It’s that time of year again – homes are going on the market left and right and weekend warriors are getting back outdoors. Sod is a tricky part of any lawn care regimen (and probably best left to a professional) but it can be done at home if you’re looking to save a little money.
Here are 6 tips for laying sod properly the first time so you’ve got a flourishing yard in a matter of weeks:
1.Fertilize first and foremost
Before even touching the sod (you ordered the sod, right? Talk to your local nursery about how much you’ll need for a yard your size) you’ll want to deeply fertilize the underlying soil. Use an organic liquid fertilizer if you can find it and coat the soil well. The more nutrients your sod gets right off the bat the healthier it will be.
2. Moisten the sod
As you prepare to lay the sod on the ground, be sure it’s moist. You don’t want it to be dripping wet but moist like a well-watered potted plant would be after a storm. The sod will draw up the fertilizer better this way and it will help protect its roots.
3. Begin laying at an edge
The best way to ensure you’ll have clean lines and an easy time figuring out the spacing is to start at an edge. If your yard has a driveway, sidewalk, or even a straight plant bed you can start there and work your way out, just like you’d do when laying a hardwood floor.
4. Seam and fill the edges
As you lay the sod, cut off any excess with a sharp outdoor knife (be careful of sprinklers.) Cinch the edges of neighboring blocks of sod together to ensure they touch and use soil or organic fill to close up any small gaps between sod pieces.
5. Roll with a water roller
Water rollers can be purchased cheaply at a hardware store and provide the gentlest, most even pressure for your newly laid sod. Roll over every inch of your yard twice to ensure you get out any bumps or seams.
6. Water like your life depends on it
You can’t overwater sod. It’s almost impossible to do. Begin watering the second you’ve laid the sod down and don’t let up until your yard almost looks like a bog. The sod will thank you as the water helps it absorb the fertilizer you laid down.
Having trouble? Call a lawn care professional in your area to assist you with your sod.