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Is a sod lawn less work?

Yes, a professional sod lawn need no special care because it is a healthy mature lawn when installed, whereas a sprigged or seeded lawn requires years of nurturing to reach maturity. Sod is grown under expert supervision from either top quality seed blends or certified hybrids sprigs. After it's been installed,  just water, mow and fertilize your sod lawn as needed and it will remain a healthy, green carpet of grass, requiring very little maintenance.

Where can I use sod?

Sod can be installed practically anywhere, even where seeding is impossible or too costly. Sod is often used to stop soil erosion and water pollution on slopes where rain would wash away both seed and soil.

Sod is available in a variety of grass blends to suit various needs such as climate, amount of usage, sun and shade conditions

Can sod withstand heavy usage?

Certainly! Sod establishes itself quickly. In a few weeks, it's ready for full use. It creates the perfect surface for lawn games and family outdoor living. With today's various blends of hardy grasses, sod is chosen for parks, golf courses, and athletic fields, as well as residential homes and business parks.

When can I install sod lawn?

Sod has revolutionized the lawn business! Now you can install a sod lawn anytime during the year when the ground can be tilled. There is no need to wait for the "right" season to put on your lawn.

Is sod a good investment?

Yes - it's the only way to go - from bare, soil to lush green lawn in just hours. Yet it's relatively inexpensive to use. In the few hours it takes to install your sod lawn, your property value increases significantly and even more in aesthetic value.

How will sod affect our environment?

With today's ecological concerns, many more people are considering sod for its environmental benefits.

Sod cools and cleans the atmosphere by reflecting the sun's heat and absorbing noises, carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants. It releases valuable oxygen and moisture into the air we breathe. As it grows, sod silently contributes to a healthier environment.

How is sod related to our lifestyle?

Today we expect convenience, efficiency  and quality in our products. Buildings are going up almost overnight and attractive landscaping is installed in hours. Why wait 1 or 2 years for a new lawn to struggle to maturity when you can have a beautiful sod lawn complementing your buildings right now. That high quality sod lawn can be conveniently installed in hours, at a surprisingly low cost.

Can a homeowner install turfgrass sod?

If you can understand "Green Side Up," you can successfully install sod. Because turfgrass sod can be heavy, the help of a few friends is recommended. For more information click to "Turf Installation Guide."

Is seeding cheaper than sodding?

A big bag of grass seed will cost less than a pallet of sod, but that is like comparing the cost of raw wool to a fine sweater. Turfgrass sod is a finished product that will provide nearly instant use, beauty and environmental benefits, whereas seed is an unknown that requires two or more years of on-going time, attention, water, fertilizer and pesticides to reach a maturity equal to sod on its first day.

For more information click to "Self-Scoring Method: How To Establish A Lawn."

What do I look for to determine quality and freshness?

Sod is a living plant that should be installed between 24 to 72 hours after it is first harvested from the farm field. The best indication of freshness is soil that is moist (not hard and dry). The grass blades should be dark green and cool to the touch.

Strength of sod can be tested by holding a piece by its narrow end and raising it overhead, without it tearing or falling apart.

Uniformity of texture, mowing height and overall quality, can best be determined by placing several pieces on the ground and looking for extreme variations or visible weeds.

What are the basic steps to installing sod?

Prepare the soil as if you were seeding. Measure the area to be sodded to calculate the quantity you’ll need to order. Lay the first piece along a straight line such as a driveway or sidewalk. Install all additional pieces so the seams create a brick-like pattern. Apply at least one inch of water on the new sod, beginning within 30 minutes of laying down the first piece. KKeep the base soil moist with daily (or more frequent) watering for the next two weeks.

Are there any "tricks of the trade" to make the installation better?

Sodding is simple, but it can be made easier by:

  1. Leveling the soil approximately one-inch below any hard surfaces such as patios, sidewalks and driveways so that when the sod is installed it won’t be higher or lower than the hard surface.
  2. Asking the delivery driver to place the pallets of sod across the yard, approximating how much each pallet will cover…this will reduce the time and distance you’ll might have to otherwise carry each piece.
  3. If there’s any slope, begin sodding at the bottom and work your way up the slope to keep the seam and joints tightly together. If the slope is quite steep, run the pieces across the direction of the slope.
  4. To make sure you are applying enough water, lift a corner of any piece of sod and insert a screwdriver or other sharp probe into the underlying soil. If it’s hard to push in or the soil’s not moist, keep watering.

For more information click to "Turf Installation Guide."


FAQs About Turfgrass Maintenance

What can I do to maintain a beautiful lawn?

Quality grass simply needs water, air, sunlight and nutrients. In most areas, grass needs approximately one-inch of water a week. Infrequent and deep watering encourages deep roots and a healthy lawn.

Mow frequently enough (with a sharp blade) so you never cut-off more than one-third of the grass blades in a single mowing. This will also allow you to leave the clippings on the lawn so they can naturally degrade and return nutrients to the lawn.

Prune trees so they allow as much light as possible onto the lawn.

Fertilize at least annually, or according to the specific needs of your lawn.

Aerate every other year to reduce compaction and increase the exchange of water and air at the root level.

How can I patch thin or dead areas?

Turfgrass sod can provide an instant patch by cutting out the old grass and trimming in a sod patch. It’s easy, simple and immediate.

Seeding can be used when the area is small by raking out the old grass, loosening the soil and sprinkling seed. Keep the seed very moist with waterings two or three times a day until it matures.


Turfgrass "Factoids"

Above Ground…

Grass plants are 70 to 80% water

Grass clippings are 90% water

Grass clippings contain 4% nitrogen, 2% potassium and 0.5% phosphorus

A 10,000 square foot lawn will contain:
6 grass plants per square inch
850 plants per square foot
8.5 million plants total

Below Ground…

90% of the weight of grass is in its roots

A single grass plant has 387 miles of root

There are 329,000 miles of root per square foot

3 billion miles of roots in a 10,000 square foot lawn

Turfgrass sod is a superior form of erosion control, with tests documenting:

A dense lawn is 6 times more effective than a wheat field and 4 times better than a hayfield at absorbing rainfall.

Sediment losses from sodded areas will be 8 to 15 times less than for tested man-made erosion control materials and 10 times less than for a straw covered area.

Runoff from a sodded area will take 28 to 46 times longer than for five popular erosion control materials.

* A 50 by 50 foot lawn (2,500 square feet) releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride and perosyacetyle nitrate.