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Sod Problems And How To Avoid Them

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Sod is prized for lawn replacement because it is fast -- you have a fully green lawn as soon as the sod is laid, and the lawn is fully usable within a few days to a week. But sod installation doesn't come without challenges. Know some of the common sod problems so you can avoid them when putting in your new lawn.

Poor quality, non-local sod

Make sure that the sod you buy is from a local grower. Sod from afar may not be well suited to growing in your climate, plus it is more likely to dry out during transport. Further, take the time to unroll a few lengths of sod before you accept delivery. The sod should be in good condition, green, and not have any weeds or unwanted grass varieties. If the sod isn't top quality or in good condition, then find a new supplier.

Lawn preparation failure

You can't just lay sod over existing turf and expect it to root. Before sod delivery, take the time to strip the old turf, add new topsoil and compost, and thoroughly aerate and water the soil. Sod can send roots into exposed, loose soil in a matter of days. If you lay it over turf or hardpacked, dry soil, then the sod will either root poorly or rot in place.

Dried out sod

Sod must remain damp until it is well established, especially before installation. It's best to schedule delivery for the installation day so it can be laid immediately. If you must store it, try to install it within 24 to 48 hours. Keep the sod pallet in a shaded location and cover it to retain moisture. You may need to water the sod rolls lightly so they don't dry out if the weather is hot.

Bare joints

Improper jointing of sod lengths can lead to bare joint areas. Minimize this by staggering the joints along each row of sod. Further, make sure to seat the ends of two side-by-side sod lengths so that they don't overlap but are tightly butted together.

Erosion difficulties

Erosion can be an issue on slopes, since sod may simply slide down the slope before it roots into place. Small stakes can solve this issue. If you are worried that the sod will shift, you can use U-shaped garden stakes to "staple" the sod to the ground so it doesn't shift before the grass is able to root.

For more help, contact a sod company in your area.