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Do It Yourself Sod Installation

Helpful “step-by-step” guide to installing your own sod

Sod and Soil Preparation

Tape Measurer IconSTEP 1 - Measure Your Lawn

Measure the area of your lawn; we recommend writing this down. The length x width determines how many square feet of sod you need.

Delta Bluegrass sod rolls measure 10 square feet each therefore you will need to round up the closest increment. We recommend ordering 5-10% more of your measurement for odd-shape areas.

Lawn Measurement
Area A is 10 ft. x 10 ft.
Area B is 15 ft. x 20 ft.
Area C is a triangle
12 ft. x 20/2
= 100 sq. ft.
= 300 sq. ft.

= 120 sq. ft.
= 520 sq. ft.

Remove Sod IconSTEP 2 - Remove Your Existing Lawn

Prior to installation of new sod, any existing lawn should be chemically killed and removed. Use a sod cutter which will cut under the turf and slice it into strips. Water the area a few days in advance to make the soil easier to work. Soil should be moist but not soggy. After removing the old sod, rake over the soil to remove debris. For best results, water the bare ground for up to a week and re-apply herbicide to kill off any re-growth.

Soil Preparation IconSTEP 3 - Soil Preparation

Rototill soil to a depth of 4-6 inches. Remove stones, roots, debris and large clods. If needed, apply appropriate soil amendments and till thoroughly into the soil. Incorporation of amendments into the native soil is very important to create a homogenous soil that will promote a deep root system and prevent water run-off.

Sprinkler System IconSTEP 4 - Install A Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system is vitally necessary for the successful establishment and long term survival of your lawn. A good landscape irrigation and supply business is an excellent place to start for sprinkler system design information and help. Remember to assign separate irrigation stations for the lawn areas in the full sun and those in deep shade as the amount of water will vary under those conditions. Ornamental flower beds should also be on a separate irrigation station to accommodate their differing water requirements. Using an automatic timer to control on/off times and length of watering is strongly recommended.

Grading and Rolling IconSTEP 5 - Grading & Rolling

Rake out the area to establish a level and smooth surface. This will allow proper contact between the sod and soil. The soil level should be about 1" below sidewalks, patios and driveways and tops of sprinkler heads. Water the area to allow settling of soil. When the area dries out, use a water-filled lawn roller and roll the area in two opposite directions. This will minimize excessive settling that might lower the top of the lawn below the level of driveways or patios. Use a rake to level any low or high spots and fine-grade the area.

Sod Installation Instructions

Apply Fertilizer IconSTEP 1 - Apply Starter Fertilizer

Before laying sod, apply Bolero™ 8-16-16 Sod & Seed STARTER fertilizer to the entire surface to be covered with sod. This ensures all the vital nutrients are available for your new sod to root into the soil. Bolero™ Sod & Seed STARTER provides the nutritional boost that encourages a deeper root system for your grass.

Bolero Fertilizer

Installing Your Sod IconSTEP 2 - Installing Your Sod

Install your new sod immediately! Sod is a perishable product and should be installed within 24 hours of delivery.

Your sod should be laid directly on the fertilized soil. Start from the back of your property line to front along the longest straight-line. Work away from the line so you're not stepping on the fresh sod. Make sure sod edges fit tightly together. Always place sod rolls at the edge of your area and work toward the center. Stagger sod slabs (like laying bricks) to offset seams. Should your area be irregular in shape, run a string between stakes in a straight line through the area and begin laying sod along this line. Make sure each piece of sod has good contact with the soil, because air pockets prevent proper rooting. If laying sod on a steep slope, use wooden pegs or sod staples to temporarily keep the sod in place. Sod should be placed horizontal across sloped areas.

Trim edges with your sod knife to fit around curves and leave clean, trimmed edges around sprinkler heads, driveways, etc. Avoid cutting sod into short or narrow strips because smaller pieces tend to dry out and fail to root properly.

Staggering Sod Slabs Diagram
You do not want your new sod to dry out. Mist sod with a garden hose as small sections are completed.

Roll Your Sod IconSTEP 3 - Roll Your Sod

Once the sod installation is complete, use a sod roller to ensure proper contact between the sod and the soil.

DO NOT WALK on new sod until it has rooted down! (Icon of no walking) Avoid direct contact for at least 2 weeks. Be sure to allow the soil to firm up to give you an opportunity to mow your lawn. A new sod lawn should be mowed approximately two weeks after installation.

Enjoy your new Lawn!

Delta Bluegrass Company uses the most sustainable environmental practices to provide you with the top quality, dark green, lush turfgrass. Learn more in our New Sod Care section.

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