If you are a home owner, you want to do things that will make you feel proud of your home. For many home owners, the lawn is exceptionally important, and you have to admit, not much looks more inviting than a nice, lush lawn. The only problem with having a great lawn is getting it started, which many of us just don’t have the patience for. Thank goodness there is sod, which will allow anyone to have a gorgeous lawn in a much shorter period of time, depending on the weather.
The cost of sod installation may be higher than the cost of grass seed, but the simple fact that you have a ready-made lawn makes the extra cost very well worth it (that and the fact that there is very little maintenance involved later on).
Preparing Your Yard
Once you have checked out sod prices and you are ready to make a purchase, you need to take care of a few things. Before you start the sod installation, you need to prepare the ground in the yard. You can’t just drop some pieces of sod on the ground and hope that you will have an instant lawn. You can lay the sod as soon as the ground is ready for it, but only then.
In fact, just so you don’t get impatient, it is a really good idea to prepare the ground before you even have your sod delivered. That way you won’t have any choice but to wait until the ground is completely ready for it. Once the sod arrives at your home, you should lay it immediately. Here are some more tips for sod installation and having a great looking lawn:
- Get rid of any weeds and grass that is in the area you plan to lay the sod. If you are going to use a chemical herbicide, make sure that it is not toxic, especially if you have children or pets that will be playing in the yard.
- Till the entire area to prepare it for the sod. Get rid of all of the rocks and anything else that would get in the way of the sod and give you an uneven lawn.
- It is important to test the pH balance of your soil. While sod is a great way to have an instant lawn, you still need to care for it, and if the pH is off, the grass isn’t going to grow, and you could end up with a brown lawn instead of one that is lush and green. You can get a pH test kit anywhere that garden supplies are sold, and this is a fairly inexpensive purchase.
- Once you have tested the pH of the soil, you may find that you need to add a few things to change the pH balance to ensure a lovely lawn. You can use top soil and other products for this purpose. Once you have done this, you should wait about a week or so, and then use fertilizers. You should also till the area one more time and then rake the area to make sure that the ground is smooth and level.
Laying the Sod
Once your yard has been tilled, treated, etc., it is time to lay the sod. This is fairly easy, although time consuming. The first thing you need to do is water the area that will be sodded, the day before the sod gets to your home. To get the best results, water the area for a few minutes. Then repeat this action every hour for a few hours until about six inches of ground is soaked. This helps the sod to take root better. The following day, you can take these steps:
- Install the sod in straight lines. This makes it easier to avoid stepping on sod that has just been laid.
- Make sure that all of the edges fit together nice and tightly, and that the lines are even and straight.
- Lines show up less if you lay the sod in a brock pattern.
- Try not to use small pieces of sod, as they don’t take root as well as larger ones. Cutting and splicing parts usually doesn’t work out too well.
- If you are working around curves, such as trees or garden areas, use a very sharp knife to cut the sod so that it is as even and as close to the area as possible.
- Once you have laid the sod you need to press it down with a lawn roller. You can rent these, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to purchase one. When the sod is pressed down with a lawn roller it has a better chance of taking root.
- You’re just about done now. All you have to do is water the sod. Make sure that you do this daily, as it needs to be wet for up to two weeks in order to take root.
If all of this seems like too much work for you, there is always the option of having a professional come in and do the job for you. You can shop around to find the right service to take care of all of your sod installation and other lawn/gardening needs, and you will be able to learn about how much it costs to have it installed rather than doing it yourself. You will probably find that even though it will cost more to have it installed for you, the sod installation costs are going to be worth it, especially if you are busy and don’t have time to tend a lawn on a daily basis.
Once the work is done, you can set up sprinkler systems to make sure that the sod stays watered and takes root, so you don’t even have to spend time watering the lawn yourself. You can simply spend the summer enjoying your yard and knowing that you have a beautiful looking property.