Installing sod?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by guntruck, Mar 4, 2001.

  1. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Hello everyone, Can someone please explain to me how to properly install sod. We bought our house a year ago and the neighbor said that the previous owners had sod installed. Well needless to say it looks terrible. Of course we do nothing to it al our work is on clients properties lol. But say i wanted to install sod on a lwan that was very bare. Do you have to till the whole thing then grade then add compost or anything into the soil beffore laying the sod? Im am curious because i may want to offer this service to our customers if its profibility is up there.

    thanks guys
  2. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    You wanted steps, here is the steps I do:
    Remove existing weeds, lawn and what ever is garbage. If there is a lot of weeds, spray it with a non-seletive herbicide that WILL NOT EFFECT THE SOIL. Keep in mind you will have to wait from 3 to 6 weeks before removing. Some people just till in the eixsting lawn and weeds.Me, I remove it.

    Till the ground and till the ground. Loosen up the soil that is to be the planting area. Fill in any valleys created by turning the tiller.

    Mix in your soil admenment... compost redwood chips ect...

    Rough grade the area to be installed with sod..This is the time to install irrigation if applicable.

    Roll area and do your final grade.

    Lay down a starter fertilizer...

    Lay down sod.

    If you are going to be offering this service, at least in my state and I'm in other states, a Landscape Contractor Liscens is mandetory


    [Edited by gusbuster on 03-04-2001 at 11:54 PM]
  3. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

  4. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    One thing Kirby's link left out (or maybe I just didn't see it):

    Roll out (with a water-filled roller) the tiller-up soil to compact & flatten it. Then rake the high spots with a wide landscape rake. Really get it flat!

    (Then put down fertilizer & sod.)
  5. Kansas Turf Man

    Kansas Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    All of the above are great. You could also check out my web site for my sod farm. I have a button with instructions and if you want you can go to my links page to find a professional sod producer in your ares. Just go to my links page and click on Turfgrass Producers International. I think you will find it very helpful.

    Just remember Green Side Up.:)
  6. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Let me just jump in and ask why do you guys roll your prep work? Rolling only leads to compaction and the only time we roll is with a hand pull roller after the sod is down. Our take rate so far is absolutely perfect but is there something I'm missing. I'm not scolding just looking to gain some info. Usually after we preparate and pulverize its pretty flat and ready.
  7. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    SCL, could be a regional thing. You are correct for midwestern soils. We use a roller only 1/3 filled with water after laying sod, to be sure sod is seated well. If you are going to till soil to loosen it for easy root growth, why re-compact it by rolling?
  8. big mike

    big mike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    i've been laying sod for over 10 yrs in the detroit mi area and when i start a sod job the first thing i do is a rough grade to remove any rocks or big clumps then i'll spread the topsoil then regrade it then lay the sod.I never have to roll anything and i only use fertilizer when i'm doin seeding.Ido all my grading with my atv.
  9. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    A step that I may have left out, we do roll again with a hand roller to help level. It does not compact the soil all that much. We then re-rake to loosen the ground and get any additinal debris such as small rocks or roots. Hope this clarifies some things. Just to add something, everybody has their way of doing things. From region to region things are done differently.
  10. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Rolling out the roto-tilled soil does compact it some, it brings it down closer to the grade that it will be at after it all "settles in".

    I'm surely the newest/least experienced at this, so I'll defer to greater experience on this. But how do y'all get your sod to be at the "right level" if you just lay it on soil that will settle down a half-inch or maybe 2 inches (depending on how fluffed up it got when rototilling).

    My "lawns" are almost all set up next to paved areas such as patios or sidewalks, so the final grade is really important.

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