How to Install Sod on Your New Jersey Lawn

How to Install Sod on Your New Jersey Lawn

With summer quickly approaching, you might be staring at your dying lawn and wondering how you can get it ready for summer. For many of us, laying down new sod is a good option especially here in New Jersey where those winter months can destroy your lawn.

The team here at Chris James Landscaping has put together this guide to help you out so you can see how to install sod. We love providing individualized lawncare for our customers.

1. Start with A Level Surface

After you’ve picked out the kind of turf you want then it’s time to make sure you start with a clean, level surface. Contrary to popular opinion, you can actually put sod over an existing lawn without digging it up. If you do choose to go this route, you’ll first want to cut your existing grass on the lowest setting. Next, fill in any holes and then cover the entire area with top soil, ensuring that it’s spread evenly over the surface.

If you choose to remove your existing lawn, then you can either kill the lawn with chemicals, use a rototiller, or use a shovel. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure the end result is a level surface.

2. Prepare the Edges

When you’re prepping the area for your new sod, make sure you don’t forget the edges. You’ll want to make sure the edges around patios, gardens, and driveways are prepared. You’ll want them to be dug down deep enough that it’ll be one level surface with the sod. Generally, you want the surface to be about one inch below the edge you’re going to be installing your sod around.

3. Fertilize the Soil

Now is a good time to put some fertilizer down. It’ll get to the roots of your new sod quicker and you’ll lose less of it due to runoff. Fertilizer is essential to the healthy growth of your new sod because they ensure your soil is at the proper pH and allow the sod’s roots to quickly establish themselves.

4. Lay Your Sod Down

Start with the longest edge or choose an edge that can’t be moved such as around a garden bed or patio. Next, lay a strip of sod next to that fixed edge and cut it in using a pair of scissors or a knife. You’ll work your way from that strip. Make sure you don’t overlap your sod edges and also stagger the sod so that the shorter edges of the sod don’t meet.

5. Water Your New Lawn

This is the most important step as your new lawn will need plenty of water so that it doesn’t die. During the first 10 days, you’ll want to water it for one hour every day. If you’re putting down sod in the heat of summer, then water twice a day for one hour each time. The best time for this would be the early hours in the morning and the evening after the sun has gone down. Your sod will need lots of water while it establishes its root system.

How to Take Care of Your New Lawn

There are a few things you can do to ensure your sod remains healthy and vibrant. Here are our pro tips for taking care of your new lawn:

  • Water it every day until it establishes itself
  • Try not to walk on your new lawn for a few weeks as the sod is in a fragile state while establishing a root system
  • We recommend fertilizing in the spring and at the end of summer
  • Don’t cut your new lawn for at least 2 weeks
  • Aerate and dethatch your lawn twice a year

We Can Help You Out!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of doing your own lawn or if you simply don’t have the time, give Chris James Landscaping a call! We can do the work for you here in New Jersey and make sure your lawn is ready for summer.