December 10, 2013

Lay the Sod Down

If you are a lawn lover who has a touch of the winter blues, take this time of year to think about things and projects you can do to improve your yard.

Want to make a bold move that really pays off?  Consider investing in and installing sod in your yard. We say bold because sod is more expensive than the seed-water-wait method of adding new grass to your yard. Sod is closer to instant gratification.  Sod delivers a thick, healthy lawn right away. It also will run you about $400 to cover a 1,000 square-foot backyard. That money is buying you time, convenience and a lot of green.  

There are a lot of options in terms of when sod can be installed. Sod can be installed from the spring to the fall. In warmer climates, it can even be installed during the winter. 

Lawn experts say sod needs to be put down on properly prepared soil. It works best with a nutrient-rich soil that’s slightly acidic. The soil should also have a pH balance of around 6 to 7.5.  Take some soil from your yard and have it tested.  You should be able to take the soil samples for testing at a local nursery.  The results should let you know if you need to add any supplements to the soil.

Picking out the actual sod might seem like the tricky part. A little knowledge will help you make your choice.  Sod is generally a mix or two or three turf grasses that are chosen for things like color and texture.  Sod should be delivered 24 hours of being cut and should be installed the same day. Prepare your soil about a week before you plan on having the sod delivered and installed. You can have the sod professionally installed or do it yourself.  If you plan on doing it yourself, figure on a full weekend of work.  DIY experts say that two people should be able to cover 1,000 feet in a day.

Make sure to give your sod plenty of water once it's installed. Water will help settle the sod.  The sod should be watered every day during the first week, preferably in the morning.  After the first week, change the watering schedule to every other day.  


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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