Selecting the Right Type of Sod for Your Lawn

Cortada Landscape Design | Landscape Residential Project in Coral Gables

If you’re looking for ways to enhance the look and feel of your lawn, you’ve probably considered sod. The right sod can increase your home’s property value, and you can install it in a short period of time.

Sod is essentially grass that has been pre-planted. It is also called turf grass and is sold in sections made of soil and grass that are held together with roots and other natural materials. Sod is often longer than other grass, which makes it appealing for those who want the lush greenery of their lawns to be more noticeable.

There are a number of benefits to having sod installed in your lawn; including the fact that you’ll have a lawn much faster than if you planted grass seeds. You’ll also be able to mow the lawn sooner when you have sod, and you don’t have to wait for specific times of the year to install it. Sod doesn’t require as much water as seed, so it may be easier for you to care for.

If you think sod may be the best option for you, here are some tips for choosing the right sod for your lawn.

Consider the Climate

There are a few things to think about when you’re trying to choose the right sod for your lawn. One of the factors to consider is the climate. There are two categories that sod falls into according to lawn care experts. If you live in an area with very cold winters, hot summers and regular rain, you’ll need to install Ryegrass or Bluegrass sod.             

If you live in a hot or humid climate, you’ll need to choose from grasses like Bermuda, Carpetgrass or St. Augustine. Keep in mind that these grasses need special care during the winter.  

Think About Your Lifestyle

You should also think about the function of your lawn, as well as its size and positioning. Certain grasses will stand up to foot traffic better but tend to wither in the shade. Some sod varieties thrive in sunshine but shouldn’t be installed in wide areas.

If you entertain outdoors often or have children who play in the yard on a regular basis, this will affect the type of sod you should use. Bermuda grass is ideal in these situations, and Zoysia works well too, since these grasses can bounce back after being trampled on.

Soil Type

No matter what type of grass you choose, you’ll need rich topsoil. If you live in subtropical or dry regions, you may have limited choices for selecting new sod. Bahia is a great option because it can grow in sandy soil or infertile ground. Centipede is also a good choice, since it doesn’t require much care and can hold up in acidic soil.

Determine Lawn Care Time

Sod is in its best condition when it is first laid and only needs to be watered periodically. Once the sod takes root in your lawn, it will need more tending to. Some grass types will grow quickly, while others have slower growth rates. Some sod types will require lots of aeration, while you’ll have to supply more irrigation or fertilization for others.

Inspect the Sod

Sod usually comes in rolls that are anywhere from 2 to 10 feet long and 1 or 2 feet wide. To make sure your sod is in the best condition when it arrives, you’ll need to check for a thick level of roots that won’t tear easily. You’ll also need to see that the grass is a deep shade of green and uniform. This indicates that it will grow evenly and that it has been cared for before arrival. The sod should be set up in one inch or less of damp, rich soil and the rolls should not have any thatch or bare patches.

Remember that new sod is extremely perishable and has to be installed right away to ensure that your lawn is healthy and beautiful. It’s best to lightly water the ground before installing the sod since dry soil can keep the sod from connecting to the ground. The cooler the ground, the better since this will prevent root shock when the sod is laid.

Sod Care Tips

After you’ve chosen the right sod for your lawn, take special care to tend to it during the first two weeks after installation. Water the soil on the first day to make sure that the roots are properly established in the ground and will stay in place. When watering, make sure that the water penetrates the sod and two inches of soil.

On the second day and thereafter, keep both the soil and sod moist during the day. Water the sod between four and six times daily, for about five to six minutes. Watering is required until the roots are incorporated into the ground. The roots should be established in about two weeks.

Think about the sod type you’ve chosen when deciding how much water your lawn needs. If you give the sod too much water, it will take oxygen from the roots, and this can lead to disease if you live in very warm climates. Consider your irrigation system and the type of soil you’ve planted the sod in when watering. If the water stands under the sod for more than a minute or two after irrigation, it’s likely that you’re giving the sod excess water.

If you can, avoid watering sod in the evening, after about 6 pm. This can create a fungus problem in your lawn since the sun is usually going down around this time, and dark, moist environments are ideal for fungal growth. It’s also best to reduce the frequency of your watering just before you mow the sod for the first time. This will help the soil to remain firm, so that you can mow the lawn evenly.