Frequently Asked Questions
- Sod vs Seed
- Benefits of Sod
- Prior to Ordering Sod
- Maintenance and Care
- Fertilizing an Established Lawn
- Weed Control
- Thatch Control
For Your Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Sod vs. Seed
- Easy to Install
- Withstands Heavy Usage
- Less Work to Maintain
- Good Investment
- Environmentally Friendly
Benefits of Sod
Environmental – Soil Erosion Control, Runoff Reduction, Ground Water Recharge, Soil Restoration, Dust & Air Pollution Control, Carbon Retention and Storage, Oxygen Production, Cooling Effect, Heat Dissipation, Wild Life Habitat.
Health – Stress Relief, Reduced Pest & Allergy Related Problems, Noise Abatement
Economic & Community – Increased Property Values, Fire Barrier, Visual Appeal, Recreation and Social Harmony.
Remember when planning your yard, to deduct the areas you plan to create flowerbeds, garden areas, patios or deck areas. If you haven’t already installed sidewalks don’t forget deduct these areas from your measurements.
With a tape measure, note length and width in feet. Only measure what is to be sodded.
It may be easier to divide your planned areas into small squares to give you a more accurate measurement.
Multiply the length and width together to get a measurement in square feet.
Prior to Ordering Sod
- Remove all debris including rocks
- 4-6 inches of clean black topsoil is required for healthy root development. Hard packed soil must be tilled to allow root penetration.
- Fluffy, loose soil should be rolled prior to sodding to give you a firm working base to avoid depressions.
- Allow a 1 inch grade below sidewalks, driveways, etc. to accommodate root base of sod.
- All weeds and grasses (including quack grass) must be eliminated prior to sodding as they can grow through your new lawn.
- Starter fertilizer (16-20-0) should be applied at a rate of 7 lbs per 1000 sq ft to the ground prior to sod to encourage healthy root growth.
- Lay in brick fashion (stagger the seams). Do NOT overlap. Make sure all of the root base is in contact with ground soil.
- Water – DO NOT LAY WHOLE LAWN BEFORE WATERING! When a large enough area has been sodded, water to prevent drying. The warmer and dryer the weather, the greater the need for this first initial watering.
- Irrigate – moisture depth being 6-8 inches for approximately 2 weeks. Improper irrigating will cause shrinkage, dry edges or brown spots.
- Infrequent and deep watering is preferred to frequent and shallow watering because the roots will only grow as deeply as its most frequently available water supply. Deeply rooted grass will better survive drought and hot weather that rapidly dries out the upper soil layer.
- Roll lawn lightly to eliminate irregularities and to form good contact between sod and soil. A heavy roller with excessive initial watering may cause roller marks and should be avoided.
Maintenance and Care
Prior to mowing make sure your sod has rooted to ground in order to prevent damage caused by high powered lawn mowers. Height should be set at maximum for first cutting and gradually taken down to desired height.
Mowing height is key to keeping your lawn vigorous and lush. Too much removal can lead to problems, while too little can result in poor quality turf.
Mow often, generally removing no more than 1/3 of the grass leaf in a single mowing.
The optimum cutting height is 2″ to 2 1/2″. Repeated scalping of the turf weakens the root system. Change your mowing pattern frequently.
Keep your blades sharp. Dull blades tear the grass blade instead of cutting it. These small rips can cause the grass to lose more moisture, add stress to the plant and make it more vulnerable to disease.
Leave grass clippings. Contrary to popular belief, they do not cause thatch. In fact they act as natural nutrients for your lawn resulting in less fertilizer use.
Here’s a tip your neighbours will notice: For the first cut of the year, lower your mower blades one notch shorter than your normal cutting height. This will cut off the brown (dead) tips. For your next cutting, raise the blades back up. The new growth will hide your brown grass, giving you the appearance of a healthier lawn.
Maximum of one inch of water a week is usually adequate for an established lawn. This water comes from either rain or applied water, providing it is applied evenly and saturates the underlying soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.
Fertilizing an Established Lawn
The three main nutrients required by turf grass are Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium.
- Nitrogen (N) promotes dark green colour, leaf and blade development and density of the turf.
- Phosphorous (P) is important for root development.
- Potassium (K) contributes to the plants vigor and promotes wear and drought tolerance.
A slow release fertilizer offers a reduced chance of burning your lawn. They also result in controlled growth and are better for the environment as there is no leaching.
Your lawn should be fertilized about three times per year to supplement available plant nutrition and promote healthy growth.
May to August: use a higher nitrogen fertilizer such as 21-12-12 at a rate of 6 lbs. per 1000 square ft. Repeat every 2 months as necessary.
September to October: use a fertilizer higher in phosphorus and potassium such as 18-18-18 at a rate of 6 lbs per 1000 square ft. This will promote root growth, disease resistance and winter hardiness.
A thick vigorous lawn which results from top quality turf, good watering and a fertilizer program is the best prevention against weed invasion. A dense stand of turf can compete successfully with weed seedlings for light and nutrition.
Be sure to properly identify weeds prior to attempting to control.
It is environmentally preferred to control weeds by hand pulling, raking or mowing to prevent seed formation. Please be aware of rules and regulations governing the use of chemical herbicides.
Thatch is a layer of partially decomposed organic matter that builds up in between the lawn and soil surface and is a common problem in mature lawns.
To minimize thatch development:
- Frequent mowing, avoiding over-watering and over-fertilizing.
- Mechanical removal with a dethatching machine should be done gradually.
- Machines can be rented or you can hire a professional lawn care company.
This is the mechanical removal of soil cores.
Some indications that you need to aerate are:
- Ground is hard and compacted
- Water does not penetrate when you irrigate.
Aeration should be done in the fall, (September), or in the spring (May) when the turf is actively growing.
For Your Information
When it comes to long-haul endurance and survivability, Kentucky bluegrass is unmatched. See the article below:
Did you know 230 square metes of lawn can produce enough oxygen for a family of four and reduce carbon dioxide.