Sod is mature lawn grass that has been grown at a sod farm and harvested into square segments for installation. Approximately 2 to 3 inches thick, sod includes grass blades, roots and topsoil. Sod is considerably more expensive than grass seed, but provides an instant mature, green lawn. Proper installation of sod is critical to long-term success of the turf grass.
Too Much or Too Little Sod
Ordering too much sod is an expensive mistake and ordering too little sod will require additional trips to the sod farm. Take careful measurements of the lawn area to be sodded. Irregular lawn areas should be divided into smaller squares or rectangles for most accurate measurement. Consider having the sodding company come to your lawn and calculate the correct amount of sod for you.
Inablity to Transport
Sod is heavy, bulky and challenging to transport in normal household vehicles. A medium-sized car can carry 5 to 10 square yards of sod and a half ton pick-up truck can carry 25 to 50 square yards of sod. A half-acre lawn will require approximately 2,400 square yards of sod, making your home car and truck completely inadequate to the task. The best option is to work with a sod farm that has comprehensive services that include home delivery.
Unprepared soil grades create an uneven, unproductive environment for the sod grass roots to establish and grow. The prepared soil grade should be approximately 4 inches below any adjacent driveways or walkways to insure the sod will be level. Take a soil sample months in advance of sodding to determine the pH and nutrient composition of the topsoil. With this information, select the best fertilizer and lawn lime for your lawn and apply it to the prepared soil grade prior to laying the sod. Again, to eliminate problems, consider comprehensive services provided by the sodding farm that include site preparation.
Laying sod in an unorganized, random pattern is problematic to short and long-term sod health and aesthetic appeal. Lay the sod in a tight "brickwork" pattern, each row of sod offset half a sod length to the row next to it. This method of installation minimizes risk of bare patches after the sod shrinks slightly. Heavily water the freshly-laid sod to promote root growth.