How to prepare and install a new lawn from sod.

Installing sod / turf grass

Ten step to installing a new lawn from sod:

  1. Remove the old lawn / weeds / debris. In order to install new sod you should always have a properly prepared sub base to enjoy many years of a beautiful lawn. Pulling out all the old lawn area, weeds, rocks and debris gives the new sod unimpeded ability to root deep into the soil. Deeper roots in a lawn area will require less watering in the long run. Deeper roots means more nutrient availability to the plant. Deeper roots mean less pest infestations. Lets focus on a nice clean slate to install our new lawn upon and reap the rewards by way of a healthy lawn area for many years to come. To remove the old lawn handy tools include: sod cutter with a wide blade for large areas, pic axes, small front end loaders to remove the cut out old sod.
  2. Grade the lawn area. This is a very important task and will save you from costly drainage repairs in the future. We want a slight slope away from structures or if a slope aways is impossible at least toward a functioning drainage system. We want a generally flat surface without humps and bumps. Large area will be impossible to do by hand, use a bobcat type machine or if one is not available, a horse with grader.
  3. Add new top soil. Finding a proper soil for new lawns is hard to do. You want a well draining, properly balance ph, non compaction, high nutrient value type soil. Most soils today are not acceptable in my mind for a new lawn area. Wood chips and partially composted materials are a no no. Sand content should be high, around 60-70%. I like a little peat and other organics mixed in. Order turf blend soil from us, end of your problem, unless of course you are reading this from outside the Vancouver, British Columbia area. New turf blend soil should be at least 3 inches thick, exceptions are made for locations where the soil quality is good such as an old garden area or recently installed lawn that was neglected, died and needs replacing. Please follow the new lawn maintenance instructions here.
  4. Final grade the lawn area. Rake and roll, rake and roll, rake and roll. Basically that’s it, just do it a few time unless the soil is fairly compact and your grade is acceptable. Use a half full roller and a wide landscape rake. Don’t roll down steep hills where the roller can get away from you… good thing ICBC has gone to no fault insurance eh?
  5. Lightly roll and rake again. Sort of a redundant statement, I just didn’t know how to get to 10 steps in this article.
  6. Add a root starter fertilizer. Use a 10-30-10 or a high middle number (above 20), granular form, 2 pounds per 1000 square feet.
  7. Pull out your sprinkler. WATER YOUR NEW SOD AS YOU INSTALL IT. Please don’t wait until the very end on a warm day, some people are forgetful after a few beers.
  8. Install the sod. Green side up please… Don’t overlap, don’t leave gaps, unroll the ends, roll down hill (not up). Use a small piece of plywood to step on as to not disturb your grading.
  9. Cut the sod into place and patch in bare spots. Don’t waste those ends and scraps, use them to fill in areas. Use a sharp knife like a box cutter.
  10. Roll the laid out sod lightly. Roll your new lawn to firmly press the roots to the surface.

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That’s basically it for installing a new lawn… Got Questions call us at 604-454-4954