How to Properly Install Sod For Your Customers or For Your Own Home!
Choosing the Right Sod
Walk around the property and take note of any trees that may cause a lot of shade, areas with heavy runoff, traffic, or are being scorched by the sun. These notes will be very important when choosing the right sod for that particular area. Make sure to do your research on what grows well for that specific area and choose your sod.
Test the Soil
All soil is different and you want to make sure the soil you lay the new sod down has all the proper nutrients to ensure proper growth. Otherwise you could risk the roots not taking, insect infestation, fungus, or browning. In order to prepare the soil you will need to first test the soil. You can test the soil yourself by buying a kit from a local hardware store or send in soil samples to the local extension offices. Once tested you can determine if any lime, sulfur, phosphate, nitrogen, etc are needed for proper growth (These chemicals will be added later).
Prepping the Lawn
1) Remove any current turf + 1-2 inches of the soil beneath
2) Bring in Soil Amendment, ideally a compost topsoil mix and spread the mix over the newly prepped area 1-2 inches thick.
3) Add the Needed Chemicals from Step 1
4) Rototiller the mix with the native soil.
5) Compact and rake the tilled soil smooth removing any rocks, roots, or bumps.
Lay the Sod
Start on a straight edge and lay subsequent rows. Every other row cut the sod piece in half to ensure a stagger formation similar to bricks. Not only will this make the sod look neater but it will also prevent the edges from dying off as well as prevent separation. Add a starter Fertilizer if you lay the sod during the growing season.
Water, Water, Water
Once the sod is laid down water thoroughly. For the first week deeply water every morning to ensure the top 4 inches of soil are moist. After the first week cut back to every other day and twice per week during the 3rd week on.
Water in the morning to prevent the water from being evaporated during the afternoon heat. It will also help prevent fungus that could grow from watering at night.