The Do It Yourself Guide to Sod Installation.

Essay by keithrichardsUniversity, Bachelor'sA, September 2007

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The Do It Yourself Guide: Sod Installation

A lush lawn will add value and improve the atmosphere of any property. A healthy lawn is a sign of wealth and luxury. New lawns are known to turn desolate places into enjoyable retreats for everyday affairs. The quickest and most efficient way for you to achieve a lush and healthy lawn is to install new sod. In order to install new sod the existing lawn must be carefully prepped to ensure success. First the existing lawn must be trimmed in order to break up its dense surface. Then the weeds, loose grass, and thatch must be removed from the lawn by raking. It may be necessary to spray the lawn with herbicide if you will not be installing the new sod within one week. Thus, allowing ample time for the weeds to regenerate themselves and leech valuable nutrients from the soil.

Next, the existing grass must be removed piece by piece with a sod cutter, flipped over, and placed upside down. The old grass will now decompose and become beneficial nutrients for the soil. At this point, the lawn should be tilled in order to prevent desiccation and incorporate air into the soil. The easiest method is to use a "rototiller". Now, the soil will need to be supplemented with four essential nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and carbon. Be careful not to add too much nitrogen since it can burn grass roots. Also sulphur can be added to the soil in the fall to speed up the absorption process by heating up the ground. The next step is to make sure the yard is level by filling in any holes and smoothing out any bumps or hills with top soil. Use a lawn roller or a large square sheet of plywood to pack down and create a smooth surface out of the soil. Now it is time to lay the sod. In order to insure uniformity and strong binding to the soil the sod must be staggered. Be sure to water every inch of the new grass for at least twenty minutes daily for two weeks then return to a standard method of watering (every three days). Excessive watering will discourage the natural embedding of the roots into the soil since sufficient water will be obtained from the surface. You can begin to trim your new lawn when it has grown to three inches. Your grass should not be cut any shorter than one and a half inches or else it may suffer from poor water retention and be prone to burning in the sun. Lastly, remember to enjoy your new luscious lawn.