Soil Prep & Installation Guide

The following steps are essential to the establishment of a new lawn:

1. Prepare the site prior to the arrival of the sod.

    1. Remove weeds and debris.

    2. Establish a rough grade and eliminate low spots.

    3. Spread a minimum of 3 cubic yards of soil amendment (found at your local landscape supply company) per 1,000 sq ft at least 4 inches deep.

    4. Rototill into your existing soil 4-6 inches deep.

    5. Level and rake the installation site until it is smooth.

    6. Grade areas along sidewalks and driveways approximately 1 ½ inches below top of concrete or edging.

2. Have on site hoses and sprinklers for the initial manual watering.

    • Make sure sprinkler system is working properly and the heads are adjusted correctly for full coverage
    • Understand the operation of your sprinkler clock for proper watering of the new and established lawn.

3. Order sod to be delivered once site is prepared and the sprinkler system is understood and operating properly.

4. Install the sod immediately after delivery.

    • Lay the border of your area first.  Start with the area furthest away to minimize the amount of traffic on the prepared soil and the newly installed grass.
    • Lay sod in a horizontal brick (staggered) pattern
    • soil prep
    • Once an area of approximately 15 feet by 15 feet has been laid and unrolled water immediately.  The objective is to not let the sod dehydrate.
    • Pull ends and sides of the sod rolls tightly together making sure there are no overlapping and no gaps.
    • Fit the sod around obstacles or in smaller places by simply cutting the dirt side of the sod with sharp utility, linoleum or serrated knives.

5. Water Properly.

    1. Once all the sod is laid, begin watering to build up the sub-soil moisture

    2. During the establishment period, (first 2 weeks) we recommend watering a minimum of 3 times per day, 15-20 minutes per zone, for the first 2 weeks.  The sub-soil moisture should penetrate at least 4 inches.

    3. Week 3 is used as a transition period from daily watering with frequent applications per day to an increased number of days between watering.

      1. During this time the grass should be ready for routine maintenance.

      2. Adjust watering times and sprinkler clock to conform to the water restriction program in your area.

    4. Keep pet and foot traffic on the new lawn to a minimum for 30 days

6. Become aware of dehydration signs.

    Stage 1: grass has a purplish tint.

    Stage 2: blades turn steel gray and footprints are left when walked upon.

    Stage 3: the sod rolls begin to shrink and gaps form between rolls

    Stage 4: grass blades turn straw in color

© Big Valley Sod Farms, Inc. 2003 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED