow for a smooth transition from grassy areas to walkways.