Turf Grass Installation

Overview

Strong grasses that handle a lot of wear from heavy traffic from humans or animals is considered turf grass. Popular warm season grasses such as Bermuda grass, Kentucky bluegrass, zoysia grass and centipede grass are available as sod. Sod is a section of soil with prepared turf grass planted. Sod is placed over the lawn in a pattern like brickwork. Installing turf grass using sod is more expensive, but the establishment is quick, preventing soil erosion.

Step 1

Test the acidity of the soil using a soil pH test to determine whether the acidity is appropriate for the sod, recommends the University of Arkansas Extension. Test the soil at least two months before laying down sod to give you enough time to add soil amendments according to the soil test results.

Step 2

Apply a glyphosate herbicide to the lawn to kill all vegetation, including weeds that may compete with the new grass. Apply with enough time to allow the herbicide to wear off in the soil before planting the new grass.

Step 3

Remove any debris such as trash, large roots and rocks and till the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, according to the Clemson University Extension. Add extra topsoil so that there is a 6- to 8-inch layer of topsoil available for the new sod.

Step 4

Rake the dirt of the planting area so that it is rough with the top 1/2 inch of soil loosened.

Step 5

Water the soil so that it is moist to encourage root growth.

Step 6

Lay the first piece of sod against a flat edge, such as a walkway or a straight line marked on the soil. Place the next piece of sod to the side of it so that no soil is showing. Continue laying down sod to make a row. Install the next row so that the lines of the sod are slightly staggered like brickwork.

Step 7

Cut pieces that are too long at the end of a row by using a sharp knife or sod knife. Use the sod knife to cut pieces to fit curves, gardens, sprinkler heads and hard edges. Avoid cutting strips that are less than 9 inches wide or 18 inches long.

Step 8

Roll the sod with a lawn roller to flatten it out and push the edges together. Water small sections as you roll to keep the sod moist.

Step 9

Water a second time so that the soil is moist to a depth of 6 inches after rolling is done. Irrigate every day after at midday to root the grass, which usually takes 10 to 14 days.

Step 10

Mow once the sod is well-rooted.

Step 11

Fertilize the lawn using 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet four weeks after the sod is laid.

Things You'll Need

  • Sod
  • Tiller
  • Sod knife
  • Lawn roller
  • Soil test
  • Herbicide

References

  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Establishing Lawns
  • University of Arkansas Extension: Establishing a Lawn From Sod
  • Clemson University Extension: Lawn Establishment
Keywords: turf grass installation, turfgrass sod, sod installation

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.