Excellent sod + excellent site preparation = excellent results! Rough grade the entire area to eliminate drainage problems by sloping the grade away from building foundations and filling low-lying areas. Not to mention rolls of sod … Time spent on preparation for sod means lower maintenance and lower water requirements in the long run. All rights reserved. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Soil Preparation for Sod. Tilling the soil will help mix in the topsoil … Remember to water your sod as soon as you have an area large enough for your sprinkler to cover. Homemade potting soil is easy to make and better than the bagged stuff. Benjamin Hansen. While you’re tilling, you’ll need to mix in your compost to help create good growing conditions. Here are some tips for making clay soil more manageable and easier to work. The longer your unplanted soil is bare, the quicker weeds will once again stake their claim. Finish with a layer of topsoil and grade the surface smooth with a steel rake. Privacy Policy. Benjamin Hansen is a Landscape Contractor and the Owner of Artscape Gardens, a boutique landscaping company in Los Angeles, California. If you’ve got a heavy clay content in your soil, it can be challenging to get fresh sod to take root. Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds. Slope the soil away from nearby buildings and level any holes or mounds. Make sure to work all of the material into the soil vigorously and try to break down as much of the clay as you can while you’re tilling. Benjamin uses color scheme, dimension, and water conscious spaces to inspire the design and installation of soft scape, hardscape, patios, pathways, irrigation, drainage, fencing, concrete, lighting, and electrical work. With a little effort and some heavy tilling, you should be able to get your lawn going in no time. We'll show you how. Once you’re finished, you can add a layer of topsoil and grade your surface smooth with a steel rake. You’re going to have to till your clay soil aggressively to a depth of about six inches. Send in your soil sample a month before you plan on laying down the sod so you have time to get the results back. The best lawn prep will include all six of these steps. Soil preparation is the critical first step in getting your sod to take root. Conduct a Soil Test. While you’re waiting for the test results, clear off debris on the soil and kill unwanted weeds and grass with an herbicide. Artscape Gardens covers all areas of the C-27 landscape contractor classification. The work you put in prior to putting the sod down sets the stage for your lawn’s health for years to come. This article has been viewed 57,851 times. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. This will kill seeds in the subsoil and topsoil. For more tips on getting soil ready for sod, like how to apply the fertilizer and a topsoil before you lay the sod down, read on! Remove any existing grass. Once you're armed with a good soil test, you'll be able to start adding in materials to help break down the clay component and allow your lawn to take root. Benjamin uses color scheme, dimension, and water conscious spaces to inspire the design and installation of soft scape, hardscape, patios, pathways, irrigation, drainage, fencing, concrete, lighting, and electrical work. % of people told us that this article helped them. Don’t pack down the soil too much or the roots on the sod won’t attach properly. Use a rototiller to till the top 4 inches (10 cm) of the soil. Here’s what you need to know. Benjamin Hansen is a Landscape Contractor and the Owner of Artscape Gardens, a boutique landscaping company in Los Angeles, California. Use a garden rake (also known as a bow rake) to level the soil and break up any large chunks. The top .5 inches (1.3 cm) of soil should be loose enough that when you walk across the soil your feet leave .5 in (1.3 cm) footprints. Instantly renew your lawn by installing sod. If you don’t own a rototiller, look up rototiller rentals near you and rent one for the day. Sod dries out quickly, so don’t wait until you’re finished to start watering! 6 October 2020. Installing sod requires precise cutting and laying the sod down in a way that eliminates air pockets, wrinkles, loose areas, and footprints. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Using the recommendations from your soil test, call your local landscape supply company and order an organic soil mixture to create conditions ideal for new sod. Clear the site of all rocks, stones or other debris that is larger than 2-3 inches in diameter. Fertilizer doesn't work well when it's used in the heat. If old or dead grass exists, it is vital to remove it before rotor tilling … If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. You can minimize this by using a sod cutter instead. Soil Compaction & the Preparation of Soil Before Laying Sod. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Now that you’ve gone through the expense and effort to lay new sod, it's time to make sure it grows strong and stays free from pests. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/59\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/59\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-1.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/1\/1f\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/1\/1f\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-2.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/9\/91\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/9\/91\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-3.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c3\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c3\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-4.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c3\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-5.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-5.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c3\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-5.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-5.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/22\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-6.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-6.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/22\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-6.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-6.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/34\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-7.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-7.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/34\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-7.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-7.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/1\/1a\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-8.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-8.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/1\/1a\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-8.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-8.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/1\/18\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-9.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-9.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/1\/18\/Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-9.jpg\/aid9517611-v4-728px-Prepare-the-Ground-for-Sod-Step-9.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"