Yard Preparation

Tue Aug 11 2015 | installation | sod

Welcome to the preparation guide! Preparing your yard for sod is the most labor-intensive step in the process, however it's still very doable for the average homeowner. We're going to break down the process into three parts: removing old sod, irrigation, and soil preparation.

Do you have an old lawn to remove?

If so, is it brown and patchy? Well, good news -- you're halfway through this step already. You want to completely turn off the water to your yard and let it all dry out and die. Uproot any weeds that persist. The more you get rid of before you lay your new lawn down, the less you'll have to deal with later.

If you have a significant amount of plant matter to remove, it might be a good idea to rent a small dumpster from your local waste management company.

Do you have an adequate sprinkler system?

It's crucial that your sprinkler system provides adequate water coverage for your new lawn. If you want your lawn to look its best, you'll need an in-ground sprinkler system. In fact, it's the only way to be eligible for our one year guarantee.

Prepare the soil.

After the old sod is removed and your sprinkler system is set up, you're ready to prepare the soil. Your ultimate goal is to break up the soil several inches deep, so that it's nice and loose and fresh on top. If your soil is too hard-packed, the roots of your new lawn won't be able to penetrate deeply enough to be healthy.

There are two common ways of going about this process. One option is to break up the soil manually. This might be your best course of action if you are only laying sod down in a small area, otherwise you're much better off renting a rototiller. Once your soil is thoroughly tilled, level it out with a rake.

Do you need to add top soil?

If you've had healthy plants in your yard before, you'll likely be OK. Though oftentimes, the soil quality can be poor in urban and suburban environments. If your soil has a high clay content, you'll want to put down some top soil before you lay your sod. Clay particles are very fine and pack together easily, preventing proper drainage and root growth.

You'll also want to consider the pH level of your soil. Fescue prefers a pH range from 5.5 - 6.5, though it will tolerate a range as broad as 4.7 - 8.5. If your soil's pH is out of balance, give us a call to see what would be best for you.