Through the years we have had a number of customers ask for assistance in calculating how much sod they need for their project and what they need to do in order to get the best results possible. The following will assist you in your calculations and guide you through preparation, installation and ongoing maintenance of your lawn.
How to Measure Your Sod Area
When deciding how much sod that you will need, measure the area where you plan to lay your sod. You may find it helpful to sketch the lawn area and write down the actual measurements on your sketch. You will want to ensure that all the areas are accounted for. For calculating square footage, use the formulas below. And it is always wise to add up to 5% to compensate for measuring and estimation errors.
The Basics of Sod Installation
You should have the ground completely prepared before you order your sod.
1. Remove old lawn if necessary – we recommend removing the old lawn along with 2-3 inches of existing soil
2. Remove any rocks, weeds or other debris – We bring our own blend of peat and compost to add organic matter to your soil structure.
3. Rototill to a depth of 4 to 6 inches - This should be done when the soil is dry in order to avoid compaction.
4. Rake the surface to a smooth, even surface and roll lightly in order to show up any depressions - The recommended final grade should be 1 inch below driveways, walkways, sidewalks and patios.
Sod should be laid as soon as possible after it is delivered. Lay the first row of sod along the longest straight boundary. It may be necessary to use a string line in irregular areas. Butt sod edges tightly together, but do not overlap. On the following rows, stagger the seams in a manner similar to laying bricks. Trim sod using a sharp knife for a clean fit on corners, around trees and sprinkler heads.
After installing 150 to 200 square feet of sod, water lightly to prevent wilting and drying.
Important: Do not install entire lawn before watering if you are laying sod over a large area. This is especially critical during hot/dry weather. One litre of water in the first hour does more than six litres three hours later. For smaller jobs, all sod can be laid, rolled and then watered.
It is vital to water your new lawn thoroughly. To insure that your new sod lawn does not dry out and die, it should be kept constantly moist during the 1st week to 10 days after installation. Once the lawn is established, water in a normal manner. For best results, always water during the morning hours. If an area of your lawn appears to wilt or dry out, water immediately and more frequently.
Rolling the Lawn
When all the sod is installed, roll the entire area to insure uniform contact of sod with soil. To avoid roller marks, make sure that the roller is not too heavy. After rolling the lawn, for best results stay off the lawn for the first 10 days. Your first mowing should occur after about 1 ½ weeks and your new lawn should be fertilized approximately 6 weeks after the sod is laid.
Ongoing Lawn Care
Under normal conditions and during cooler months, a twice weekly watering is sufficient. During warm weather conditions, watering should occur three or more times per week. Remember to water thoroughly each time and allow the lawn to moderately dry out between watering intervals. For best results, always water during the morning hours. If areas of your lawn appears to wilt or dry out water immediately and more frequently. To maintain a healthy lawn, it is also important to fertilize on a regular basis, ideally every 6 weeks.