How to prepare for sod installation, tips and tricks

Preparing for Sod

1. Rough Grading - Leveling, shaping and filling.
2. Soil Samples - Add nutrients based on the sample results. Roto-till material to a depth of about 6 inches.
3. Soil Amending - Done to help improve the water and nutrient holding capacity.
4. Irrigation Evaluatian - Add, repair or upgrade sprinkler system.
5. Final Grade - Raking or dragging the soil to eliminate unevenness.



Begin by laying the first row of sod against a straight edge (your house or driveway) and work away from this point. Lay each row of sod so the seams are staggered like a brick wall. Using this method, the sod will be knit tightly in place. (Diagram A)

When sodding around odd shapes or curves it is best to continue to lay sod straight and square, then cut and trim the sod to fit the shape. (Diagram B)

sod laying diagram

Place each piece of sod carefully so it is butted up with the last piece. Avoid gaps and overlaps to prevent air exposure to the turf's roots and an uneven sodding job.

Splicing and cutting can be accomplished by using a machete, butcher knife or a sharp shovel. Rolling and/or top dressing should not be necessary if these instructions are followed.

Thatch Build-up - Thatch is a layer of undecomposed living and dead grass blades, stems, rhizomes, leaf sheaths and roots. Turf will be spongy and this sponginess allows mowers to sink down and cut the lawn much lower than intended.

Ground Cover Planting pattern with border example

Ground Cover Planting Pattern

Ground Cover Care Installation Specifications

1. If needed, area to be planted should be treated with an herbicide such as Roundup used according to label instructions.

2. Mulching, if used, should be placed before planting and should be no more than 2 inches thick so as to allow runners to reach the soil to root. Pinestraw is recommended for mulching because its acidifying action is beneficial.

3. Small holes approximately 3" x 3" x 3" should be on checkerboard spacing of 16 to 18 inches. If the area to be planted is erosion prone, spacing of 12 inches on center may be desired to provide quicker coverage

4. Nutrient should be placed in the bottom of the planting hole 10 encourage deep rooting of the plug. This practice allows the elimination of top dressing which may nurture weeds as well as the desirable plants and reduces the total amount of fertilizer required.

5. Nutrient should be a slow release formulation, 9 month or longer, and should include essential minor elements.

1 teaspoon Osmocote 18-6-12 or 13-13-13
7 grams Wombed 14-3-3

6. Plug should be planted so the upper 1/4" to 1/2' of the plug ball is above the top of the soil, particularly if mulch is used.

7. After installation the area should be soaked thoroughly to settle out soil air pockets. Watering thereafter should be no more than twice a week and should be during the morning hours. A slight wilt of the planted plug in late afternoon is considered advantageous because it will encourage a deeper rooting of the plant.

After Plan

WEED CONTROL Herbicides are not recommended since they may adversely affect the growth of the plants. Mulching will help prevent weed growth. Hand weeding will usually control weeds until full coverage is achieved, the ground cover will then be able to block out the weeds.

WATERING For first week alter planting, apply approximately 1/4 inch of water each morning. If soil is waterlogged, decrease the amount After first week, water twice a week approximately 1/4 inch, or as needed to supplement natural rain fall. Late evening watering is not recommended Ivy particularly benefits from being dry at the end of the day.

FERTILIZING A balanced fertilizer such as 6-6-6 or 8-8-8, should be applied in early Spring and late Summer. Apply at a rate of 5 lbs per hundred square feet Wash fertilizer into soil and off the foliage immediately after application.

Other Ground Covers Available

Other ground covers avaialable