How to Re-Sod your Lawn

It’s that time of year again where your lawn has undergone stress, disease another problems that make you consider laying sod to fix your lawn. This is the quickest way to bring life back your home but it’s not only costly but very labor intensive to complete. If you’re a homeowner looking to do it yourself you most certainly can but make sure you set aside several days to complete the work. It takes a lot of time but if you have the willingness to do it, we’ll help give you some tips on how the pros do it. Everything from how to prep your yard for sod to choosing the variety thats right for you and how to care for it after its been laid down. First before you can lay down new sod, you have to remove the old sod. The best way to do this is going to require you going up to home depot to rent some small equipment.

Equipment Options:

You have two main options to choose from to remove your old turf. One of your options is to use a tiller to till up the areas you want to replace. In order to use the tiller method you’re going to have to make several passes with the tiller. Often you’ll have to till the area 2-4 times depending on thick the turf is you’re tilling. Between each tilling you have to rake up and remove the debris that is kicked up and tore out from the tiller. Once the debris is removed you can go and do your next tilling. Remove the debri until you are left with just dirt. Once you reach this point you’ll want to take a metal rake to level out the areas where you’re going to be laying your new grass. This will help keep your sod from feeling bumpy or uneven once it grows in. Your other option is to rent a sod cutter. In some cases a sod cutter may work out better and save you some time on your prep work. When you use a sod cutter, it cuts the old grass by using a sliding blade that cuts the roots of your old turf. Typically when using a sod cutter you shouldn’t have to make more than 2 passes to remove all of the old sod. Keep in mind though that when using a sod cutter that it produces a lot more debris to be hauled off or to be disposed of. The plus side of using a tiller is that the ground is left level after the old turf has been removed. It will still require some raking afterwards but not nearly as much as when you use a tiller. Both pieces of equipment can be rented from Homedepot or your local tool rental place for around $100.00. They’re worth the money because of how much they’ll save your back trying to do it by hand.

How to prep your soil:

After your area has been prepped, you now are almost ready to lay the new sod down. They’re a couple things you can do to prep the soil and help the new turf take. We recommend using  starter fertilizer. Starter fertilizer help the new grass establish new roots deeper and quicker. Establishing roots quickly is one of the biggest factors to make sure your new sod fills. The roots of the grass help absorb water and other nutrients. To prep your soil before you lay your turf down is to water the soil. New sod requires a lot of water so make sure your soil is properly hydrated before the sod goes down is important. When you lay the sod, it will strip all of the water out of the soil because it needs it. We will go over how to water your new sod later on. When choosing what kind of grass you want to lay down, consider what you use your lawn for and the environment around it. If you have a lot of trees or if your lawn is shaded, you’ll want to get a variety of grass that does will in the shade.On the other hand, your lawn is in full sun, you’ll want a variety of sod that will do well in full sun. If your lawn has a lot of foot traffic you’ll want sod that can handle it or create a walking path to keep people of the sod you lay. The most common type of sod use is St.Augustine if you’re in the state of Florida. Zoysia is also a great choice but is more expensive to buy but is cheaper to maintain, can handle foot traffic, is drought tolerant and you don’t have to mow it as much because it’s a slow growing grass variety. So determine how you want to use your yard and the type of sod that will fit it the best. You can also call a local landscape professional to get their opinion of why type of sod to use.

The Sod Laying Process:

After you have chosen the sod and have it delivered to your home you can start the laying process. When you go to lay your turf, you don’t want to have gaps between each piece. You want each piece of sod to bud up directly to the piece next to it and above it. This will help make sure you lawn grows in nice and even. When you’re laying the sod, you want to make sure you lay it in a brick pattern. Offset each row by roughly 12”, this will help your lawn fill in properly. This also prevents seeing lines between your rows. After you lay all the sod down, you can take an edger to make your final cuts. Cut away any excess sod and shape out any flower beds or concrete areas.

How to Water your New Sod:

Make sure to water your grass after its down. Every day after that for your first two weeks you will water it as well. As mentioned before, new sod strips the water out of the soil. You’ll want to water your new grass to apply ¼” to ½” water each watering session. If you have an irrigation system at home, you might only have to water the grass for 15-20 minutes a day. It’ll depend on your irrigation system. Water it for 2 weeks every day applying the right amount of water. After that you can reduce your water to every other day for the next 7 days. After that 7 day period has passed, your sod will be okay to go back on your normal watering schedule.

When to Mow your New Sod:

When mowing your grass for the first time you want to wait 4 weeks before the initial cut. This will allow the sod to establish roots.  Longer foliage will help with photosynthesis to help feed the sod as well. After a 4 week period has passed you can mow it for the first time. Only give it a light trim though, just cutting the top 1/3 of the grass blade. After your initial mowing wait two weeks and cut it shorter than you did for your initial mowing. Once the second cut is performed you may go back to your regular mowing schedule. Use these tips to replace your lawn. You can make sure the professional you hire is doing it right as well. Good luck and thanks for reading!