Image of a person laying down the grass as they are sodding their lawn.

Taking care of your lawn and ensuring it looks great is a crucial home improvement project that can immediately add more life to your home’s overall look. From being a bleak and sad-looking yard into becoming a lush and green landscape that replaces the barren land, installing sod can work wonders to transform your home.

Sodding a lawn that is dense, green, and immune to weeds and diseases can replace any barren-looking and yellowish turf. Of course, sodding is easier said than done. It is not as simple as merely taking a new sod and laying it down atop the old yard. You have to prepare the current soil for the new sodding grass carpet, and it requires a bit of effort on your part.

Sodding requires a lot of work before, during, and after you install the new sod to help you get the best out of your lawn. Do you need to ensure that you get the best return out of the time and money you invest in sodding? Well, learning everything you need to know about sodding can pay off in helping you do that. If you don't like gardening and would like to change that then opt for artificial grass, Artificial turf from a reputed artificial grass dealer is a durable material that can withstand even the harshest of weather conditions. It doesn’t require much maintenance, and it doesn’t need to be watered like a natural lawn does.

Preparing the soil properly during installation helps you make sure that your sod has a great start, and you need to care for the sod adequately after installation to ensure that it thrives. Today, you will get an excellent guide that will tell you everything you need to know about sodding to help you make the most of the experience.

What Is Sodding?

For the uninitiated, we will first answer the question: “What is sodding?”

Sodding is essentially the process of installing the grass that has been planted already. Sod is sold in parts that are kept together by roots or other materials, typically a combination of grass and soil. Sodding is also commonly called turf grass, and it is a favorite among golfers because a lawn made with sod is greener, more luscious, and grows more uniformly.

Preparing Your Garden To Install Sod

Before you can sod the lawn, you should test the soil in your garden to see if it is healthy enough for you to sod. The soil should not have any nutrient deficiencies, and it cannot be too acidic or alkaline. Having a sample of your soil tested by a soil testing facility will give you a better picture of the condition. You can use the information to make better decisions about using soil enhancers to increase or decrease its pH level and add specific nutrients to the soil to give it a good balance to support new grass.

Take a tiller and shake off the top six to eight inches of dirt. Spread out a little bit of finished compost on the soil. You want to make it faster for the water to drain into the soil till the changes settle in. Applying a couple of inches of sand to the clay-like soil surface helps boost the drainage.

Use a spreader to lay down the necessary starter fertilizer on the soil. You may need to use lime to adjust the pH level based on the results of the soil sample test. Most people forget to make necessary adjustments to the soil’s pH levels when sodding for the first time, and that can cause problems in caring for the grass once you’ve set it all up. Make sure you test the soil and make all the required adjustments to it based on the sample test results.

Installing The Sod

Once you have finished preparing the ground for sodding, you can place the order for sod at your local gardening supply store. Start applying the sod immediately after it arrives. Leaving the sod rolled up for too long will cause damage to the grass due to the heat from natural processes that can completely ruin the sod roll. Many first-timers make the mistake of ordering the sod too early and end up spoiling the sod by storing it for too long before they can actually apply it.

Sod is very sensitive to heat, and it has a greater chance of deteriorating during the summer. Fall can be a good time to install sod and minimize heat damage. If you cannot install the sod right after delivery, you should place it somewhere it is in the shade and kept cool. You should also consider gently spraying the sod with water to keep it fresh until you can install it.

Sod is in the form of rolls of grass. Start laying the sod pieces in straight lines and keep the pieces close together so that the edges merge with each other as the grass grows. Avoid overlapping the sod, and feel free to cut the pieces to get a close fit without overlapping the sod pieces.

You should avoid walking on freshly laid sod. Placing cardboard on the sod when laying down new pieces helps you minimize contact with the new sod. Sodding is a time-taking process, so it is necessary to start watering the sod you have laid down while you continue installing the rest. Waiting to water the sod until all of it is done can cause the sod to overheat in the sun.

Start sodding in the morning. Use a generous amount of water. The water will begin evaporating as the day progresses, but it will ensure that the sod you’ve already laid down will not overheat until you finish the job.

Caring For Freshly Laid Sod

Once you have finished installing all the sod, you can begin properly irrigating the garden. Deeply water the new sod on the day of installation. Make sure that you use enough water that it seeps a good six to eight inches into the soil. Some companies that sell sod recommend watering your newly sodded garden until the water runs into the street.

Do not be afraid to be generous with the water on the first day of installation. The grass won’t drown, and all the water seeping into the soil will help the freshly laid sod properly settle and merge for a healthier foundation for the lush green new carpet of grass.

After the first day, you can begin decreasing the amount of water your grass gets each day. Many gardeners reduce the amount of water they use by one inch each day, but we recommend talking to the sod provider to get the best possible idea about how much you need to reduce the water as you go along.

Continue watering the sod deeply over the next few weeks because that will encourage the roots to grow from the sod soil layer into the existing soil you prepared for it. You can check whether the roots have started going into the ground by gently tugging at the corner of a sod piece (preferably in the corner of the lawn). If the sod piece comes up easily, the roots still need time to grow into the soil. You will know that the grass roots have grown into the soil underneath when you feel some resistance when you tug on the corner of a sod piece.

Rooting takes between two to six weeks, depending on the sod you have installed and how well you care for it. You should avoid any excessive activity on your lawn until the roots have firmly established a good hold on the soil underneath. It means you should not let any children play on the freshly laid sod, and you should not mow the lawn.

If the sod grows very tall before the roots have established a good grip, you can consider lightly mowing the grass. Ensure that you adjust the blades on your lawnmower so that you do not remove over a third of the height of the grass blades. Cutting off too much of the height could let excessive heat and light seep in and damage the freshly-laid grass.

Being too eager to mow the lawn to keep it down to a reasonable height can result in a significant amount of damage and potentially ruin all the hard work you have put into sodding the garden in the first place.

Final Thoughts

We hope you found this post on everything you need to know about sodding informative and helpful. Following this guide can help you completely transform your lawn into something beautiful that will make your home the envy of the neighborhood with fantastic curb appeal. If you want to read more helpful tips about garden care, check out Gardening Made Easy for all the helpful posts you will need.