Turfgrass is one of the most common ways that land is covered in the United States. After a new property has been built, the new homeowners will likely want to add turfgrass. One method of installing turfgrass is to buy sod, which is an alternative to growing grass seeds from scratch. Sod is a grass that has been professionally grown by farmers so that it can be laid on a property and established quickly.
Different species of grass are often mixed together to produce grass sod that is hardy to stress and that achieves a particular look sought after by consumers. After the turfgrass has been fully grown, the grass and a layer of soil is cut out of the ground. This turfgrass is rolled and stored at a nursery or another business.
Before adding the grass sod, landscapers often want to add organic matter and fertilizer to the soil so that the sod will have plenty of nutrients, according to Plant Care. Also, if any weeds are growing in the area, they should be removed as much as possible so that they do not compete with the turfgrass. Landscapers should be careful when using herbicide, since the herbicide can remain in the soil and kill the turfgrass, according to the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program.
The rolled-up grass sod is unrolled throughout the property. Once the sod has been placed in the location where it is supposed to grow, it must be watered so that it can develop roots that penetrate the soil underneath, helping the grass become well-established.
When using grass seed, the homeowner has to wait until the grass seeds germinate and produce the grass. With grass sod, the lawn immediately has fully grown grass. Therefore, the yard looks finished already. Also, sod can be added at any time of the year, as long as the ground is not frozen, while grass seed needs to be added at a certain time of the year, depending on the grass seed species.
Grass sod tends to be more expensive than grass seed. However, grass seeding sometimes has to be performed several times over, because not all of the seeds germinate, leaving bare patches. The sod does not have any bare patches and is already dense.
Sod sometimes does not take, which means that the grass roots are not able to grow into the soil beneath the sod. This can be prevented by keeping the grass watered thoroughly, so that the grass is able to create enough energy to grow more roots. According to the University of Vermont, the sod can be watered more than plants usually should be watered in the early stages. Also, the grass should not be mowed too much in the beginning, according to the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program.