Laying Meyer Zoysia sod in Georgia red clay

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

  1. ezf

    ezf LawnSite Member
    from GA
    Messages: 4

    Meyer grows very well in GA. I know it since I have it in my yard. One mistake I made was tilling, which created uneven lawn when the loose soil settled. If I were you, I will rent a sod cutter to remove the old sod, then fill the low spots with sand/soil, then it is ready to sod (no tilling). It's safer to wait till Spring to round-up the old grass and you can also tell the quality of the new sod when it's green. But zoysia is so tough in GA I just laid it over my live (tilled) bermuda grass 3 years ago and it keeps expanding and chokes out the bermuda and weeds occasionally getting in the patch.
  2. Cloud9Landscapes

    Cloud9Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ca
    Messages: 558

    First off, it is still probably too cold wherever you are to be laying zoysia sod. It's a warm season grass and you can tell the best time to plant when the zoysia lawns around you come out of dormancy.
    But when you do plan to:
    I hope you plan on getting that old lawn growing rapidly and then making two applications of glyphosate. Let it sit a few days and run the sod-cutter and haul away the old lawn before running the tiller. I noticed you didn't mention any sort of amendment, just topsoil and a chemical/organic fertilizer. Bad idea if you want long lasting turf. I would never consider establishing a stand of turf without an organic amendment of some type, as it decays it will release nitrogen and produce mycelium fungus. Sorry, turning the old lawn over on itself does not count as an organic amendment, it is trash that needs to be hauled away. Ideally a mixture of compost, sphagnum and steer manure is tilled in 6" after the old lawn is removed. If you can't afford the compost, steer manure and sphagnum are very inexpensive. I find it helps to till twice; once before tilling in the amendments to then rake out a rough grade, and all the rocks and clods. Sometimes there is topsoil that needs to be added or removed from the property and it is done at this point. The irrigation system is then installed, and is entirely necessary to establish a quality lawn that is long-lasting. The next step is to broadcast the amendments and a quality chemical starter fertilizer evenly and to till them in, only after flagging all your irrigation heads and valve boxes so you don't strike them with the tiller. Rake, rake, rake and rake until the lawn is smooth and has a positive grade away from the house. Make sure the soil is 1/2 below all walkways and driveways so when you lay your sod it doesn't sit too high. Water heavily with the irrigation system and let the area dry out for a few days. Roll the soil with a 1/2 filled roller and rake in any low spots. Lay the sod and then roll it with a 1/2 filled roller. Water it for the first week 3 times a day, the second week 2 times a day, the third week 1 time a day, and gradually reducing from there. I don't know why you plan on waiting so long to mow it for the first time. That sod will have roots after the first week going onto the ground and will need a mowing a week or two after that if you do everything I described here.

    IMO Sod is far from the best way to establish any stand of high-quality turf with satisfactory results due to it's heavy clay backing that commercial sod comes with. Washed sod, stolons or seed is used to establish high quality turf.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  3. Geo2199

    Geo2199 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Organic ammendment. Where can I get that at? Do sod suppliers carry that?
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  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    A surveyers transit and a laser level are the best way to get the slope right. But if that sounds like too much trouble or cost. Practice with a level and string or laser pointer to establish a flat line and put stakes down with inches marked to establish eight inches downward or whatever depth is needed. You don't want a callback or do over this--you dont want them to call you and say, "This is wrong; water is pooling in the southeast corner!"
    If the red clay soil will grow weeds--you can grow grass. I would add lime if the soil turns out to be acid below 6. Get the customer to pay for a professional test and give him the results.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Why would you do this?

    Why would you do this?

    Why would you do this?

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