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Transform Your Garden: How to Lay Sod Over Existing Lawn

Updated

6/11/2024

Table of Contents

Ready To Start Your Project?

Absolute Home Services is here to help! Whether you're in need of expert landscaping, handyman services, deck and fence work, or painting, our team has the skills and experience to get the job done right. Don't wait any longer to start creating the home you've always wanted.

Does your lawn need a makeover? If you crave a lush, green carpet of grass without the hassle of starting from scratch, laying fresh sod over your existing lawn could be the answer. This method offers instant results and a whole host of other advantages.

As Canadians, we know the challenges of maintaining a perfect lawn. Our climate and soil types can make it tough. Whether you're dealing with patchy grass or weeds, or just want a vibrant upgrade, Absolute Home Services as a premier landscaping services provider can help you achieve your dream lawn through expert sod installation.

Why Choose Sod Over Seeding?

Here's why laying sod might be the perfect solution for your landscaping needs:

  • Instant gratification: Say goodbye to waiting and hello to a beautiful lawn you can enjoy immediately.
  • Erosion control: Sod provides excellent protection against soil erosion, especially on slopes or areas with drainage issues.
  • Weed warrior: A dense layer of sod naturally suppresses weeds, giving you a head start on a weed-free landscape.
  • Spoiled for choice: Choose the perfect grass variety for your climate, sun exposure, and desired maintenance level.

Want to see how sod can enhance your outdoor space? Check out Absolute Home Services' recent sodding project and witness the stunning results!

Planning Your Sod Installation: 4 Key Steps to Success

Laying sod transforms your lawn, but careful planning ensures the best results. Let's dive into the crucial steps to take before the transformation begins.

1. Assess Your Existing Lawn

Understanding your current lawn is key.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What's my grass type? Are you dealing with cool-season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, fescue) or warm-season varieties (Bermuda, Zoysia)? This helps you choose compatible sod.
  • How's my soil health? Test your soil's pH and nutrients. This guides you in choosing the right starter fertilizer and amendments for a healthy foundation.
  • Drainage check: Does water pool in areas of your lawn? Drainage issues can harm your new sod, so it's best to address them now.

2. Choosing the Right Sod

The perfect sod makes all the difference.

Consider these factors:

  • Your source matters: Find reputable local sod farms for fresh, high-quality grass adapted to your area.
  • Picking the perfect grass: Talk to your sod farm about climate, sun exposure, and your maintenance preferences to find the ideal type.
  • Quality counts: Before buying, check that your sod is thick, vibrant green, and free from weeds or disease.
Choosing the Right Sod

3. Calculating Square Footage

Ordering the right amount of sod is crucial.

Here's how to nail it:

  • Measure up: Carefully measure the area you'll be sodding to get your square footage. This prevents shortages or wasteful over-ordering.
  • A little extra: Always order slightly more than you need to handle curves and cuts.

4. Preparing the Existing Lawn

Get your old lawn ready for the upgrade with these steps:

  • Short and sweet: Mow your existing lawn as short as possible.
  • Dethatching for success: If thatch (the dead grass layer) is thick, remove it. This lets your new sod roots reach the soil.
  • Nourishing the soil: Use your soil test results to add amendments and create a welcoming bed for your new sod.

Laying Sod: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Transforming your yard with a lush carpet of green grass doesn't have to be a years-long project. By choosing to lay sod (also known as instant lawn or turf rolls), you can achieve a beautiful lawn in just a day. Here's how to do it right, bringing new life to your outdoor space.

Step 1: Gather Your Gear

Before tackling this satisfying project, make sure you have the right tools for the job:

  • Sod cutter (optional): This machine is ideal for larger areas, quickly removing existing turf and preparing the ground for your new sod rolls.
  • Sharp knife/shovel: These essential tools allow you to cut sod strips neatly for a perfect fit around curves, flower beds, and other landscaping elements.
  • Rakes (bow & garden): A bow rake loosens soil and clears debris, while a garden rake helps you create a level surface.
  • Lawn roller: This ensures good contact between the sod and the soil, which is crucial for healthy root development.
  • Sod staples (optional): If you're working on a slope, these staples help secure the sod in place, preventing slippage.
  • Wheelbarrow: This will make transporting those heavy sod rolls much easier.
  • Sprinkler: Consistent watering is vital for your new lawn's success.

Step 2: Remove Existing Grass (If Needed)

If you've got old grass, you'll need to get rid of it to make way for your fresh sod.

Here are your options:

  • Sod cutter power: For larger areas, renting a sod cutter offers efficiency and saves you time and effort.
  • The DIY way: If you prefer a manual approach or have a smaller area, a sharp shovel effectively removes old grass, giving you a good workout at the same time.

Step 3: Prepare the Soil

Healthy soil is the key to a thriving lawn.

Take these steps to ensure your new sod has the perfect foundation:

  • Rake and clear: Use your bow rake to loosen the top layer of soil and remove any stones or debris that could hinder root growth.
  • Level playing field: Create an even surface by filling in low spots and smoothing out any high areas with your garden rake. This prevents water from pooling and promotes consistent growth.
  • Boost your soil: Consider taking a soil sample to your local garden center for analysis. They can recommend the appropriate amendments to enhance your soil's health and give your new sod the best possible start. Spread the amendments evenly and rake them into the top layer of soil.

Step 4: Laying the Sod

The moment you've been waiting for!

Here's how to roll out your beautiful new lawn:

  • Choose your starting line: Begin along the longest straight edge of your yard (like a driveway or fence line) to create a neat baseline.
  • Set the first row: Lay those first sod strips snugly against each other and your starting edge. Make sure they're perfectly aligned.
  • Stagger like bricks: For the following rows, offset the seams of your sod pieces like bricks. This creates a stronger, better-looking lawn with a seamless appearance.
  • Custom cuts: Use a sharp knife or shovel to cut pieces that fit neatly around curves, flower beds, and other features. A tidy fit matters!
  • Press for success: Make sure the sod strips are pressed firmly together, preventing weeds from growing while promoting healthy knitting at the grassroots for uniformity.
  • Roll out air pockets: Walk over your sod (gently!) or lightly tamp it down to remove air pockets. This ensures good soil contact for quick rooting.
Step 4: Laying the Sod

Step 5: Watering and Initial Care

Nurture your new lawn with special care for the best results:

  • Water wisely: Give your sod a deep watering right away to help the roots reach into the soil. Keep it moist (but not waterlogged) for the first few weeks, especially in hot weather.
  • Respect the roots: Limit foot traffic on your new sod for a couple of weeks. This lets those roots settle in without damage.
  • First mow: When your grass reaches about 3 inches, carefully mow it with a sharp blade.
  • Feeding time: Ask your sod farm about starter fertilizer and follow their recommendations for a strong, healthy lawn.

Smart Sodding: Key Considerations for a Lush Lawn

Choosing the right sod is the first step toward the beautiful lawn you envision.

Here's what to keep in mind:

  • Climate check: Canada's climate varies across regions. Factor in your typical temperatures and rainfall when researching the best grass types for your area.
  • Cool comfort: In cooler climates, options like Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass thrive. These grasses handle shade better too.
  • Warm welcome: If your summers are scorchers, consider heat-tolerant grasses like Bermuda or Zoysia.
  • Fall Is for planting: In most parts of Canada, early fall is prime sod-laying time. Warm soil encourages roots to grow, while cooler air reduces stress on the new grass.
  • Winter guard: If winters get harsh where you live, protect your new lawn with a light layer of straw or similar covering. This helps prevent damage.

Why Go with a Pro? The Benefits of Professional Sod Installation

While tackling sod installation as a DIY project is possible, opting for professional services from a reputable landscaping company offers several compelling advantages:

  • Expertise: Landscaping professionals understand the best practices for sod installation, ensuring optimal results based on your specific needs and climate.
  • Efficiency: Professionals can complete the job quickly and efficiently, saving you valuable time and effort.
  • Right tools for the job: Access to specialized equipment like sod cutters and lawn rollers leads to a seamless installation process.
  • Worry-free results: Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your sod installation is handled expertly. This allows you to relax and start enjoying your beautiful new lawn sooner.

Absolute Home Services: Your Partner for the Lawn of Your Dreams

At Absolute Home Services, we're passionate about helping Canadian homeowners achieve their perfect lawns. That's why we offer expert sod installation services. Our skilled professionals will guide you through the entire process, from choosing the ideal grass for your needs to ensuring it thrives after installation. We're committed to quality workmanship and take pride in surpassing our clients' expectations.

Let's Transform Your Yard! Contact Absolute Home Services today for a consultation. Together, we'll create the beautiful, healthy lawn you've always envisioned.

Tired of a Patchy Lawn?

Get a FREE estimate for sod installation from Absolute Home Services and say goodbye to those lawn woes!

Ready To Start Your Project?

Absolute Home Services is here to help! Whether you're in need of expert landscaping, handyman services, deck and fence work, or painting, our team has the skills and experience to get the job done right. Don't wait any longer to start creating the home you've always wanted.

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