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Before you start thinking about how to best install lawn sod, you should first worry about whether or not your garden has the necessary requirements to benefit from sod installation.
Type of Sod
How much shade and sunlight does your garden enjoy respectively? Most types of sod require a full day’s dose of sunlight in order to become effective. There are, however, some types of sod that may still survive even in conditions where they are located under partial shades. If, however, your garden is located in a completely shaded area, then make sure that you buy the few sod types that have been prepared for this kind of setup.
Sod and weeds are enemies for life. Before you think of installing sod in your lawn, make sure that you eliminate or control weed growth in your area. Too much weed growth can be harmful to your sod and render it useless and ugly.
Irrigation or Drainage Systems
Naturally, lawns require an effective irrigation or drainage system. If you install sod without taking care of drainage problems first, it is very possible that your sod would experience serious growth problems. Too little water could weaken your grass, with roots having an insufficient water storage system. Too much water, however, can be just as bad for your sod.
In a way, grading your soil and your lawn’s drainage system are interconnected. When you need to grade your lawn’s soil, make sure that you do so far away from
fixed structures in your property such as your home, garage, or even the sidewalks. Look instead for areas where there are gentle or gradual slopes. This will make sure that water resulting from the process will be flown off your property instead of running toward your garden and destroying your lawn sod in the process.
Although purchasing high-quality and expensive topsoil is not a bad thing, it is an unnecessary expenditure. More often than not, the soil that you have already in your lawn is good enough for sod installation. If, however, the sod variant that you purchased has special soil requirements, you can easily perform the necessary changes to improve soil quality and make it sufficient your sod’s needs.
To know whether existing soil in your lawn is good enough, perform a pH test. Do not worry about having to hire a professional to perform this task. You do not need a degree in botany or natural science to make a pH test. Just purchase a pH test kit from your local garden store and follow instructions provided.
pH tests will show the acidity level of your current soil. Most sods require a pH level within the range of 6.0 to 7.0. Your soil is acidic if the pH level is low and vice versa. To increase the soil’s pH level, mix a good amount of limestone with the top half-foot area of your soil. Be sure to do this prior making the final grading.
While you are at it, you might want to check any other nutrient deficiency of your soil and again perform the necessary changes to get the soil quality you are aiming for. Moreover, generally all types of soils would benefit from the addition of compost or any other kind of organic matter. It can improve the quality of sandy soil as well.
If you want to improve the quality of heavy soil or something that is clay or mud-like, then organic matter can also do the trick. Just make sure that you do not combine your compost with any amount of sand as this will only cause your soil to revert back to its original condition or even become harder than ever.
Last Steps for Preparing Site for Lawn Sod Installation
The final grade should only be made when you have solved all possible problems with your lawn, ranging from soil quality to drainage systems and everything in between. For soil grading, always aim for a fine grade. You can do this by raking the soil for a smoother surface or by using a light roller to even out humps and remove those that cannot be smoothed out.