Repairing and Refreshing Your Lawn
Winter has come and gone and left in its wake lawns and landscapes that are in desperate need of a face lift. If Old Man Winter has left your lawn far beyond repair, it may be time to take the backyard down to the bare bones and start over. Although there are many lawn care and landscaping companies that will be able to get the job done, but as always, at a cost. Luckily, starting over in the backyard is a fairly easy task and doing it yourself can help save big bucks!
1. Do Your Research – When looking into laying new sod, costs can vary depending on a number of factors. Generally, sod costs about 40 cents a square foot. Make sure to measure the square footage of the space to be sodded correctly to help determine how much material is needed.
2. Choose the Right Season – The climate region in which you live will help determine when the best time is to lay sod. For areas with cool-season grass, the best season for laying is spring – in areas where warm-season turf is prominent, any season will be sufficient.
3. Test the Soil –To help determine if your soil has the proper pH level, purchase a soil test kit at the local hardware or home improvement store. It will generally take two weeks to receive the results of a soil test and longer to adjust the soil to the right pH if change is needed.
4. Till and Level the Soil – Use a rototiller to loosen soil between 6 and 8 inches deep. Make sure to remove any debris, including rocks. Next, add 2 to 3 inches of organic matter and till again – organic matter helps to improve soil’s health. Finally, rake the loosened soil to a level height.
5. Unroll Sod and Lay in Rows –Begin by unrolling each section of sod, preferably along a straight edge. Continuing working with whole pieces, laying them one at a time, end to end. Avoid walking on the sod and rake out any footprints. Pat pieces into place to eliminate air pockets.
6. Align Sod Edges Tightly – Create tight seams without overlap when laying sod. To do this, push your thumbs together along the seam of two pieces so they fit together snugly. Also, make sure there are no air pockets or bare soil showing between seams.
7. Press Sod – Use a lawn roller to push the sod firmly into the soil beneath. This is important to ensure the roots from the sod connect with the soil and make the pieces secure. It is also important to limit foot traffic on the sod for the first three weeks after placing.
8. Water Daily – Water the area well and continue daily watering for the first week. After the first week, reduce watering to every other day and continue decreasing over time. Limiting water will encourage the sod’s roots to reach into the soil for nourishment.