the age of instant gratification, turf grass sod provides
the “instant lawn.” Sod is to grass seed what pop tarts are to breakfast. Omaha homeowners who want to have
instant green grass by tomorrow should consider bluegrass or fescue sod instead of grass seed.
On established homes, sod
is an excellent choice for certain problem areas. Small patches around the driveway or patio that have been damaged
over the winter months are easily repaired by sod. Garden patches or flower beds that are being replaced or redesigned
will be immediately transformed into lawn. In any area where washouts and erosion are a problem, sod is a natural choice.
Around the house, in front of gutter downspouts
or on slopes where seed will be washed away, sod is the problem solver. Dog runs, play grounds, tire tracks, gasoline
or fertilizer burns, all are common problems for which sod is the answer.
Guide to Instant Lawn: GREEN SIDE UP!
Grading: Sod should be installed on smooth, even ground. The ground should be bare,
firm and free of rocks. Once the soil is smooth and level, apply gypsum to the bare soil (40 lbs per 1,000
Installing: The rolls should be placed tightly together with the seams staggered.
The outermost edges of the sod should not be exposed, cover them with soil or place them at ground level. Anchor with
sod staples on steep slopes.
Fertilizing: Your new sod must be fertilized at installation. In
March - June apply PREVENT crabgrass pre-emergent with fertilizer. Reapply in 4 weeks. This will suppress
crabgrass and foxtail in the seams and cracks between the rolls. In July - February apply LOVELAND
GOLF COURSE STARTER fertilizer. Re-apply 4 weeks later.
Watering Fresh Sod:The most important step in any successful sod job. Fresh
sod must be watered at once and kept wet for two to three weeks. Homeowners should plan to water sod at least
twice a day for one hour at a setting during the hottest part of the day. Sod should be sloppy wet after
installation and continually when temperatures are above 80° the first two weeks.
How much water is enough? Use UNCLE’S WET BEACH TOWEL TEST. Place a wet beach towel on your driveway and see how
fast it dries out. On hot windy days, the beach towel and the sod can dry out in hours. The beach towel
will not die, the sod will.
Mowing: After installation the grass blades will
be horizontal. With proper watering, in 10 to 14 days, your grass will begin to stand up. Mow grass as often
as needed with a sharp blade and your mower on the highest setting. Water immediately after mowing.
A few more tips:
Sod is guaranteed to die, unless you water for the 1st hour.
In warm spring weather, sod
begins to heat up in the roll as soon as it is cut. The better the sod, the sooner it begins to heat up.
Sod that cannot be installed promptly should be unrolled in the shade and watered until the project is ready to start.