The Q&A Archives: Sod Prep and Selection

Question: We are going to sod at our new home in front & back. I'd consider both areas to be fairly light intensive. Our front area faces west while the back faces east, therefore sunlight is approximately equal in both areas. We are very concerned about our current soil. Both areas are very sandy. It seems like we have to plant in soil that is darn near the same as planting on a beach. We want to properly prepare our soil and pick a good sod type that will transplant well in our area. We've heard that bluegrass and/or fescue would be appropriate. In addition, we want to pick a sod type that will maintain green color and use minimal water effectively. Any direction or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!

Answer: To keep a lawn green all season, you either need to water is a lot, or grow a combination of grasses. The best grasses for your region are hybrid Bermuda grass overseeded with an annual or perennial ryegrass. Ask your county extension office (ph# 505/243-1386) for a list of varieties that are best for your area.

To improve the organic matter content and structure of your soil, add a lot of compost and grow a green manure crop, such as cowpeas and buckwheat, and till them in before they blossom. These additions will create a healthy foundation for your lawn grass, and help hold moisture longer.

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