Answer: The most important factors in succeeding with laying sod are thorough soil preparation and good aftercare once the sod has been laid out. The soil should be loosened down about six inches and organic matter should be worked into it. You should run some basic soil tests to see if you need to add fertilizer and/or lime. The soil should be carefully leveled and when the sod is placed it should be lightly rolled (with a nearly empty roller) to assure good soil to root contact. Then it should be watered as needed to keep the soil slightly moist while the sod is rooting. If any of these steps are missed, or if the sod dries out before it is placed, then you may see failure. Your local county extension should be able to help you with the soil testing and interpreting the results, and will also have pointers on soil preparation and sod procedures. Good luck with your lawn.
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