1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Laying Meyer Zoysia sod in Georgia red clay

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Geo2199, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Geo2199

    Geo2199 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Hey everybody. I know the sod laying question has been asked many times. I was going to do my first sod installation job with removing the old lawn and installing with some meyer zoysia sod. I have read all over the internet, searched all over this site and watched multiple videos on youtube about the subject and I want to make sure I got it correctly since I see so many contradictory statements.

    1) I already measured they yard and based on my measurements I need 5 pallets of sod since its just over 2200sq feet

    2) The current yard is full of red clay, i'm going to do a sample test of the yard to get my PH and soil content from 6in deep in the yard. Since its Ga red clay should I add some topsoil to it. If so how much should I add, should it be 2,4, or even 6in deep with topsoil over the red clay?

    3) After getting my soil test that i was going to till up the top layer of soil. Should I till up the old lawn and soil together? and once I till it all up do i remove the old lawn or leave it there? and should I just rent a hand tiller or a motorized tiller to make the job easier?

    4)After I till the yard and remove all the rocks/debris i'm supposed to grade the yard as evenly as possible with 1-2ft per 100ft slope away from the house correct? And what piece of equipment should I use to smooth out and grade the yard?

    5) After that lay some starter fertilizer down correct? and moisten the soil 1 day before but not to much to make it to muddy correct? Also, any brand recommendations for the starter fertilizer?

    6) Lay the sod down in a brick like formation starting at the most straight edge and run it horizontally from the slope of the grade correct?

    7) Use a roller only half filled with water to roll over the sod to help pact it down more onto the soil since a roller filled with water will be to heavy right? Should I just rent a hand roller or a motorized roller?

    8) And after all that water everyday in the morning for 2 weeks and wait until the yard is 4in high (about 6-7weeks) before the customer does the first mow?

    Anything else I missed?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The red clay is probably the reason the "Old Lawn" failed... what is going to be different with the new lawn??? the first thing that needs to happen is that something is done to make the red clay more user friendly... levelling with a heavy machine isn't one of them...
    I would till in a sandy compost to the depth of 8" if possible... then I'd leave a layer of the sandy compost after I raked it level to desired grade,,, by hand,,, with an iron rake...
    Should you really irrigate the red clay twice a day??? I'd check the conditions of the place where its laid for 2 or 3 days just to make sure destroying the buffer zone where the roots are supposed to grow...
    How a given soil handles water is your primary concern, especially with clay... :)
  3. Geo2199

    Geo2199 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    The main problem is that the previous owner of the house had two different types of sod installed. The current owner had fescue seeds installed in bare spots that were caused by a company treating the yard and theirs patches of weeds spread all over the lawn. And to make matters worse their are some uneven spots of land where water collects and grass grows well and other spots the water runs off of that is bare. That is why I have to grade the lawn.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    So hopefully the reworking and new sod takes care of all those issues...

    Since you are the professional in this case I would be sure to consider the soil conditions to ensure short and long term success... Be careful that anything you bring in doesn't cause the sidewalks, driveways or other hardscape areas to be lower thanthe turf... Good Luck... :)
  5. Geo2199

    Geo2199 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    That's why I'm going to take some soil samples with my tester tomorrow. Thanks for your help. I still report back with my readings
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,468

    To answer your questions.

    1. You answered it yourself

    2. A small load of a sandy loam will be fine

    3. the old grass should be killed and if its burmuda it wont die till it actually starts growing again, then a sod cutter should be used to remove the dead turf, thats gonna be a lot of work. You will need a power tiller the bigger the easier the job will be, Id also add some gyptsim and lime befor I tilled.

    4. A 36" og 48" landscape rake should get it fairly level, yes the grade should
    go down from the house.

    5. Before you till add a LITTLE not a lot of slow release fertilizer, Do Not water before you install the sod.

    6. correct

    7. Roll the tilled dirt before you lay the sod.

    8 Water right after the sod is in and keep it like a swamp for at least 10 days, it will likley thake about 3 waterings per day.

    Dont worry so much about the red claw the sand willl break it up and grass like iron.

    Forgot to add, ask the sod farm if a preemergement is ok to put on before the sod.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  7. Geo2199

    Geo2199 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Where can sodI get loam from? Does the supplier usually cause it?

    Is Bermuda the only turf that needs a sod cutter to remove?

    And if I can't get a sod cutter can I just scoop up the old lawn with shovels?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,468

    You should be able to find a nursury to deliver a good sandy loam soil.

    You can scoop the old grass with a shovel but it will take forever.

    The problem you have is that burmuda is dormant and impossible to kill right now, even a tiny peice will grow inbetween the seams of the sod and in a couple of years the yard will be burmuda.
  9. Geo2199

    Geo2199 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    So i should wait until March when the bermuda isn't dormant anymore?
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,468

    I would and spray it a couple of times with glyosaphate, it it gets crunchy and your positive its all dead you could just till it up without removeing it.

    I also dont thing sod farms will cut anything but fescue rightnow, but Im not sure on that one.

Share This Page