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Sod Laying Guide

Measure:

Sod rolls are 6 ft. long and 18 inches wide, or 9 sq. ft. The formula to determine how many rolls needed is (Length x Width/ 9).

Example: 10’ x 10’ = 100 sq. ft. of area. 100/9 would be about 12 rolls.

Soil Prep:

SOD MUST BE LAYED ON BARE GROUND. This means rocks, clods, tree/shrub roots, dead grass or any other debris should be removed. Any living plants should be treated with Hi-Yield Killzall (glyphosate) at least one week prior to working the ground. Ground must be loose to encourage sod root growth. Soil compaction is oftentimes the cause of poor grass stands, and these areas must be tilled or otherwise loosened prior to sod laying. Many homeowners are tempted to cover compacted areas with new soil then sod, but this ultimately fails because grass roots can’t extend into compacted soil. Rake and feather the outside edges of soil to level the grade between existing grass and sod. Smooth out the ground with a rake.

Install Sod:

Lay sod as soon as possible after purchase. Sod that is slightly yellowed from lack of sunlight DOES recover. Lay sod along a straight edge. Alternate each row so the joints are staggered, like laying bricks, and butt the seams close together. Sod on slopes should be layed across the slope (not up and down). Roll or walk on the sod once to encourage root to soil contact.

Water:

If the soil is dry, it should be watered 6-8 inches deep 2-3 days before sod laying. Begin watering within 30 minutes after laying, watering deeper than the sod layer and into the existing soil. Keep soil wet but not saturated beyond the sod layer to encourage rooting. For the first 7-10 days, water sod daily in cool weather and 2-3 times per day in hot weather, for about 10-15 minutes with each cycle. You can easily check watering depth by carefully lifting a corner of the sod and dig with a hand trowel to see how far you are watering. Sod is “tacked down” when it’s difficult to lift and then watering can be reduced to 2-3 times per week, but watering longer each time.

Fertilize:

Sod usually needs a light application of nitrogen fertilizer about 3-4 weeks after installation. See your Soil Service Garden Center representative for the best product for your situation.

Mowing:

New sod should be mowed frequently (1-2 times per week) until established and mowed at about 3-4 inches height. Do NOT let grass grow too tall and never scalp the lawn. In other words, light frequent mowing is best.