Hardy Turf® Sod is a very easy and successful way to create your dream lawn. It is a wise investment that provides you with a living carpet of green immediately after laying.
Advantages of Sod Over Seed
- Unlike seed, sod provides a usable lawn in about a month’s time.
- Homes with a sodded lawn have an increased market value of 5% – 10%.
- Sod grows in areas where seed cannot take hold, such as a slope.
- Unlike seed, sod can be installed from early spring until the ground freezes in late fall.
- Sod grows regardless of weather conditions.
- It requires no special tools or expertise.
The successful installation and growth of your sod depends upon correct planting and follow-up care.
Most soils in Illinois are well-suited for growing Kentucky Bluegrass. However, if your soil is poor, have it tested. This is important if the subsoil from your basement was spread over the yard following home construction. This test tells you if you need to amend the soil prior to laying turfgrass. It’s an ideal and practical time to improve your soil. These modifications might include changes in pH. Turf prefers a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Never add lime without a soil test first. Most soils in our area do not need lime to grow a beautiful lawn.
Soil testing is done through
Mowers Soil Testing Plus, Inc.
117 E. Main Street
Toulon, IL 61483-0518
You can send in the samples directly to Mowers
Bring the soil samples to Hoerr Nursery; we can send them in for you. The fee for a basic soil test is $25, and for a micronutrient soil test, $30.
Remove Unwanted Vegetation or Impediments
All weed and other existing vegetation should be killed with Round-Up®. This ensures no grass or other weeds develop with the new turfgrass. After the initial spraying, wait seven days and respray any vegetation that shows green or normal growth. After three or more days following the second spraying, remove the dead and dying vegetation.
In addition, remove rocks, twigs, or trash. You do not want anything to prohibit a solid weaving of the grass roots into the soil below.
Checking the Grade
Change any soil grade before laying your new turf. Rolling a lawn will not improve a poorly graded lawn. Make sure the soil is smooth. If your soil is heavy and compacted, rototill it. Otherwise, lay sod after removing the vegetation.
Prior to laying new sod, spread Fertilome’s® Winterizer or New Lawn Starter® on top of the soil. If you incorporate fertilizer into the soil when rototilling, this step is not necessary.
For lawns sodded before May 10, apply a Crabgrass Preventer. Sod is not prone to crabgrass invasion. However, crabgrass seed can germinate from the existing soil underneath the newly laid grass. In addition, it is not unusual to see watergrass germinate, too. Watergrass is a thick bladed grass; as you begin mowing, the watergrass disappears.
Four to six weeks after the initial laying, begin normal lawn fertilizing practices for the current time of year.
Sod gives you the thickest, dark green carpet of mature grass in your neighborhood, in a very short time. Pick up our “How-to Guide for Lawn Care”. Follow the outlined procedures to ensure your lawn remains a luxurious, living, carpet of green.
Laying Your Sod
Lay sod with edges close together, leaving no gaps between rolls. Avoid stretching or pulling the rolls while laying them. This leads to “shrinkage” and gaps between rolls. Stagger the ends of the rolls, like bricks are laid on a house. This prevents the seams between rolls from being “lined up”. After laying, you can lightly roll the lawn to assure good root/soil contact Although this step is not usually necessary.
On slopes or berms, lay the rolls across the slope. This prevents water from running down the seams and preventing possible erosion. On steep slopes, secure the rolls of turfgrass with “U-staples” or pegs to prevent slippage. These staples are available at our StoneMarket.
Watering Your Sod
Watering your new lawn is the single most important step in successful sod establishment. Immediately after laying, saturate the sod. Apply enough water to the point the grass is too wet to walk. Water daily for the two weeks, depending on prevailing weather conditions. During this period, overwatering will never be a problem. Under watering will lead to damage or loss of sod.
A rule-of-thumb is water daily for the first two weeks. Then water every other day for one or two weeks Follow that by watering every third day for one week, then every fourth day for a week. Continue until you are watering once per week. For the rest of the season, water once per week until the grass quits growing in fall. If it rains of one-inch or more, you may skip that scheduled watering.
An exception is sod laid in late fall. Although the grass blades are not growing, the roots continue growing until the soil freezes. Consequently, turfgrass laid in late fall is watered until the ground freezes.
Mowing Your Sod
Sod often requires mowing 7-10 days after laying. Let it dry out enough to walk on. Raise your lawnmower to the highest setting. You will not hurt the grass by walking on it at this time. After mowing, water the lawn thoroughly. Following the initial cutting, gradually lower the cutting height and continue normal mowing practices.