There are a number of reasons for homeowners to revamp and renew their lawns. Perhaps you’re preparing to put your home on the market and need to boost curb appeal. Or, you could be trying to spruce up a thing, patchy lawn, and rid it of weeds. Whatever the reason, installing sod is a great way to achieve a beautiful, established lawn.

Although sodding can be a faster process than seeding, it’s important to understand the specific requirements necessary for achieving a bountiful end result. Even for the most experienced DIY-ers, sod installation can be a challenging process. Depending on a number of factors, it could be a task best left to the pros. With pricing, prep and install time, and the unique climate of our state in mind, we’ve compiled 5 tips for easy sod installation in Holly Springs.

Sod Installation Tip #1: Assess Your Property

It is important to consider that sod installation is not an easy task. In order to make sure you are well prepared, it is vital to make sure you are well prepared by asking the right questions: How much time is this project going to take? Where will you get your materials? Do you have space on your property to have all the materials dropped off at once? Assessing your property prior to your project will save you hours of headaches and backaches!

Other essential questions to ask:

  1. Is your lawn on a slope? This could mean the installation will take more time than expected.
  2. Do you have very mossy soil? You might need an application of lime to balance your lawns’ PH levels.
  3. Does your lawn run directly against your house or trees? It might be worth considering a mulch bed along the side of the house as these areas can often be very difficult to promote grass.
  4. What is the current condition of your soil? Is your current soil more sandy or more clay? Are there rocks or roots that will need to be moved? This can greatly affect the time spent preparing your lawn.

Sod Installation Tip #2: Take Measurements

To get the right amount of sod and an accurate idea of price, you need to take careful measurements of the area you’ll be installing sod. Improper measurements will leave you paying more or without enough sod to finish the project. After you’ve triple-checked your final area, we recommend that you order an extra five percent over the measured area. This surplus will be used to fit the sod around any curves.

Sod Installation Tip #3: Choose Your Sod Supplier and Type

When choosing a supplier, it’s best to go with a local sod farm or a garden center that works with one. A reputable sodding supplier should ask about your hardiness zone, how much sunlight vs. shade your lawn gets, the expected amount of traffic/activity, and other detailed questions. The sod they recommend will be more specific to your lawn after they have more insight.

Most importantly, be sure to do your own due diligence and ask about cost as well as the delivery turnaround. Sod should be installed within 48 hours of being cut, which means the supplier will need to deliver it in a timely manner.

Sod Installation Tip #4: Prepare Your Lawn

Before you unroll the sod and lay it out, you’ll need to prepare by loosening the surface-level soil. The quickest way to do so is with a rototiller. If you don’t have one in the garage, you can rent one from an appliance-rental company or your local home improvement store. If you come across debris, such as rocks or large tree roots, remove them before continuing onto the next step.

After the soil has been loosened, it’s time to improve water retention and soil aeration with organic matter. You can either use fertilizer or lime, depending on your soil test results. The goal is to make your soil healthier by enhancing the microbial population. This will allow for more aggressive root growth during the immature months of your lawn.

At this point, it’s time to get your rake out and start evening out the surface. This is one step that should never be overlooked as it ensures healthy drainage on your lawn. If there are any dips on the lawn, it can lead to puddling and even flooding. This helps loosen soil particles which creates an ideal environment for grassroots. It is recommended to lower your soil level one inch below sidewalks or driveways. This allows the sod to evenly meet the edges of your property.

Sod Installation Tip #5: Time to Install!

After your supplier delivers the sod, lay it out along a straight edge—like your patio or driveway. Start laying whole pieces out one at a time from end to end, being mindful not to walk on it as you go. Rake any footprints out from the soil and smooth any wrinkles out. Gently pat the sod into place, ensuring there are no air pockets between the soil and sod. As you continue cutting pieces of sod and installing them, horizontally stagger the joints similar to a course of bricks.

Edges should be aligned together tightly, avoiding any overlap or air pockets. Smaller pieces of sod can be tucked into the center of the lawn to avoid any bare soil along the seams. Curved sections can be installed with the use of a hose and a machete. Use a carpet knife to make ‘vents’ around trees or other obstacles, such as irrigation heads.

Using a heavy-duty push broom, brush potting soil or topsoil across every seam, being careful not to loosen or push up the edges. A lawn roller can be used to firmly push sod into the soil below, allowing it to quickly take root. For the first three weeks, limit traffic on the newly installed sod, including children and pets. Finally, begin watering your sod thoroughly and continue to do so daily for the first two, skipping days in the case of rain. After the initial two weeks, you can decrease the frequency to every other day. This encourages deeper roots which is one of the keys to a thick, healthy lawn.

Final Tip on Sod Installation in Holly Springs

While we love helping our neighbors with their DIY projects, installing sod is labor-intensive and can be incredibly exhausting without the proper tools or manpower. From start to finish, the process requires the use of many specialty tools and just as much hands-on knowledge.

Because sod needs to be installed within 48 hours of being cut to ensure proper rooting and the overall health of your lawn, it’s recommended that you enlist the help of a professional. For more information on sod installation, visit us online or give us a call at (919) 205-4256.