Lawns require regular care to stay looking healthy. Part of this process will at times include replacing sod in at least some areas of your lawn, probably every 6-8 years, depending on the circumstances. However, replacing sod in trouble areas can be less work and provide better results than trying to get a poor area of lawn looking good and being healthy again.
If you have been using the normal lawn care procedures on your lawn (including dethatching, raking, over seeding, aeration, application of fertilizers, regular watering) and your lawn is still not responding, then sod replacement may be the answer. The following steps below should help you through the process.
The first step is to prepare for putting down the new sod. There are two basic ways to remove the sod. One way is to take out the old sod, possibly using a sod cutter, by cutting the old lawn into manageable pieces for easy pick up and disposal. You can use a wheel barrow to put the old sod in, and a shovel (preferably an edging shovel), to cut the roots of the old sod out at about an inch below ground level. After the old sod is removed, use a rake to remove remaining root debris and to smooth the area until it is flat and smooth. Then spread approximately 1/2 inch of topsoil while making sure the new sod will be flush with the older lawn.
Another way to remove the old lawn is by using a herbicide such as Roundup and give the lawn 2 – 3 weeks to die. Then till the wand. Rent a bigger tiller then is used for garden work because it is heavier work. Trim sod from edges and hard to reach places with a shovel. Several passes may be required with the tiller. Tilling the old lawn under is also a good time to check the lawn area for drainage. Regrade the area you are working on to the way you want it. Haul extra soil to spots needing elevation. Rake off remaining root debris and smooth the area until it is flat and smooth (but leave as much plant matter as possible).
The lawn is now ready for the new sod. Flag underground sprinklers, etc. Just unroll to install the sod making sure not to leave any gaps along the edges and that the joints are as tight as possible. Try to stagger where one roll of sod starts and stops to the next roll of sod so the that edges of your sod rolls are staggered and to increase the strength of the new lawn to the ground underneath. Just let the sod roll out around flower beds, etc. After the sod is laid, you can go around and trim the edges the way you desire (along flowerbeds for example) with an edging shovel or, for more detailed work, a utility knife. You can use a water-filled sod roller and run across the lawn to smooth edges and press roots into the soil underneath. Then make sure that all the edges of the sod around the area that you installed are tamped (with a tamper or your hand), so that the bottom of the sod is not directly exposed to the elements (which can risk drying out the sides of the sod area before the roots take hold). If the sod is on a hill you may need to install sod staples (available at your garden center) to keep the sod in place for when you water and for heavier rainfalls.
The new sod requires lots of water to build roots, so water 2 times a day, 30 minutes each time. If you see pools developing stop watering, and ensure that the water is distributing itself evenly over the new sod area (if there is too big a problem, you may have to remove some sod to get the area level, or the grade that you want, before putting the sod back down).
If you have any questions about your lawn sod replacement needs, please call Ram Cleaning Services @ 403-291-1051 and talk to one of our lawn care specialists.
Complete Cleaning Maintenance and Care in Calgary and area since 1967
Tags: replace sod