Laying sod yourself can save money and give you complete control over the outcome of the health of your yard. It may take more time than hiring someone to have it installed professionally, but the end result of a beautiful lawn will be worth every minute. Here at Shattuck Turf Farms, we don’t install turf but you can purchase it through us to lay yourself. If you’re not sure how to install sod, follow this guide to ensure a healthy and long-lasting lawn.
1. Measure the Area
Our measuring directions will help you decide just how much turf you need for various shapes and areas around your yard. Carefully measure the area and order 5 percent more than you think you need to account for cutting and fitting around curves. You can also call Shattuck with any sodding questions.
2. Rake Soil Level
Smooth out the soil removing any rocks, roots, or clods that remain. Keep levels at one inch below the grade of paved areas. Raking creates loose soil particles for the grass roots to sink into.
Moisten the soil to a depth of 6 inches to give the turf a ready base to grow on.
1. Lay turf
Start sod installation along a straight edge like a driveway or patio. Use whole pieces and stagger the joints like you would with a course of bricks. Push edges against each other tightly, but without stretching. Avoid placing small strips on outer edges since they won’t retain moisture and therefore may not grow roots into the soil. On slopes, lay the sod across the slope to keep rainfall from cutting trenches between the seams of the sod.
Pro Tip: A cheap carpet knife is perfect for slicing through sod.
2. Water (LINK)
Within a half hour of installation, give the sod at least 1 inch of water. Then water daily to keep turf moist until it’s firmly rooted in the soil, usually about 2 weeks. After that, taper watering to every other day, and then once a week. That encourages the roots to sink deeper into the soil for a water source, making it lush, healthy, and thick.
Pro Tip: Avoid heavy activity including pets and kids for the first 4 weeks.
When the grass is 3 inches tall and at least 10 days have passed since installation, it’s time to mow your sod for the first time. Use a light, walk-behind mower and a grass catcher to bag the clippings.
Pro Tip: Use a sharp mower blade so you don’t tear up the newly rooted grass.
Fertilize your new sod on a regular fertilizer and weed prevention program — then watch it flourish.