How to Install Sod in New Jersey

How to Install Sod in New Jersey

Have you been wanting to have a full green lawn, but aren’t sure how to install sod correctly?  This article will help you understand everything you need to know. Sod installation often scares people away from getting a full, healthy lawn, but it does not have to be difficult, and this article will help to make it clear.  

Installing Sod Without Removing Your Current Lawn

When you have decided on the kind of turf you want and have had it delivered, it is now time to install your sod.  It is not always necessary to remove existing grass to install new sod. If you are able to level the ground with organic material, you will be able to install sod along with your current lawn.  

If you are trying to install sod with your current yard, keep in mind that you will need to make sure all grass is adjacent to edges including walkways, driveways, and any other surfaces next to the yard such as concrete.  Be sure the edges are dug down enough to avoid the sod extending beyond them. About one inch below the fixed edge will do.

The first thing to do is cut the existing grass low, level out any dips or holes with topsoil/compost mix.  Make sure the ground is level and that the mix is spread evenly. Most cases do not require the addition of much extra topsoil, but the compost will be helpful to your new sod.

Removing Existing Lawn

Although it is acceptable to lay sod over an existing lawn, some homeowners or landscapers prefer to remove the existing lawn.  There are three ways to do so:

  • Chemicals: A glyphosphate like Round-Up. Spray over the existing lawn. Next, sod over the dead grass.
  • Tilling or Bedscaping: If rocks and roots are not an issue, these are a viable option.  Till or bedscape the yard and mix in some compost and fertilizer as you do so.
  • Shoveling: The most difficult option but viable if you don’t want to use chemicals and can’t use a tiller or bedscape.

Preparations for Installing Sod

Now, that the existing lawn was removed there are two important steps to do before you lay out the sod.

  • The first step is to level out the surface once the existing lawn is removed. There may be some high and low spots on the surface of your lawn after removal, but you can use the sidewalks, or driveway as a good measure. You’ll want to level out the surface of your lawn to about one inch below the surface of your driveway or sidewalk.
  • The second step is to lay out some fertilizer for the sod. Fertilizer is an important chemical for all kinds of plants including grass. Fertilizer gives the plants the right nutrients for growth. There are a variety of different fertilizers, so be sure to ask your neighborhood nursery, home improvement store, or online guide for the best options. When you are ready to lay out your fertilizer, just sprinkle over the surface of the soil like a farmer would their seeds.

Next Steps: How to Install Sod

Once the existing lawn is removed, the ground is leveled, and the fertilizer has been laid out, then you are ready for sod installation.

  • First, start with the longest fixed edge. The longest fixed edge is most likely a driveway or a sidewalk. You want to start with a fixed edge first because it serves as a kind of straight-edge.
  • Next, you want to use scissors or a knife to cut your edge, and you want to lay your first sheet of sod parallel to the next one.
  • Follow a brickwork pattern: a brickwork pattern is a great pattern to follow while laying the sod because it creates no seams.

Water The New Grass

Once the sod has been laid, you’ll need to water it or have a sprinkler installed to do it for you. The roots from the grass need time to get rooted into the soil. The grass needs to be watered to aid this process. Also, try not to walk on the grass for at least a day.  Follow these guidelines and you’re sure to have a successful sod installation.

Call Us for Service

If you find yourself in over your head and need some help to install sod on your lawn, give us a call. We’re available to help with all your landscaping and lawn care needs, including sod installation if we are near you.