Divide your lawn up into the following geometric shapes:
- square / rectangle
- right triangle
Take the area of each of the above shapes and then add
them together for total square feet.
- Area of a square or rectangle = Length x Width
- Area of a circle = Diameter of the circle x 3.14
- Area of a right triangle = ½ Base
x Height (use the two sides that meet at the right
How to Begin
Locate a straight line, such as
a curb or driveway, or run a taut string up the middle
of the area to be sodded. Work along the line to establish
the first row.
Installing the Sod
Lay the sod in brickwork fashion,
smoothing the soil in advance of sod laying. Make sure
the joints are butted together snugly without overlapping.
If laying sod on slopes, lay the slabs perpendicular
to the direction of the slope. Use sod staples to secure
the sod on steep slopes if necessary.
Trimming around flower
Use a sharp knife or spade for
shaping the non-rectangular edges and small areas such
as flower bed, hedges, etc.
Roll the installed sod with a roller one-third filled
with water. This will smooth out small bumps and assure
good contact with the soil. Avoid a heavy roller that
will compact the site.
When to water new turfgrass sod
Sod is a live, perishable product
and must be installed and watered immediately upon delivery. The
first watering of newly installed sod is the most important.
The first watering establishes how well the grass will
perform for years to come.
It is essential to begin watering
new sod within a half hour after it is installed. Apply
at least 1 inch of water so that the soil beneath is
very wet. You don’t want standing water, but the
ground should be very soft when you walk on it. If you
make deep footprints, your sod has enough water.
We recommend that you water as early in the morning
as possible when there is less wind and lower temperatures.
This also lets the grass blades air dry during the
day. If the sod requires it, a second watering can
be applied again in the afternoon when the grass blades
still have time to air dry. It is not recommended
to water overnight, in the high heat and humidity periods
of summer, since the grass blades will remain damp,
therefore increasing the chances of disease.
For the next 4 days
Check your lawn at least once per day during the week
after installation to ensure that there is adequate
moisture for the turf to flourish. During hot and/or
windy weather, you may need to check for moisture
more than once per day. Walk on the new lawn to inspect
it. If the soil is soft, and you make deep
footprints, or if water has puddled in areas, it
is too wet. Unlike the first day of watering,
you do not want to make footprints. At this point,
you should stop watering for a day or two. Once you
begin the watering schedule again, water less often,
using less water. However, if you walk across your
lawn to inspect it and find that the soil is very
firm, lift a comer of the grass in several places.
The soil should be damp-- not dripping wet, or dusty
For the rest of the season
During the growing season, most
lawns will do very well receiving one inch of water
a week, either from rainfall or applied water. The
amount may be applied in two settings, approximately
2-3 days apart. The
correct way to water is very simple: thoroughly, but
infrequently. The water depth should be applied evenly
and should saturate the underlying soil to a depth
of 4-6 inches.
Proper watering techniques are a critical aspect of
lawn watering. Equal in importance to timing and how
much to water.
Avoid hand sprinkling because it cannot provide
Look at your lawn to determine its water needs. Grass
in need of water will have a grey-blue green color.
Also, footprints will still appear after a half hour
or more on a lawn in need of water. On a well-watered
lawn, footprints will completely disappear within a
few minutes. Inspecting your lawn frequently will help
you detect water requirements and avoid over or under
If you are unable to water during hot, dry periods,
established lawns will turn brown and go dormant. At
this time, keep heavy traffic off the lawn and keep
your mowing height high (or don’t mow at all).
When cooler temperatures and rainfall return, the grass
will “come back”.
To determine how much water your lawn is receiving,
place a couple flat bottomed pans on your lawn. Check
the pans occasionally to see how much water is actually
getting on the grass, and also to see how much water
is lost due to wind and evaporation.
Mow your new sod 1 week
after installation. When possible, use a walk behind power mower, preferably
of reel type, with the cutting height set at 2-3 inches. Initially, do
not use a riding mower, as it is too heavy and its powered wheels
will tear up the new sod. After the sod has been established, regular mowing
can commence. For best results, never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade
per cutting. Cut to 1 1/2-2 inches in height and maintain sharp mowing blades.
Cutting frequency may have to be increased during the faster growing seasons
of spring and fall. Grass clippings may be left on the lawn to return nutrients
to the root zone.
Avoid heavy traffic should for two weeks following
installation. For athletic fields, it is wise to allow at least a month before
using the new field.
To insure that your turf remains healthy,
feed your lawn 3-4 times during the growing season. A good guideline is to
fertilize with the same or similar fertilizers as noted on the holiday schedule
of Memorial Day (20-3-14), Labor Day (25-3-15) and Halloween (30-3-10). A slow
release or controlled release form of Nitrogen should be used whenever possible,
but especially on the spring and fall applications. A fourth application on
April Fool's Day may be added if a late fall fertilization was not made. Always
follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Apply lawn food on dry grass only and always water
it in after every feeding. In addition to fertilizer,
limestone should be used every other year after the
sod is installed. Test the soil to determine the proper
amount of limestone needed. However, as a general rule,
apply 50 pounds of limestone per 1,000 sq. ft.. This
is best applied in late fall.
There are two types of weeds: broadleaf and crabgrass.
For broadleaf weeds like dandelion, visit a garden
center to discuss the many ways of applying broadleaf
herbicides. Crabgrass herbicides are not needed if
your sod is thick, and you have not had a problem
in the past.