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Kathleen Weaver Zech - Dean's Team Director of Buyers Agency ServicesWe haven't yet talked about putting in sod. Whether you're doing the entire lawn or a small patch, installation is pretty simple. Make sure you have a good base, tilled soil augmented with a mixture of 2 parts top soil to one each sand and compost. With the heavy clay soil in the Chicago area, it can never hurt to add these 3 components.

The most important time of sod success is after it's laid. Proper watering is essential!!!  In the first couple days, soak it thoroughly. Make sure it is a long soak both days because it is imperative that the soil under the sod gets wet.

When the ground is wet it's good to roll the sod with a sod roller. These are available at home and garden centers.  This will force the sod roots to adhere to the soil underneath. If you don't have access to a roller, walk on 1 x 12in board. It's most important to do this on the seams! This is the spot that gives us the most trouble. It's the first place to dry out and to have bad root adherence.  

During the next four days water every other day. By now the roots should be reaching into the yard soil. Now is also the time for the first mowing, even if it doesn't look like it needs it. Some spots will need a cut, besides it looks better all one length. Grass should never be cut shorter than 3 inches!! If it's very hot or you can't water as soon as you need, mow to 4 inches.  After 2 mowings fertilize with a product that promotes root growth.

With a little work, putting in sod can be successful.  Good Gardening!!!


Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 8:00 AM by Dean's Team


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