As with just about any home or garden project, preparation is the key. If you don’t set the sod up for success, you will have wasted valuable time and money - not to mention your yard will be a mess. If you are thinking about laying sod in Atlanta, take these steps, and your lawn will look great in no time.
Before you lay sod:
Check the temperature. Timing is key when laying fresh sod in Atlanta. Before you order new sod, think about what the average temps will be over the next month or so. If the ground remains warm, you are good to proceed. Ideally a good time to lay sod is when the temperature is cooler, but the ground isn’t too cold or too hot.
Prepare your soil. That could mean a few different options depending on what shape your existing lawn is in. If you already have grass, it will most likely need to be cut out. Cutting out the existing grass means the new sod will have better access to the soil.
Kill all the weeds. At least two weeks before you begin to lay fresh sod in Atlanta, spray the entire area with a quality weed killer. You want your new sod to have complete access to the soil and nutrients within, and weeds only act as a barricade.
Determine what the pH level of your soil is. Take a sample of your soil and either mail it to a lab for testing or simply take it to your county extension service office in Atlanta. Ideally, for new sod, you want a pH level between 6 and 7.5, which is on the acidic side.
Till and fertilize. You’ll want to till your soil about six inches. Then mix in fertilizer to give your sod a boost. Make sure to clean the yard of any trash, rocks, or debris that would get in the way. Make sure the ground is level, so fill in with soil where necessary.
Pre-soak. Water your lawn the night before laying fresh sod in Atlanta. If the soil is moist, the sod has a better chance of rooting. This is in contrast to how you should water your lawn after laying the sod. After the fresh sod is down, you want to stick to watering in the mornings before the hottest part of the day.
Work quickly. After you’ve accurately measured your yard and ordered sod. Plan on laying the fresh sod that has been cut within the past 24 hours, as quickly as you can after placing your order.
After care for fresh sod:
Water smart. As soon as you are done laying fresh sod, make sure to water. You want at least a full inch of water on your new sod. Until the sod has rooted, water every day with the goal of keeping the soil moist until rooting occurs. After rooting, you should water every week depending on rainfall amounts. Rooting typically takes place after around two to three weeks.
Slow mow. Don’t jump the gun and mow your lawn too soon after laying fresh sod. You want your new grass to grow to around five inches before you mow. And don’t cut the new sod too short, or it has a great chance of dying.
Fertilize. Wait until around three months after laying fresh sod to start fertilizing your lawn. Make sure to use the right fertilizer type for your sod.
As long as you take the necessary steps to prepare before laying fresh sod in Atlanta, your lawn will be looking great in no time!