Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Western Mountains and High Plains
September, 2006
Regional Report

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Sodding a lawn on well-prepared soil results in an instant lawn free of weeds.

It's Sod-Laying Time

If you've just moved into a new home that has compacted "contractor soil" where the front lawn should be, or if your old lawn looks like a worn-out rug, now is one of the best times to install a new lawn. The time and effort needed to create this oasis of healthy green carpet is less than you might think. "How?" you might ask. Plant sod for instant gratification.

The advantage to laying sod instead of seeding is the speed in which the lawn will root and establish. The sod grower has taken the guesswork out of seeding, watering, fertilizing, weeding, and initial establishment of the grass to provide you with a living product that has a vigorous, healthy root system. If you prepare the soil well and give the sod proper care, you can have a lawn ready for action in just a few weeks.

Just think about it: from bare ground in the morning to a green lawn in the evening. Sod has other features that make it a great value and a money-saving way to start a lawn.

Best Varieties
When you purchase sod from a reputable grower, you receive a type of grass that has been selected to grow well in your area. The sod is a living entity that has been professionally grown on farms devoted to this crop. Improved varieties of grass are chosen to provide more drought resistance, as well as insect and disease resistance. For example, the newer varieties of bluegrass have excellent water-saving attributes, while providing a dense carpet of grass to walk and play on.

Sod can be installed at almost any time of the year, as long as the sod grower can harvest his product. I recall having sod installed in mid-December when there was a little frost in the soil. The sod rooted in deeply and has grown into a healthy, beautiful lawn. Fall has all the right conditions for establishing a healthy, deep-rooted turf.

Less Weed Invasion
Newly sodded lawns are less prone to severe weed invasion. A dense carpet of sod that is laid over properly prepared soil will suffocate most annual weeds and reduce new weed germination and invasion. It's still important to controll weeds prior to laying sod, and rid the area of perennial weeds that could disperse seeds on the newly sodded lawn.

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