You’ve probably read through all the step-by-step sod installation guides. You now know the process like the back of your hand. But those guides may have left out key tips that will save you time and headache in the future. Our tips help your sod installation go from obvious DIY to your neighbors asking who you hired. Keep reading to learn the best sod installation tips from Orlando landscaping professionals.

Eliminate Pests or Other Underlying Issues Before Installation

If lawn pests are a problem in your current lawn make sure they are not an issue for your new one. Weeds, lawn pests, and old grass compete with new sod for nutrients and water, which inhibits the sod’s ability to establish strong roots. Before installing new sod make sure to kill off any existing grass, lawn pests, or other underlying issues. 

You can DIY this or hire a professional. If you do it yourself make sure to read the label of the herbicide or insecticide before starting your sod installation. Some products such as RoundUp suggest waiting 7-10 days after your last application to install sod. For an all-natural alternative, use vinegar instead of traditional herbicides to get rid of unwanted weeds.

Prep Your Ground Properly

Proper ground prepping goes beyond just clearing and raking the soil. Preparing for sod means your yard must be a clean slate. Like we talked about before, new sod can’t be laid over existing growth. Follow these tips to make sure your ground is prepared properly.

  • Once the plant or pest life has died, till and rake the ground. You can use a rototiller to save time. This loosens the dirt and uncovers buried rocks.
  • To allow your new grass to grow deep roots, prep your dirt to be at least 6 inches deep.
  • Assure pH and mineral levels are optimal by using a soil test kit. Depending on the pH of your soil you may need to lay lime or lawn fertilizer before your installation.
  • Lay fresh topsoil if needed
  • Make sure your bare lawn is level. The ground should be 1 inch below the level of any sidewalks, patios, or protruding sprinkler heads.

Install a Proper Irrigation System

One of the most important factors of sod installation is watering. Especially in the high heat of Orlando. After you install a section of sod, you’ll water it. For several days after installation, you’ll water it. 

Watering sod after installation helps the roots from the new grass connect with the soil.  Your freshly laid sod should not wait more than 30 minutes to be watered.   Make sure your irrigation system is up and running properly before starting your sod installation. This prevents frustration and damage to your sod if you have to fix something in the middle of your installation.

Lay Sprinklers on Lawn Before Sod Installation

If you do not have an irrigation system, make sure you have sprinklers ready to use before you start your installation. Sod needs to be on a watering schedule immediately after installation. Having your sprinklers in place before you start will not disturb your grass once it’s installed. Before you begin, contact a licensed plumber to connect a pressure reducer and backflow valve on the waterline you will be using.

Check Irrigation After Installation

Sprinkler heads can get buried underground after sod installation. Uncovering a sprinkler head is more than digging it out of the soil. Other issues could occur such as uneven watering or flooding. It may have to be replaced. It is always a good idea to contact a professional for help to make sure everything is running properly.

Irrigation System Installation in Orlando, FL

Keep an Eye Out After Installation

After your sod is installed and your irrigation system has been checked, make sure to keep an eye on both your sod and irrigation system to make sure no problems occur. Check your sod at least once a day for flooding. If your irrigation system floods your lawn, this could cause damage to your new sod. Another reason to make sure a professional looks over your system before or after your sods installation.

What if I Still Need Help?

Sod installation can be a laborious and time-consuming job. If you are unsure about doing the installation yourself or would like a professional to look your installation over contact us! At Active Environmental we take pride in being the Orlando area’s premier sod installation and landscaping company.