Sodding a New Lawn
When you hear the term "instant
lawn" you realize that's what sodding a lawn is all about. Sod
provides a quick,
yet more costly way to plant a lawn when compared to seeding. You will
find that most of the sod from sod farms in the
northern US grow Kentucky Bluegrass sod. NFL football stadiums have made
the use of 'big roll' sod famous when re-sodding football fields late in
Sod is sold by the square yard, and the descriptive term is usually
shortened to a "yard" of sod. One square yard of sod is 6-feet long by
18-inches wide, totaling 9 square
feet. To calculate how many yards of sod needed for a given
area, take the square footage and divide by nine.
much sod you need
Example: Area to be sodded is 9' x 10' = 90 sq ft.
90 square feet ÷ 9 = 10
yards of sod
Nine square feet of sod
One (square) yard
A pallet of sod usually contains 50
yards. Sod dealers will charge you a deposit on their pallets since they
must be returned to the sod farm for future use.
Don't leave sod stacked on pallets for more than 24 to 48 hours at the most, since the sod will "heat up" and become damaged.
Therefore, have your lawn area ready to sod before your shipment
Sod pieces should be laid close together to avoid any gaps -- the edges
should be pushed together. Don't stretch the sod -- stretched out
sod pieces will shrink and create gaps
between pieces of sod. Exposed edges, especially if there are any
gaps, should be covered with topsoil to prevent drying-out.
Beginning row of sod has been laid
Freshly laid sod should be thoroughly watered-in
shortly after it's installed. Continue
watering frequently for the first weeks while the sod knits down. Some
recommendations call for rolling newly laid sod a few days after it's
installed, with a lawn roller, to remove any air pockets.
Northern sod consists mostly of Kentucky Bluegrass, which is a thatch producer.
Therefore, core aerate
the sod once or twice a year once
it is rooted-in and well established. Dethatch as needed when
levels are ½-inch or more.
Bluegrass sod should be mowed at a 2-½"
tips for beginners:
soil grade one-inch lower along sidewalks and pavement to allow for the thickness of the sod
"graded" so buy
the best grade available (#1). When your sod arrives piled-up on a
pallet, lay it as soon as you can. Keep palletized sod
covered with a lightweight perforated tarp -- to help keep the wind
and sun off -- until you get it installed.
Don't stretch sod while laying it
-- push it together
-- keeping the seams butted together as tightly as possible. Fill any
edge gaps with screened topsoil to
prevent the edges from drying. Exposed edges will dry out and
sod with a sharp knife, hatchet or gardening
spade, but watch your fingers!
Watering is very important -- begin right away by watering sod
thoroughly. Water often (every day or two) to encourage rooting. Pay
close attention to watering pavement edges since they will dry out
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