Installing New Sod – What You Need to Know
If you’ve done all the prep work you are now ready to install your new sod. This is the exciting part for sure, but first it’s good to familiarize yourself with some basic tips for success.
1. Plan of attack. Figure out where to start unrolling. The best and most efficient place is along a straight, hard edge like a driveway. Save all the detailed cutting for the end when you have small pieces left to work with.
2. Line it up. Sod should be rolled out so the seams in between lengths are offset, kind of like a running bond brick pattern. Once you roll out one piece, abut the next and then plan for where the ends of the subsequent strip will fall in relation.
3. Tweak it. Do not overlap or leave gaps. This may seem obvious, but diligence on this front will make for a better looking lawn and will help retain much needed moisture in the soil.
4. Piece it together. When it’s time to cut shapes to fit irregular areas, use a utility knife to get the piece you need. Cut from the bottom (root side) to ensure a more accurate cut and to avoid damaging the grass side of the sod.
5. Water it in. You’ll want to give it a long and deep watering, preferably six inches. Even better, try to time your project so it wraps up in time for a rain shower to arrive shortly afterward.
When the grass is in, the next phase begins. You’ll need to water regularly, preferably to 6” deep once a day in the absence of rain. This is a time when long and less frequent watering is more beneficial. Also, try to stay off of it for a couple weeks until the roots have time to reestablish. Finally, establish a good program of upkeep throughout the seasons. Learn when to fertilize, overseed, and aerate the lawn. A local landscape professional can help and even offer these services as part of an annual contract.