first complete landscape install

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by turbo5560, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    got my first complete landscape install next week and had a couple questions-

    1. The lot now is clay- bringing in topsoil and putting it about 2-3 inches in depth. Then applying starter fertilizer and then putting sod in. Does that sound like the correct technique?
    2. For the landscaping portion, i'll be install the plantings into mostly clay. Will that do ok in that type of soil?

    I'm getting kinda nervous. Want to make sure i do it all right.

  2. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Forget about the starter fert. it does not need it. Water is more important. As for the planting just mix the soil with peat moss.
  3. brownings

    brownings LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I dont think you need the topsoil. Sod here is muck based and has 3 inches of it already. Be sure the clay isnt hard and will allow the roots to descend. check all irrigation and make sure it got good coverage and no broken places. If u see any problems report them before you lay the sod.
    Be sure the ground is wet when you lay it and put the sod down within 24 hours of it getting cut and stacked. Water it in as soon as you lay it (within a half hour) and keep it wet. Have the new owner water it in the mornings and early afternoon for a month till it roots.
  4. treeman06

    treeman06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    never lay sod on clay, i would definitly bring in at least 3 inches of topsoil for the lawn and i also would fertilize. as far as planting goes, make sure that your holes for the plants are at least two times the width of the pot or rootball. Backfill with good topsoil.
  5. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    We lay sod on clay here 24/7. Every sod farm in Texas grows sod in clay. Clay is high in organic matter.
  6. brownings

    brownings LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    you don't need to fertilize until 3 weeks after installation.. YOU RISK BURNING THE ROOTS also don't fertilize with average fertilizer (weed n feed)from home depot get some from a local nursery.

    SOD needs WATER!

    here is a sheet from florida, but many of it's tips apply to you.

    Soil Prep

    Proper soil preparation and turf maintenance procedures must be followed to ensure the survival and desirable aesthetics of sod. In central and north Florida it is generally best to lay sod in spring and summer. Year-round installation is possible in south Florida if fall and winter temperatures remain conducive for turf growth. The following steps are suggested for laying sod:
    Soil test to determine nutrient deficiencies.
    Apply recommended nutrients, especially phosphorous and potassium, plus other soil amendments and incorporate these by tilling 6 to 8 inches deep.
    Allow soil to settle by irrigating Rake or harrow the site to establish a smooth and level final grade. The finish grade should be about one inch below walks and drives.
    Prior to sodding, irrigate the soil to cool the surface and provide initial moisture to roots. If this is not performed, the sod roots will be subjected to initial heat and water stress damage resulting in lower sod survival.
    When laying the sod, the first strip should be laid along a straight edge. For better knitting, stagger each piece of sod, similar to a bricklayer's running pattern , so that none of the joints are in a line. Each piece should be fitted against others as tightly as possible. Fill in gaps with clean soil to reduce weed encroachment.
    Irrigate heavily (¾ to 1 inch) to ensure good root-zone moisture. This is especially necessary when laying a different sod-grown soil type over another (e.g., laying muck-grown sod over sandy soils). Provide good moisture for one month following planting. Gradually decrease the frequency between irrigations to an "as needed" basis.
    Fertilize with nitrogen at 43 lb N per acre (e.g. 275 lb 1648 per acre or 6.3 lb per 1000 sq. ft.) approximately 14 to 21 days following planting. Irrigate immediately after application.
    Mow after the grass reaches the height listed.

    Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

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