Sod that is Healthy, Thick, Lush and Green
Landscaping Sod from MVQS is available for direct delivery OR purchase at many of your local retail garden centre stores across Nova Scotia.
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The top 10 ways to ruin a sodded lawn installation. Avoid these landscaping mistakes and you will have a successful lawn project!
#1. Not being ready to receive the sod delivery
To guarantee that you get the freshest sod possible, it’s usually cut-to-order late in the afternoon prior to delivery or very early that same morning. In addition to the turf and soil that you can see, every piece of sod also contains millions of micro-organisms. These “critters” respire, and thereby generate heat and carbon dioxide. But when sod is harvested and stacked on a pallet, the heat cannot escape. Within 24 to 48 hours sod can reach a temperature of over 54° C, which can be fatal to the grass plants. So it is imperative that the sod doesn’t sit, stacked on the pallet, for any length of time. This is why it is important to make sure you arrange the delivery date of your sod be after you have your site ready, so you can immediately begin installation after the pallets are unloaded (delivered).
#2. Not properly preparing the soil
When you lay good sod on poor soil, the sod won’t root, the density of the turf declines, and the grass dries out in the summer. To give sod the porous, moist, and cool conditions that promote the best rooting, till the soil, remove any debris and rocks, and make sure your soil has plenty of organic matter. Use a soil test to determine the amount and type of amendments the soil needs to maximize your results. Keep in mind, the best time to improve the soil of your new lawn is before you plant it!
#3. Under-estimate the amount of sod you’ll need
Not being able to finish the job because you’re a few pieces of sod short is very frustrating! Determining the amount of grass you’ll need requires some careful measurements and calculations. The turf farm can assist you in sketching out a diagram of your lawn and calculating the amount of sod you’ll need. A small amount of excess is probably preferable to any shortage, unless the sod farm or outlet is convenient and you don’t mind stopping everything while someone makes a trip for what’s needed.
#4. Buy poor quality sod
The small amount of money you save buying cheap sod will pale in comparison to your frustrations and added maintenance expenses that come free with the cheap sod. Sod that is infested with weeds, disease or insects brings problems to your yard. So too will old or thatchy sod. Another frustrating problem can be immature sod that falls apart when you are trying to install it; which could mean more patching and piles of unwanted scrap. Select sod that was started from the highest possible quality of seed (sod quality seed) and grown to maturity on good quality soil.
#5. Fail to understand the importance of adding water to cool the soil before install
On a bright, hot, sunny summer day, bare soil can easily reach 54 ° C. Sod that has just had about 80% of its roots cut off can’t absorb water efficiently, and the remaining roots are exposed. This spells disaster, known as “root stinging” or heat stress. The grass may turn an off- color green or brown as it goes dormant, and it won’t produce any significant new root growth. To avoid this possibility if you are laying sod on a hot summer day, thoroughly wet the prepared soil to about three inches deep, 24 to 48 hours prior to sod installation. When you start to install the sod, the soil surface will be dry enough to work on, and the moisture in the soil will migrate up to meet the newly installed sod. What’s more, you won’t have to apply as much water after installation and the sod won’t go dormant.
#6. Do a sloppy installation
Gaps between seams, over- lapped pieces of sod, and a lot of little patches each create their own problems. Gaps won’t get smaller, and they will allow weed seeds to sprout. Over- lapped pieces will never properly root, and they’ll cause bumps in your lawn. Small patches tend to dry out and often die. Take your time in putting down the pieces of sod, and pay attention to details. Stay off the soil as much as possible before you install the sod. Once the sod is rolled out, work on it only when necessary to fit and trim it, then stay off! As soon as possible, soak the newly installed sod so that the soil beneath it is sopping wet.
#7. Fail to properly water the new sod
Because new sod has very short and inefficient roots, frequent and short watering cycles will only result in short-rooted, poorly established grass. In properly prepared soil that is watered deep, sod will quickly take root and push down deeper and deeper roots.
#8. Ignore proper mowing, fertilizing and watering techniques
The first few weeks after installing sod are critical to proper establishment. Each species of grass has its own “care and feeding” requirements. Failing to know when and how to mow, fertilize and water your new lawn can negate all of your hard work.
#9. Fail to give the sod enough time to establish itself before it’s heavily used
Putting down sod on Saturday and playing football on Sunday is something you don’t want to do! While the grass is not that fragile after it’s properly installed, some caution is necessary. Walking across a soggy, new lawn can compress the soil, but most often it leaves a series of depressions in the lawn that may never fully recover. Also, any lateral movement or shearing (running around on the sod by humans or dogs!) should be avoided for the first four to six weeks.
#10. Fail to check up on your sod’s progress
Even a new in-ground irrigation system can be less than perfect, and hose-end sprinklers are even more notorious for their lack of uniform distribution. Dry spots may take several days to appear, and if you aren’t looking for these problems you could have dead grass in a matter of days
“Green side up” is the only instruction most homeowners ever get before they install a sodded lawn. While this is an absolutely appropriate rule, it’s just a bit more complicated. Few people are satisfied with anything less than perfection.
Avoid these 10 problems and you’ll get the lawn of your dreams, one that is environmentally friendly, requires very little in the way of long-term maintenance, and adds value and beauty to your property.
*Prepared by Dr. Hank Wilkinson, a professor of turfgrass science at the University of Illinois”