It has got to be the most commonly asked question about starting a new lawn. Anybody who has ever contemplated starting a new lawn has pondered this question. Sod or seeds? Ordering topsoil and seeds is cheaper and offers you more of a variety of grass types. Sod on the other hand, gives you a beautiful and healthy lawn instantly. It is basically the microwave for lawns, but it costs quite a bit more than topsoil and seeds. Which one is right for you? Let's take a look at each. Then you can make an educated choice based upon your needs.
The first thing you need to do, regardless of which method you choose, is prepare your lawn. This means that you need to get rid of any grass and/or weeds that may be there. There are a number of tools you can use for this including flat-bladed shovels and sod-cutters. Regardless of which tool you use, be sure to get the grass and/or weeds from their roots. If you do not get their roots, you are wasting your time.
The next thing you need to do is have your topsoil chemically tested to see which type of grass you will need. There are a few tests that should be run, including figuring out the pH and the sodium adsorption rate, to name a couple. These tests will probably cost about thirty dollars or so, but it is well worth the investment. After all, who wants to go through the trouble of making a new lawn only to wake up one morning to a weed-infested, yellow lawn?
The next step is to till. This includes buying or renting a tiller and breaking up all of the compacted topsoil of your soon-to-be lawn. Then, apply a starter fertilizer and compost to the topsoil. After adding the fertilizer and compost into the mix, it is important to till again. This will work the fertilizer and compost into the topsoil. Be sure that it is level, and if slanted, slanted away from your house so that your house does not flood from water run-off. If necessary, grab a rake and rake the topsoil to level the topsoil completely.
You will then need to buy or rent a roller. This will level the topsoil completely. The main idea here is to ensure that the topsoil is COMPLETELY level. This is where you must decide how to answer that age-old question we were talking about earlier. Below I will go through the steps to starting your new lawn by planting seeds.
PLANTING GRASS SEEDS
This is where you need to track down a seed spreader. If you think it is as simple as loading the seeds in the seed spreader and spreading them over your new lawn, think again. You will actually need to spread the seeds three or four times. After making three or four evenly stacked piles of seeds, load them one at a time and spread them evenly over your lawn. The key is to push the seed spreader in a different direction each time. A good way to do this, is to make four even piles of seeds and then to start in each of the four corners of your lawn. This will ensure that the seeds get evenly dispersed, which will ensure a full lawn.
At this point, you should rake the topsoil lightly to make sure that the seeds are covered in topsoil. The next step is to use the roller again; but this time you need to make sure to take the water out of the drum. This is because you want to roll the lawn lightly. At this point, you are done planting.
Now the only thing you need to do is water your new lawn several times every day. You need to water the lawn with just a light spray, though, because you do not want to flood your new lawn with too much water, or else it may just never be a lawn. The key is to keep the topsoil moist evenly at all times throughout the day, so the weather will also have an impact on your watering schedule. If you do not have time for this, you should install automatic sprinklers.
It is important to plant grass seeds at the right time. The "right time" will vary based upon where you live and what your climate is. It is best to speak to whoever will be supplying you with your supplies about when is the best time to lay sod in your particular area. There are a number of ways to go about finding a local landscaper who can supply you with all the supplies needed to lay sod, but it is nice knowing that you are using a reputable company.
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