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Need some help ASAP

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by mainelandscaping, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. mainelandscaping

    mainelandscaping LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 23


    I am a homeowner. I just took out all my old grass with a sod cutter and then tilled the back yard with some topsoil and peat. I tilled between 4-6 inches. The ground is very very soft and mushy when I ran the sprinklers today. I have sod coming in about a week, I do not want to install on soft ground, or can I do it and just stay off of it for a few weeks and will it harden up? I already used a lawn roller on it in three directions. I just do not want to put down sod and then 2 weeks later go to mow it and have my foot going through into the soft soil. Any ideas or solutions would be great.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    Don't run the sprinklers anymore. Don't run them until the sod is down. Let it dry out. You do not need to keep the dirt moist...there is nothing growing in it right now.

    After you put down the sod keep it moist then. But not so wet that the sod slides around. When you're ready to mow (best to tell if you pull up on the sod and it has roots in the ground rather than the "2 week" method. I've never seen a yard ready to mow in 2 weeks, honestly.) Turn the water back slowly for a couple days a little by a little and let it dry out.

    It will be mushy the first mow or two but use a push mower. I'm dead serious about that one!

    Riders will just tear things up.
  3. mainelandscaping

    mainelandscaping LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 23


    Thanks for the quick response. So I should just let the ground go dry, someone in my town told me to run the sprinklers to help the soil compact/settle down. But I will take your advice and just let it dry out. So after I put it down and wait my 2-3 weeks before my first mow and keep running the sprinklers. Should I not water for a couple days before my first mow?

  4. BCL Services

    BCL Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    I'd say more like 4 to 6 weeks before mowing, but sprinkle once sod is laid.
  5. BCarlson

    BCarlson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Yeah, 2 weeks would be too soon to mow. And glad to see it was properly prepped before adding sod. I've seen too many where the lawn area was somewhat leveled then sod layed then mowed a week later then being asked why the lawn is dying. Anyways also when you first mow, mulch it at the maximum height of you're mower then after a month start dropping the height to the desired height of the lawn.
  6. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    Yes I would just let it dry out. It sounds like your rolled it really good with your lawn-roller so that should of done all the compacting it needed.

    Sounds like you've got the watering down pat. You want to always keep the sod moist, but not standing in water. Water lightly several times a day rather then heavy once a day. And yes you want to cut back on the watering a few days before you mow it. don't just cut the water off completely but back it out of it over a few days. It is probably a good idea to not water for 24 hours before you do mow it however. This will keep the grass itself nice a dry.

    The sod will most likely be very tall so if you can bag with your push mower it would probably be wise. And as someone else mentioned, you do want to mow it as high as your push mower will allow the first couple mowings.

    After you mow for the first time just water in the mornings like you would any other lawn!
  7. T Money

    T Money LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    yep no moe sprinklers until the sod is down. You want moisture in the soil but not mud. Let it dry out and then install your sod. After your sod is installed take the roller again and go over the yard in different directions. When your going to mow better raise that deck up until the sod has a chance to take hold in the soil. If not the mower will tear up the sod you just installed.

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