We may be a little biased, but there aren’t many things more exciting than refreshing the landscape around your home or establishing one at a new property. It’s like the ornate icing on a really good cake. If you’re in the process of planning a landscape that includes new sod, you may be wondering what steps you should take in preparation for sod installation, and we are here to help.
Step 1: Select the Correct Sod
Whether establishing a new landscape or renovating an existing one, the most important step is to select the correct sod for your existing environmental conditions to ensure years of satisfaction for your landscape. The primary consideration should be the amount of sunlight the proposed area receives each day.
In grade school, we all learned the basics of a magical process called photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide to harvest and store energy. While all plants require sunlight, some plants require more than others. Taking a good, practical look at how much sunlight an area gets could mean the difference between elation and frustration. Structures such as homes offer no filtered light, and beautiful tall trees may block enough sunlight to make an area inhospitable for turf. In those instances, embrace the beauty of those trees, and plan your landscape in a way that maximizes the health of the turf areas.
Varieties of bermuda love long, hot days and thrive when receiving 8 hours or more of sunlight. As the amount of sunlight decreases, so does density and overall health of bermuda. Varieties of zoysia are fine in 5-7 hours of light and can tolerate more. The more the better, generally. While we strive to provide everything your turf could want, we can’t manufacture sunlight.
Step 2: Prepare Your Site Properly
Take care to properly prepare the area to improve establishment time, health, and weed control. For the same reasons you wouldn’t build a house on sand, don’t throw sod down on an unprepped site. Here are the four most important courses of action that will make your site well-prepared for new sod:
- Clear existing vegetation. Whether it’s existing turf, weeds, field grasses, or undergrowth, properly eradicating these from your turf plot before planting will save loads of heartache later. This can generally be done with a non-selective weed control product like RoundUp. In the event the yard was previously bermuda and is being converted to something other than bermuda, repeat applications may be necessary to ensure you don’t end up with bermuda in your newly sodded turf.
- Clear any trees, old landscape beds, and landscaping in the planned area. Doing this ahead of time reduces the chances for injury and compaction later when the sod is down. If your renovation includes any grading or landscape features such as retaining walls, this is also the time to complete those tasks.
- Till or at least disturb the soil surface at this point to give roots something softer to tack into.
- Install your irrigation system. Even the most hardy turf varieties perform their best with an irrigation system. Installing one before the turf goes down keeps trenching equipment and displaced soil off of the yard after install.
- Additionally, if you’re renovating a landscape that is currently being treated, cease treatment with the use of pre-emergent weed control products to benefit the establishment of your new turf. These products typically stop root formation, and what your sod needs most when first installed is root establishment to integrate with the landscape. The sooner this happens, the better chances your yard has of succeeding.
Step 3: Partner with a Quality Lawn Care Company Immediately After Install
Partner with us–Nature’s Turf. We have the knowledge, experience, and staff to know which treatments your sod needs and when to apply treatments. While sod cultivation is probably the greatest thing since sliced bread, knowing what to do next is challenging. Partnering with Nature’s Turf or a trusted and proven lawn care company in your area takes the guesswork out of taking the next steps. We can also help answer the hard questions when they arise.
If you have an exciting new landscaping project coming or an existing lawn in need of a strategic partner, team up with Nature’s Turf. For more information about our programs, services, staff, and resources, give us a call at 770-461-4156 or email us at email@example.com. We’d love to discuss the ways we help you prepare and care for sod, destroy weeds, and defend lawns.