If you are looking for a beautiful, lush lawn, you have three options: start from scratch with grass seed, try to patch with grass seed, or lay sod or turf. The first two options require time and care but are the less expensive options in terms of start-up cost. The third option, turf, creates a nearly instant lawn and immediately pleasing aesthetic. While more expensive, it is the simplest for installation and care.
However, while simple, it is important to lay turf properly in order for it to root and continue to grow into the lush, beautiful yard you desire.
The first step in laying turf is in choosing the best sod for your climate and needs. Look at how much space you need to cover, what your water needs are (especially in Colorado’s dry climate), and how much direct sun or shade the areas will get. Speak to a sod specialist if you aren’t sure, so you can plan a solution that will work with your unique situation.
It is suggested that you buy sod locally so you are certain it is right for the climate, and to ensure freshness because once it’s delivered, you will want to get it installed immediately and not allow it to dry out.
Preparing the Soil
After determining the best sod for your project, you will want to make sure the soil is properly prepared for laying turf. Checking the pH levels of your soil may be recommended so it can be remedied to create the best base – ideal levels will be between 5.0 and 7.0. Rototill a planters mix or compost into your dirt. You want to rototill 4 to 6 inches deep in the soil. The rule of thumb is 4 yards per thousand square feet.
Smooth and level the ground the best you can, removing rocks, leaves, pine needles, and debris. There shouldn’t be dips or mounds, and edges should be straight and smooth so the edge of the sod can bump up against it, rather than sit on top of existing grass.
Thoroughly remove any weeds, keeping in mind that thorough weed removal can take several weeks to properly apply the weed killer in the correct intervals for true termination of weeds. Add fertilizer and water according to your sod instructions.
Laying the Turf
Plan delivery or pick up of the sod on a cooler day whenever possible. Consider professional installation as well, in order to protect your investment and obtain the best results for both longevity and appearance.
Prior to laying the turf, you will want to have the ground slightly wet. Roll the turf out in a brick-like pattern, where all edges do NOT line up, but rather an edge sits around the midway point of the sod rolls above and below it. Don’t overlap the sod, stretch it, rip/tear it, or leave gaps between rolls. On sloped areas, lay the sod horizontally, not vertically, to avoid soil runoff.
Caring for the Sod
Once the sod is in place, water it immediately to avoid it drying out. The water should go deeply into the soil, but not get overly mushy. In the first month, you will want to make sure the sod is properly watered and stay off of it per recommendations to avoid damaging it.
In Colorado, proper aeration and nutrition, as well as correct watering and lawn height, will keep your grass looking lush and healthy.
A beautiful yard is easy with new lawn sod, whether you lay the turf yourself or have it professionally installed by a sod expert. Simpler and quicker than grass seed, sod will nearly instantly improve your home’s appearance and outdoor comfort. If you are looking for new lawn sod, contact Emerald Sod today to learn more about the best sod for Colorado, applications, and pricing.