A common question among homeowners is: When is the best time to lay sod? We hear this question all the time, and the answer varies. It depends if you’re laying a cool or warm season grass, and that depends on where you live. Since we’re an Atlanta based company, we’ll focus on Atlanta sod tips. But before you go and order that Bermuda sod, there are a couple things to keep in mind.
When Should I Lay Sod?
For your warm season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, or Centipede, the best time to revamp your lawn is in the late spring to early summer. Be wary of what the DIY blogs will tell you about laying sod all year round– warm season grasses are called warm for a reason. When the weather starts to cool down, these grasses turn brown, and we’re sure you don’t want to spend a weekend installing beautiful green grass just for it to turn brown– or worse, die from lack of nutrients.
How do I Prep my Soil?
Just like artists have to prep their canvas before they paint, you need to prep your soil before you lay sod. The first thing you need to do is rid your lawn of any existing grass. You can kill it with an herbicide and tear it up or you can rent a sod cutter or a tiller. However, since Georgia is known for clay, the sod cutter is your easiest method.
Once the grass is removed, look for weeds. These will be a detriment to your new grass. Grab the herbicide and spray every weed. For the stubborn weeds, you’ll need to spray again and rake it all away.
Your next move is renting a rototiller. Loosen up about 6 inches of the topsoil all around your yard, so the sod to have something to hold onto once it’s installed. Then you’ll need to spread fertilizer on the soil to return nutrients to the ground.
At this point, you’re all set to lay sod.
How do I Lay Sod?
Once the sod arrives, have it delivered to a shady area if possible. If not, roll it out and keep it hydrated. You’ll need to start at the edge of your yard and install it in full strips. Work one section at a time until you’ve reached full coverage. Time is of the essence, so make sure you have enough help to install the new grass within 24 hours of it being delivered.
After it’s laid, take a roller and flatten the sod down, evening out any bumps. Then water the grass. The first watering should last 45 minutes to an hour. Do not flood your lawn. Make sure the watering is even and hydrating to the grass. Too much water will ruin the hard work you put into your yard.
None of these tips are more important than the others. Follow each one carefully to ensure your grass flourishes. Sod can be expensive, and the last thing you want to do is invest in your yard just for the new grass to die quickly or be overtaken by weeds again. If you don’t have the time to lay sod yourself, call us to set up an appointment to receive an estimate.