Planting Sod

By   October 8, 2015
planting sod starts at the turf farm where sod is harvested and rolled

Rolled turf at a sod farm

Planting sod is fairly easy to do and you can have a finished lawn in a short time.  On the flip side, it’s much more expensive than seeding and still needs extra care and watering until it gets established.o

The extra cost is because a sod farm or greenhouse does the time-consuming work for you.  They plant the seed and grow it until the roots are established, then roll it up into strips for you to plant.   You can cut and shape the sod to whatever shape you need and get instant coverage, even  on slopes that might be prone to erosion.

Sod can be planted in almost any season, but best results will come from spring or fall plantings when it’s growing vigorously at the farm and can establish itself in your lawn with a minimum of stress. Sod is real delicate when it’s harvested and has only a thin layer of roots.  That makes it extra important to find a good source and get it planted right away.

Delayed planting is sod’s biggest enemy.  There’s a lot of injury from harvesting, and decomposition starts right away.  This can produce a lot of heat, and heat kills.  Lack of water can also harm your new sod, store it in the shade and keep it moist (not wet) until it’s planted.  Don’t cover it with plastic tarps as they can cause heat buildup.

Prepare the soil the same as if you were going to seed it.  In order to survive, your sod will need to expand its thin layer of roots into the underlying soil.  If it’s hard as a rock, or covered with moss,  new roots won’t be able to grow and your sod will soon die. Once your sod is spread out, roll it well to ensure that the roots make full contact with the soil, and water it well.  Remember, even though it looks like an established lawn, it will be several months after planting sod before it can grow enough roots to be completely hardy.  Keep it well watered.