There are many steps to the Sod installation process. At Mr. Chipp we take each step seriously. We want to make sure we set your sod is set up for success.
Prepping For Sod
What’s the most important sod installation tip that you can implement when installing sod? Prepping! You can have the best Sod in the world, but if you don’t take the time to prep before installing sod, then you are at high risk for your new yard to fail.
Test your soil
The very first thing you need to do is test your soil. Many companies fail to do so and in our opinion, this can be a big mistake. Soil testing is the best scientific method available to evaluate the health and nutritional status of your soil. It only costs about 60 dollars and it is well worth the investment. You can do everything else right, but if your soil is unhealthy then your grass isn’t going to grow.
If you have existing Sod, you want to ensure that you remove it. We have found that renting a Sod Cutter is the quickest and most effective way to remove any existing sod. NEVER apply new sod under existing sod for the following reasons:
- The existing sod under the new sod will cause it to overheat and it will die out.
- Not removing the existing sod will keep the new sod roots from making solid contact with the soil.
This step is not always necessary, provided that the soil looks good after you remove the existing sod. If the soil underneath is not mixed with large rocks and is fairly soft, then you can skip this step. Otherwise, you would have to rototill the existing soil at roughly 4-6 inches.
Apply Top Soil
Apply top soil over existing soil. To determine how much soil to add, simply refer to this website and enter your dimensions.
Apply Starter Fertilizer
It is critical to get roots established. We recommend that you apply starter fertilizer with an adequate amount of phosphorous. Mr. Chipp Landscaping and Tree Services likes to apply fertilizer with a listing of 16-16-16. A light application of this fertilizer will help ensure that roots get established and that your new lawn gets the nutrients it needs to grow healthy.
Buy your sod
Ensure that you buy your sod from a credible sod farm and that you get it delivered/picked up, preferably on the day of installation. Leaving out the sod for a day or more will dry it out. You obviously want to keep your sod from drying out and there is no better time to install new sod than when it is freshly cut.
Lay your sod
Ensure that you lay your sod starting from the back of the area where you are applying it, working your way toward the front. This will help to avoid walking over the new sod as you are laying it. Lay your sod in a staggered brickwork pattern.
- Water your sod consistently as you are laying it. We like to water our sod every third piece we lay, especially in hot weather.
- Water your sod immediately after you are done laying it for a minimum of 20-30 minutes.
- Continue to water your sod every day for the next 1-2 weeks, 2-3 times a day for 15-20 minutes.
- Want your sod extra green and luscious? Consider applying some Ironite fertilizer to it.