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HOW TO SOD A LAWN

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How to Sod - Sodding.com
Simple information on sodding your lawn.

Putting into place a beautiful sodded lawn is a neat thing.  As each piece of your lawn is placed it is much like completing a giant puzzle. 

And you will be amazed at the satisfaction you will feel when you survey your newly sodded lawn, it is worth all the hard work and cost involved.

Hands and knee work.
Sodding.com   -  5 steps to sod your lawn.

You should have already determine the amount of sod you will need for your lawn and placed the order.  You also should have already performed all the different tasks involved in getting your new lawn site ready for sod.

Step (1) Your lawn area should be already tilled.  The final finish level should have been made and the level of the grade should be approximately 1 inch below sidewalks, sprinkler heads, etc. (Below the level desired for the final grass lawn.)  Also the soil should be moist... This is best accomplished by watering a day or two before installation  - Be careful not to water all night and create a soggy mess in which you cannot lay the sod without making tracks in the mushy soil.  You want a firm moist soil.

Step (2) Before starting to lay your sod... Take a rake (or drag for larger areas) and rake the top top soil with a final leveling action.   This does two things; First it levels out any small unevenness missed by your final grade in the preparations steps.  Second it creates loose soil particles that your new sods roots and more firmly compress into when you lay your sod.  If the area is dry... give a final soaking to the soil before you start to lay your sod in step 3.

Step (3) Now it is time to start actually laying your sod on your newly prepared lawn area.  Generally it is best to start laying sod along a straight line such as a sidewalk, driveway or even the side of a strait flowerbed along your house.  As you lay out each piece in a row, firmly push the end together so the spaces between the pieces of sod are minimized.  You can lay two or three rows at a time (with rectangular sod), but keep each row staggered so that the joints are at different locations than the adjoining row. If you are using rolls, tightly place the new joint against the already in place piece and then roll out.  Buy a cheap carpet knife to use to cut your odd shaped sod pieces.  That way the sod can be made to fit around curves, sprinklers, plants and other lawn obstacles.  Try to avoid walking on the newly laid sod until after you have rolled your sodded area with a lawn roller. 

Step (4) After you have completed laying your sod lawn, you should roll your sod with a lawn roller.  You can rent these hand pulled tools from your local rental store. The action of the roller is especially important with sodded lawns... much more than with seeded areas.  The roller causes the roots of the sod to make firm contact with the new soil under the sod.  This allows for faster "knitting" of your sods roots into its new soil home. 

Step (5) Water the lawn area you have planted as on a regular basis - usually daily for newly sodded lawns unless rain is occurring.  After the first week, start stretching out the time between watering so that the roots will grow downward toward the soil moisture.  When you do water, water deeply.  Apply fertilizer in intervals through the growing season, and practice a regular mowing schedule.   Mow your new sod lawn for the first time about 3-4 weeks after planting then at regular times and at the correct height. - Special Note: During hot periods sodded lawns may require more frequent watering than once a day. 

MORE INFO & TIPS ON
SODDING YOUR LAWN FROM TEXAS EXTENSION

Sodding.com - Little things to do
About a week after planting your newly sodded lawn, you will have some basically "one time" maintenance to do.   See those cracks between the sod pieces?  No matter how good a job you do laying sod, there are bound to be some areas that did not get tightly fit against the next piece.  If you will take a wheelbarrow of dirt and lightly fill in these cracks, you will end up with a smoother lawn and over time those noticeable cracks will be gone. Trim around your plants.
Sodding.com

If you did everything right in planting your new sod lawn; soil test, fertilizers, proper grade, the correct lawn sod variety for your area, and rolled your sod... Then you are on the right track to a beautiful lawn.

Strong backs are needed. After about 30-45 days your sod should be established enough for you to start tromping your power mower over the tops of your lawn to give it that manicured look and also to help control weeds (if any). 

Be sure that you set your mower the proper height for the particular lawn species you are planting.

Keep up the frequent watering until about 20-30 days after planting... By then your sod you be established with its root system enough to start stretching out the time between watering without harm.  This is actually good as it makes the plants send their roots down deeper into the soil, instead of just the top few inches.  This results in the plant being able to withstand more extremes in rainfall.  The best watering schedule is to water deeply, 1-2 times a week during normal months.

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Its now time to consider a second application of fertilizer to your lawn, depending on the particular lawn grass planted.  And...... yes... you can now think about taking that vacation. Just be sure you have someone lined up to mow your lawn while you're gone, make sure the irrigation system works properly, and keep the areas kids off of the grass until your sod is fully established and you no longer can pick up a piece of it with your fingers.

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