How to Properly Install New Sod
For optimum growth, turf grass needs just four things…sunlight, air, water, and nutrients. Reduce any of these, or provide too much of some, and your grass will die or decline. However, provide the right proportions and you will have a healthy lawn that increases the value your your property, generates clean air for the enviroment, and serves as a clean and safe surface to play on and enjoy.
Grass obtains three of these four essential factors (air, water and nutrients) from the soil, but many soils are less than ideal for growing grass. Some soils contain too much clay and may be very compacted… great for roads, bad for grass, because air and water aren’t available to the roots and the roots can’t grow. Others may have pH levels that are too high or low. Because of the large variability in soils, we strongly recommend that you perform a soil test before installing a new lawn. Soil tests cost between $10 and $30 and can be done through your local university extension office or private lab. Once the tests are complete, you will recieve both your test results and a recommendation for amendments to improve your soil. Follow the instructions from the soil test, and you will start your new lawn off with an optimal enviroment to thrive.
Supplimental nutrients, also known as fertlizers, are usually needed to help your lawn look its best. The best fertlizers are slow release granular becuase they will slowly feed your lawn over time and not allow any of the fertlizer to leech into the subsurface soil or nearby water sources. Fertlization schedules for each grass
The final ingredent for healthy turfgrass is sunlight. All turf varieties thrive in full sun, but none will live in full shade. If you have a heavily shaded area, take a look at what is currently growing there. If you see nothing but dirt, the chances of any turf grass surviving are very slim. Our most shade tolerant varieties are Palmetto St. Augustine and Geo Zoysia,but we do not recommend using them in situations with less than 4 hours ofdirect sunlight per day. Keep in mind that sunlight changes throughout the year with the seasons, so 4 hours in early spring will not necessairly be 4 hours in the late summer or fall. When planning a new lawn installation, be mindful of the trees in your landscape and the shade they will provide so that you can plan the areas to sod accordingly. There are a number of If shade is a major issue in your area, use our turfgrass selector to see how each of our grasses rank for shade in your area.
Maintaining New Turfgrass
In the menu to the left we have provided general maintenance guidelines for each of our turf grass varieties, but best maintenance practices do change slightly based on your location and soil type. We strongly recommend seeking a professional recommendation from your local extension office or landscapesupply store to ensure that you are properly maintaining your lawn based on the requirements of your area and soil type. Some things to keep in mind are:
- Sandy soils usually require more water to keep the turf healthy becuase sand drains faster than clay or heavier soils.
- As a general rule, the further South you are, the longer your growing season, which means that your lawn may require increased fertilization.
- Grass in partial shade will remain wet longer than grass in full sun and watering should be adjusted accordingly.
- Overwatering can be just as harmful as underwatering because grass that stays moist all of the time is at high risk of fungus and disease.
- If you see your grass turning brown during the growing season you most likely have a fungus, disease, or insect issue. See our guidelines for instructions on how to identify and treat.