Sodding a lawn
Sod can be installed throughout the growing season, anytime good quality sod is available, and the soil has been prepared to help roots become established as quickly as possible. Roots should be well established prior to freezing in the fall.
Prior to installing sod, remove debris and make any permanent grade changes, directing drainage away from building foundations. If soil is compacted, cultivate soil to a depth of 12 inches. Avoid tilling when soil is too wet and may form clods. Over-cultivation can be just as detrimental as soil that has been under-prepared.
A basic soil test will help determine fertility requirements. Most soils benefit from the addition of three to five cubic yards of decomposed manure, compost or sphagnum peat moss per 1,000 square-foot area. Spread the organic matter over the soil and till into the top six to eight inches. Remove large stones or clods that surface during tilling, and level until the surface is smooth and firm. At this point, an underground sprinkler system can be installed. You can also replace and settle the soil by watering and adding soil before sod installation.
Moisten soil six to eight inches deep several days before sod arrives. Soil should be slightly moist when sod is transplanted, but not wet enough to severely compact.
Water your newly sodded lawn frequently enough to keep the sod and underlying soil moist, not soggy. Sod should be well rooted into the soil below within two to three weeks. Tug on it gently to determine if it's well rooted. Once established, water less frequently, but increase the quantity of water applied to promote deeper rooting.
For "Soil tests" refer to message number 1606.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!
Updated Thursday, February 06, 2014