Installing roll turf is an great way to get a jumpstart on your front or back yard. Rolled sod is relatively easy to install and maintain and should be completed early in the morning, before the heat of the day sets in and the sod dries out.
Sod should be installed within 8 hours of being cut. Have it delivered early in the morning, long before it has a chance to dry out or be exposed to the sun. When accepting delivery, have the sod placed in a shaded area. If necessary, mist or spray the sod lightly to keep it moist. If there is any delay in installation or as you progress during the installation, periodically mist the sod to keep it moist and damp.
Step 1 – Preparing the Soil
Use a rake to remove any debris or plant materials that are located where you intend to install the sod. Level out the surface and make sure that the soil is ¾-inch below the edges of sidewalks, curbs or driveways.
Use a balanced fertilizer on the soil to prepare it to receive the sod. This will help the grass roots become established quickly. Work the fertilizer well into the soil with the rake.
If the weather is hot and/or dry, lightly spray the soil to moisten it. Do not overwater so that it becomes muddy or soggy.
Step 2 – Laying the Sod
Starting with a straight line against a sidewalk, curb or driveway, lay the first line of sod. This should be the longest straight line available.
If a straight line along a curb or sidewalk is not available, then you must lay a snap line in place. Choose a starting place for the line and place a small wooden stake there. Then take a long piece of string and pull it in a straight line to the desired length and mark with another stake. If you need to use this method, lay several lines of rolled sod and then check them for straightness before proceeding.
As you place each line of rolled sod, push the edges together so that the butt up closely. Do not allow the edges to overlap as this will prevent the roots from becoming established. There should be no gaps between the lines of sod.
Step 3 – Aftercare
Once you have all of the sod laid in place, avoid walking on it for the next 2 to 3 weeks. Within 30 minutes of finishing, water the grass thoroughly and deeply. Allow for approximately 1 inch of water to soak into the lawn without it getting soggy or muddy.
For the next 2 to 3 weeks, water the grass every day so that the roots are soaked, but do not allow it to become muddy.
After 3 weeks, you can cut the grass for the first time, but be careful not to cut it shorter than 3 inches. If necessary, raise the blade on the lawnmower. This will prevent the lawn from developing bald spots or the roots from becoming sunburned.
Rolled sod is a great way to start a lawn without the taking the time for seeding and waiting for the grass to grow. When the sod has become established after 4 to 6 weeks, fertilize it with a balanced feed of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash for maximum health and a thriving green lawn.