WATER YOUR NEW SOD
FERTILIZE YOUR SOD
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR YARD
1. Get a soil sample before installation begins. Contact your local County Extension Office or garden center for a soil sample box.
2. Clear the site of all debris and rocks (larger than 2-3 inches in diameter).
3. Rough grade the area to eliminate any drainage problems. This includes sloping the grade away from building foundations, reducing/eliminating slopes, and filling in low-lying areas. This can be done with a tractor mounted blade or hand tools (if smaller area).
4. Add topsoil (total about 4-6 inches after firming). Topsoil recommendations are loamy sand, clay loam, silt loam, sandy clay loam, or other soil suitable for the area.
5. Apply "starter fertilizer" that is high in phosphate. To avoid root injury of newly installed sod, the fertilizer should be raked into the top 3-4 inches.
6. Grade the entire site. Maintain the rough grading contours and slopes with a tractor mounted box blade or heavy - duty rake for smaller areas.
7. Roll the area with a lawn roller one-third full of water to firm and settle surface. Low spots should be filled to match the surrounding grade surface. If time permits, allow the area to settle further with rainfall or applying irrigation.
1) Using more than one inch of sand to final grading of rough or wet areas. New sod has a difficult time surviving on sand because sand has no nutrients for the grass to become established.
2) Installation site having very little quality topsoil therefore plant nutrients are deficient making the need to apply fertilizer at installation necessary for the sod to get off to a good start.
1. Once you have prepped the area, now its time to lay sod. Begin with the longest portion of your yard such as a driveway to sidewalk.
2. Lay each piece side by side in a straight line with no space in between.
3. Start the next row and stagger the pieces in a "brick like" fashion creating tiger seams (very important when installing). Make sure there are no air pockets or bare soil showing.
4. Use a knife/shover to trim off excess and create curves.
5. Use a lawn roller to push sod firmly against soil.
7. Water IMMEDIATELY. Apply at least 1 inch of water, so the soil beneath is very wet. Ideally, the soil is wet 3-4 inches below the turf.
**Try to limit traffic a few weeks after installation to allow establishing.
HOW TO YOUR WATER NEW SOD
1. Begin watering new sod IMMEDIATELY after installation. The first watering establishes how well the grass will perform in the future.
2. Water everyday for the first 10 days.
1. Pull back a corner of turf and push a screwdriver (or other sharp tool) into the soil. It should push easily and have 3-4 inches of moisture. If not, apply more water.
2. Make sure ALL areas of the new law are getting water. Corners, edges, and area near buildings are easily missed by sprinklers and are most vulnerable to drying out faster due to reflected heat.
3. Runnoff may occur on some soils/sloped areas before soil is adequately moist. To conserve water/insure adequate soak in, turn off the water when runoff begins. Wait 30 minutes to an hour then restart. Repeat as needed.
1. Determine if you lawn needs to be waters. Grass in need of water will have a grey-blue color, rather than a blue-green or green color. Also, grass in need of water will show early signs of stress by twisting their blades. Inspecting your lawn frequently will help determine water requirements needed to avoid over or under watering.
2. Water timers can provide consistency and can be programmed once frequency and amount is determined. Most lawns do very well with a maximum total of one inch of water a week coming either from rain or applied water.
3. Soil conditions may dictate the amount and how often watering is needed. The amount of water, properly applied, is all that is required for health of the grass, providing it is applied evenly and saturates the underlying soil to depth of 4 to 6 inches.
1. Water timers setup to water daily rather than twice per week. Daily watering does not promote deep rooting of the sod and increases the chance of a fungus problem.
2. Watering scheduling at installation is vastly different than watering for maintenance of a well established lawn.
HOW TO FERTILIZE YOUR SOD
Fertilizing Home Lawns:
Emerald, Palisades, Meyer, and Zorro:
1. These grasses do better with less rather than more fertilizer. It tends to form a layer of thatch under the green grass if too much fertilizer is used.
2. Spread fertilizer in Spring, when it is at least 50% green. Repeat midsummer.
3. Use any brand of turf fertilizer that contains a slow release nitrogen.
4. September application of a winterizing fertilizer such as 3-9-18 will help the lawn survive the winter without damage.
Tifway Bermuda 419, Tiftuf:
1. Fertilize after it has turn 50% green in Spring. Apply after danger of frost with balanced fertilizer such as 16-4-8.
2. Slow release nitrogen is very beneficial in the growing quality.
3. Fertilize every 4-8 weeks during summer with well balanced fertilizer.
4. A September application of a winterizing fertilizer such as 3-9-18 will help the lawn survive winter without damage.
The lack of good fertility actually promotes weed development over sod development; because weeds exist at lower fertility levels without fertilizer the sod is not able to compete and take over.
HOW TO MOW YOUR YARD
1. A properly moved lawn not only looks great, but it also becomes thicker and is more resistant to disease, weeds, and unwanted pets.
2. Mowing heights vary (refer to chart below). It is important to know what type of sod you have and cut accordingly.
3. Rule of thumb: mow often enough that you cut off no more than a third of the grass at one time. Example, if the mower is set to 2 inches, mow before the grass is 3 inches tall. This will ensure the grass isn't showed by mowing and it minimizes the potential for scalping the grass.
***Reel mowers provide a great quality cut. It is important to keep your mowers blades shape because it produces a cleaner cut and results in less stress to the grass. It also decreases the likelihood of disease. Avoice mowing your low when it is wet. In addition to jamming your mower blades and clogging the discharge chute, it also leaves clumps of grass on your lawn. Grass collecting on blades can result in tearing the glass.
1. Allow grass to get too tall from improper setting of mower height or fear of scalping the yard because the land is not smooth enough to cut at proper height.
2. Infrequent mowing resulting in cutting more than a third of the grass at one time.
HOW TO PREVENT/CONTROL WEEDS
1. Herbicides should not be used until sod is fully established. This takes about 4 months of warm summer weather (April-September). Herbicide application prior to grass being fully established is like to cause damage.
2. Each lawn is unique and has different factors to consider for weed treatment. These can include: soil type, sod variety, and identification of weeds. A professional lawn service will be able to identify these and treat accordingly.
3. If you choose to treat on your own, make sure to identify the weed first. If you are unable to identify, your local garden center, lawn care service, or local extension office can provide you with the information.
4. Once identified, it is important to select the correct herbicide. Check the product label to see what type of grass and weeds that it can be used for treatment. The label will indicate the best way for application.
5. Herbicide must be applied before weed problem develops because they are usually ineffective when applied to weeds that have already emerged.
6. Using a fertilizer that has the herbicide barricade is recommenced for a fully established lawn.
7. Apply mid-October and and first of March.
1. Post emergence herbicides are applied after weeds have emerged from the ground, but are small and actively growing. Apply to the leaf and stem of the problem to prevent germination.
2. Post emergence herbicides should only be applied to established lawns.
3. Non-selective herbicides are herbicides that kill ALL vegetation treated. These are applied to the foliage of the weeds.
4. Non-selective herbicides are herbicides will also kill or injure desirable plants. Roundup is a popular type of non-selective herbicide.
1. Roundup is for weeds only and will kill/damage grass.
2. Improper selection of herbicide for the weed to be controlled.
1. A healthy lawn is the best way to start when controlling infects. A lawn that is properly maintained through mowing, fertilizing, and watering has fewer problems.
2. For preventative maintenance against grub control in all grasses we recommend applying Merit. Dylox can be used for curative measures on grubs. One application in mid-May should be sufficient for the year.
1. If there is an insect problem in your yard, you first need to identify the insect. Your local garden center, professional service, or local extension office can be recommend an insecticide to treat specific insect.
2. Always read the product label and following directions example. Some chemicals may require personal protective clothing and equipment.
1. For all grasses during stressful times of the year, i.e. extremely wet and/or hot periods, a preventative fungicide should be applied the first part of May.
2. Read and follow label directions for fungicide application.
3. Longer-residual products, such as Heritage and Compass are preferred. However,
a number of other products can be used during the establishment period, such as Subdue MAXX, Banner MAXX and ProStar
Fungus problems can be exasperated by one or more of the following:
2) daily watering verses watering twice weekly
3) too much shade, heavy thatch buildup
4) poorly drained lawns
To help prevent or lessen your need for fungicides these are situations that the owner can address to limit the use of unnecessary fungicides.
1)Insect and fungal control is a complex science and because of the complexity Rhyne’s Select Turf recommends hiring a professional lawn care service.