Laying sod can be an easy way of getting a green, lush lawn in a hurry. Although reseeding is cheaper, sod often produces superior results. Because of the additional cost, make sure to take the time to lay it properly.
This job requires little skill, but a lot of work. Consider asking friends to help with this project, you may not be able to complete this project over the course of a day by yourself. Working in the morning, when it is cooler, is also recommended.
If possible, begin the day before by preparing the area. Get rid of any obstructions in the yard and decide how much sod you will require. Find out if you will have to haul it yourself or if it can be delivered and plan accordingly. Ideally you will prepare the area in the afternoon and lay the grass the following morning.
Remove all existing lawn and any shrubbery or other vegetation you do not want to keep. A rotor tiller is an valuable tool for the job, and can be rented from any home improvement center. Pick out all weeds and large rocks and dispose of them. Be sure to make the area as level as possible and avoid compaction after it has been tilled.
After the area has been prepped, add rich top soil for the grass. The amount of top soil required will depend on the area covered, as well as the overall quality of your soil. If you had chronic problems with your lawn try testing the soil before laying it. You may have a problem that needs to be corrected before planting again. Till the top soil into the ground.
With the top soil incorporated, use a rake to make the area as smooth as possible. Now is also the time to remove any remaining vegetation or rocks before laying your sod.
The day you want to lay the grass, saturate the ground with water thoroughly. The sod should come in flats. It might come in patches or rolls, depending on the type available. Rolls are the easiest to work with, but can be more expensive.
Start laying sod by working from one side of your lawn to the other. Make sure that when you lay it there are no gaps and each roll is flush with the one beside it. Some barriers, like walkways, might require the sod to be cut. Use a sharp utility knife to trim the sod as closely as possible. Save the trimmings for small areas as needed.
After the sod has been installed follow the instructions you received at your garden center for its care. At minimum, your new lawn will require regular watering every night for the first two weeks. Dryer climates or less hardy forms of grass might require even more watering.
Adding sod to your backyard can give you the lawn of your dreams in an afternoon. Ask for help from friends and offer drinks and food and you could have this project done in a single afternoon. Don't put off this project until the heat of summer, not only will you have better results in the spring, but you can take advantage of your new lawn with many summer barbecues.