The Q&A Archives: sodding our yard

Question: How do we prepare our yard before installing a new lawn with sod?

Answer: Alice,

Rototill the area lightly after spreading any nutrients that a soil test indicates your soil may be lacking. Then lay the sod down alternating the pattern as they do when laying bricks in a brick wall. Roll over the sod with a turf roller to get good sod to soil contact. Rollers are available at local rental centers. Water the area with a light irrigation and repeat this irrigation daily for a week to help the grass survive until it gets some roots down. Then back off a light watering to every other day for another week, and then go to twice a week and finally once a week. Once you get to watering once or twice a week they should be good soakings of 1/2 to 1 inch. However initially don't keep the soil too soggy wet. The idea with the initial waterings is to help keep the grass moist to reduce stress while it tries to establish roots into the soil underneath the sod. About a month after you lay the sod you can provide a little fertilization to boost it along.

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