Spring is the perfect time to spruce up your yard with new sod. Preparation and good maintenance are the keys to a successful and beautiful lawn. Take a few steps to prepare your yard and your new sod, and you will be on your way to a bright green, weed-free lawn.
Steps to prepare for sod installation:
Check the temperature. Just because spring is here, doesn’t mean we won’t get the rare cold snap. Check the extended weather forecast; if the ground stays warm, you are good to go.
Prepare the soil. This step depends on the current condition of your lawn. If you have grass down already, it will need to be cut out and removed. This will give your new sod a better chance of taking hold in the soil. This is also a good time to clear out any rocks or debris in the yard.
Test the soil. You can take a sample amount of your soil to the County Extension Service office in Atlanta for testing. The test results will tell you the pH level of your soil. For new sod, your pH level should be somewhere between 6 and 7.5.
Kill the weeds. Roughly two weeks before you bring in the new sod, treat your whole yard with weed killer. Weeds are nothing but trouble, and they will prevent your new sod from fully accessing the soil.
Till and fertilize. Once the weeds are gone, till your soil about six inches. Next, add in fertilizer to the soil. After tilling and fertilizing, make sure the surface is level and fill in with soil where necessary.
Pre-soak your yard. The night before your sod installation, water the soil. Moist soil gives the sod a better chance of putting down roots. Remember that after the sod is in place, water in the mornings before it gets too hot.
Consider your schedule. Ideally, your new sod delivery should be early on the day of installation, to prevent it from sitting out in the sun. Sod should be installed no more than 24-hours after it was cut.
How to care for your new sod
Laying new sod isn’t a set it and forget it process. For the first few weeks after installation, you will want to give your new sod some extra attention.
Once the installation is complete, give your new sod about an inch of water. You then need to water every day until the sod has rooted in the soil, to keep the soil moist. Once rooting has occurred, you can adjust your watering to once a week (depending on the amount of rain). You can expect rooting to occur two to three weeks after installation.
Don’t mow your new sod until it has grown at least five inches, which should take several weeks. Remember not to cut it too short when you first mow it, or you increase your risk of having a yard full of dead sod. You can also wait about three months after installation to fertilize the new sod.
Follow these steps, and you will have a beautiful Atlanta lawn in no time!