A beautiful lawn frames your home and provides curb appeal. It is not difficult to install a new carpet of green grass on your property, but there are some important steps to ensure a good start. Giving your grass good conditions to get a proper start helps alleviate problem areas later and promotes a thick, lush lawn.
Condition your soil for the new sod before you lay new grass. Build up sandy soil with a good compost to firm it up. Clay is so thick that it holds water around the roots too long, and water pools on the ground surface. Till the ground to loosen it up and improve drainage. Add a good commercial fertilizer before laying new sod.
Be prepared before your sod arrives. Leaving new grass lying in piles while you prepare the area gives mold and rot the opportunity to destroy the new sod. Clear the ground, rake all leaves, and remove all debris. Flatten any unlevel areas for a nice, even surface for your new lawn. Get rid of all the weeds on the bare earth. Use a good commercial weed killer and follow the directions for a waiting period before laying the new plant material, in this case turf, over the area.
Lay sod over lightly moistened soil. Never let the earth dry out before you get the new layer of grass on top of it. The moisture attracts the root system of the sod, helps join it with the ground beneath, and provides a first watering.
Place strips tight against each other. This keeps the bare edges from drying out and turning brown. Do not overlap strips, as that encourages rot in the underlying strip that will spread to surrounding grass. Stagger the top edge of strips so you do not have a continuous line from side to side on the lawn. Use a roller (or firm pressure with a board or rake) to eliminate any air pockets between the new sod and the bare earth.
Do not walk on your lawn for at least two weeks after laying sod. Place boards on the strips while working on it, and only as much as necessary. Place signs at the edges indicating new grass so others know to stay off. Wait until a significant growth occurs, at least 20 mm, before you mow the new grass. Water frequently until growth is established.