How to Prepare and Maintain Sod
In order to install sod you first need to prepare the area. Any old grass, or vegetation that exists needs to be removed. Then the soil needs to be raked out, and leveled. If the area is low or you removed some soil in the process then you should add fresh topsoil.
After the area is raked, and leveled you need to figure out the amount of sod you need by determining the square footage. To do this you need to measure the area by length and width by feet. Then multiply the length x width to get the square footage. We recommend adding 10% to the total number to account for waste, trimming, and scrap.
Always remember… green side up!
We do not recommend using a fertilizer under your sod, but we do recommend using a product called Magi-cal that we offer.
Magi-cal is a concentrated granular lime product that will help neutralize the soil and help the roots take hold.
To lay your sod start with the longest line, and work in a brick type pattern. You can trim the sod with a steak knife, or hatchet.
DO NOT wait until all of your sod is installed to water it. The best way to water new sod is lay 10-15 rolls, and water it by hand. Continue this pattern until all of your sod is installed, then set up a sprinkler to further saturate the sod. Peel back a corner of the sod to figure out if you have watered it enough. If the sod pad is moist all the way through and the ground is wet underneath then that is adequate. However, watering until the ground becomes swampy is not helpful and can actually hurt the sod.
Maintaining new sod
Keep your sod moist for the 1st two weeks and at that point you can back off the watering and begin mowing.
After your sod has rooted in, and you have mowed it several times it will start to loose its color and slow down growing. If you see this it means the sod needs to be fed with fertilizer, and needs less frequent mowing. There are several variables at play when it comes to fertilizer. A good rule to go by is wait until the average high temperature is 80 or under. We offer several types of fertilizer for all types of results. Please feel free to contact us and we can steer you in the right direction.
Mowing your sod is very important. For the initial mowing we recommend that you raise the mower deck as high as possible to avoid possible scalping. You should be able to mow after 10-12 days. After 1st mowing you should wait 2-3 days to mow again. After the initial mowing you can lower the deck one notch at a time until the desired height is reached. Make sure the blades are sharp, for dull blades tend to rip, or tear the turf giving it a white- shredded look.
Stressed sod can easily be identified by its color. Dry sod will tend to turn a darker blue, or almost purple color. This is what we call purple haze.
What is actually happening is the leaf blade has folded in half to try to conserve energy. This is the first step in dry, or stressed turf. IMMEDIATE water is necessary to prevent the sod from continuing to stress and eventually brown out. To spot purple haze it is easiest to do with the sun in your face and in the background of your yard. This is what we call reading your sod and this should be done often in the hot dry months. If you missed the signs of purple haze, and your sod has turned brown it is not dead. The root system is more than likely still alive. Frequent and consistent watering should bring the sod back after several weeks.