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 laying sod.
Here comes the fun part. It is time to roll the sod. You should start by rolling one strip of sod on one far side of your lawn. Then roll another strip of sod on the other far side of your lawn. Continue in this manner until you reach the middle. When rolling the rolls of sod, be sure to roll them next to each other very tightly, but without overlapping. If it is not level anywhere, you should shovel some topsoil under the roll of sod to even it out.
Another very important thing to do when you roll the sod is to make sure that adjacent rolls are not lined up evenly with each other. They should be unevenly lined similar to the way bricks are laid. When you are done rolling the sod, get that roller and roll over the entire lawn to make sure there is good contact between the sod and the topsoil. This will enable the sod's roots to attach to the topsoil.
The most important thing to do after you complete the process of laying sod is to water your new lawn religiously every day. If you will be too busy to water your new lawn every day, or if there are local laws against it, you should definitely look into having an automatic sprinkler system installed.
It is important to lay sod 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. Good luck starting your new lawn!
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