Installation and Care
In north Texas some types of sod can be installed year round as long as temperatures are not below freezing in between the time the sod is cut and is laid. If you are unsure if it is the right time for you to sod your yard feel free to contact us.
The 5 Steps of Installation
There are 5 steps to installing sod, once you’ve measured your lot:
Step 1: Soil Preparation
- Remove any leftover debris and stones
- Till your soil to a depth of 2-4 inches, bring to rough grade
- Make sure there are no low spots where water will stand
- Add topsoil if your soil is not adequate for grass growth
Step 2: Grading
- Final grading (raking) can take place the same day you sod - or up to a week beforehand
- Rake the soil so it is 1.5 inch below the driveway or sidewalk, and 0.5 inch lower than the existing grass
- Remove sticks and rocks larger than 2 inches
Step 3: Lime (Rarely)
- Apply lime when you till your soil (part of soil prep); amount based on a soil or pH test
- Lacking a soil test, add the minimum amount of lime listed on your bag(s)
- This is not a necessary step in most cases. Most soils in the area are grass friendly
Step 4: Fertilizer
- Use a lawn roller to firm up the soil so it won’t settle after watering.
- Wilson Sod recommends spreading a small amount of slow release starter fertilizer
- After the soil has been fertilized, raked, smoothed and rolled to ensure firmness, loosen about ½” of the surface soil. If the soil is dry, it should be moistened by lightly sprinkling with a hose or sprinkler.
Step 5: Turf installation (Placing Sod)
Install your lawn immediately upon delivery. Sod is a living plant that requires ground contact and moisture to survive.
- Start at a straight edge, such as sidewalk, driveway – or use a string.
- Stagger pieces in brickwork fashion
- Butt edges and sides tightly – do not overlap
- Compress or pull each piece together to its original length. Stretching sod will cause open seams when the soil dries.
- Keep first strip ahead of the second and third pieces
- Work from the finished sod area rather than the soil when possible
- For trimming, use a spade or sod knife to trim ends and irregular shapes such as around trees
- Tamp pieces down with a shovel or your foot to remove humps or bumps
- On steep slopes (or areas subject to large concentrations of water), pin sod with Sod Staples
- Keep any remaining pallets or portions of sod damp, and stored in the shade
On hot and sunny days, sprinkle the sod lightly while not over saturating it. Do this if grass blades feel “crispy” to the touch.
Rolling Your Installed Sod
After installing your turf, roll the entire area with a water-filled lawn roller, to improve sod/soil contact and remove air pockets.
- Immediately saturate the area with water, checking that the water soaks through the sod and into the soil beneath
- One inch of water with the first hour of installation does as much good as six inches of water three hours later.
- Depending on the time of year, during periods of little rainfall and high air temperatures, keep sod and soil wet for the first 10 days or more after installation. After sod has rooted to your soil, watering can be reduced.
- When temperatures are 85 degrees F or above, lightly hand water sod and sod bed as it’s being installed. This prevents wilting until your installation is finished.