Is a sod lawn less work?

Yes, a professional sod lawn need no special care because it is a healthy mature lawn when
installed, whereas a sprigged or seeded lawn requires years of nurturing to reach maturity.
Sod is grown under expert supervision from either top quality seed blends or certified
hybrids sprigs. After it's been installed,  just water, mow and fertilize your sod lawn as
needed and it will remain a healthy, green carpet of grass, requiring very little maintenance.

Where can I use sod?

Sod can be installed practically anywhere, even where seeding is impossible or too costly.
Sod is often used to stop soil erosion and water pollution on slopes where rain would wash
away both seed and soil.

Can sod withstand heavy usage?

Certainly! Sod establishes itself quickly. In a few weeks, it's ready for full use. It creates
the perfect surface for lawn games and family outdoor living. With today's various blends
of hardy grasses, sod is chosen for parks, golf courses, and athletic fields, as well as
residential homes and business parks.

When can I install sod lawn?

Sod has revolutionized the lawn business! Now you can install a sod lawn anytime during
the year when the ground can be tilled. There is no need to wait for the "right" season to
put on your lawn.

Is sod a good investment?

Yes - it's the only way to go - from bare, soil to lush green lawn in just hours. Yet it's
relatively inexpensive to use. In the few hours it takes to install your sod lawn, your
property value increases significantly and even more in aesthetic value.

How will sod affect our environment?

With today's ecological concerns, many more people are considering sod for its
environmental benefits.

Sod cools and cleans the atmosphere by reflecting the sun's heat and absorbing noises,
carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants. It releases valuable oxygen and moisture into
the air we breathe. As it grows, sod silently contributes to a healthier environment.

How is sod related to our lifestyle?

Today we expect convenience, efficiency  and quality in our products. Buildings are going
up almost overnight and attractive landscaping is installed in hours. Why wait 1 or 2 years
for a new lawn to struggle to maturity when you can have a beautiful sod lawn
complementing your buildings right now. That high quality sod lawn can be conveniently
installed in hours, at a surprisingly low cost.

Can a homeowner install turfgrass sod?

If you can understand "Green Side Up," you can successfully install sod. Because turfgrass
sod can be heavy, the help of a few friends is recommended.

Is seeding cheaper than sodding?

A big bag of grass seed will cost less than a pallet of sod, but that is like comparing the
cost of raw wool to a fine sweater. Turfgrass sod is a finished product that will provide
nearly instant use, beauty and environmental benefits, whereas seed is an unknown that
requires two or more years of on-going time, attention, water, fertilizer and pesticides to
reach a maturity equal to sod on its first day.

What do I look for to determine quality and freshness?

Sod is a living plant that should be installed between 24 to 72 hours after it is first harvested
from the farm field. The best indication of freshness is soil that is moist (not hard and dry).
The grass blades should be dark green and cool to the touch.

Strength of sod can be tested by holding a piece by its narrow end and raising it overhead,
without it tearing or falling apart.

Uniformity of texture, mowing height and overall quality, can best be determined by placing
several pieces on the ground and looking for extreme variations or visible weeds.

What are the basic steps to installing sod?

STEP 1 - Measuring and Ordering

Make a sketch of your lot and then measure the area you wish to sod. Calculate the square
feet of sod needed [length (in feet)X width (in feet)] then divide by nine (9) to convert to
square yards. If you need help, just ask.

Schedule your order for sod to be delivered after preparatory work is completed and you
are ready to install.

Prompt installation on the day of delivery is crucial to a strong beginning for your lawn.

STEP 2 - Soil Preparation

Prepare the lot by grading or shaping so that the soil slopes away from foundations and
buildings so as to eliminate drainage problems. Tilling to a depth of four to six inches
smoothing the soil removing rocks, roots, and large clods watering heavily to see if water
puddles in any low spots. If so, add soil or regrade to eliminate low spots grade less than
one-half inch below walks and drives apply starter fertilizer per instructions based on the
kind of sod to be installed.

STEP 3 - Sod Installation

Irrigate the bare soil and start laying the sod immediately after delivery. Begin watering
lawn within 30 minutes of installation. Sod is a living plant that requires contact and
moisture to survive! In hot weather, protect unlaid sod by placing in shade, covering with
moist cloth, and or sprinkling frequently.

Begin installing sod along the longest straight line such as a driveway or sidewalk. Butt and
push edges and ends against each other tightly, and stretch lightly. Avoid gaps or overlaps.
Remember - sod shrinks when it dries. Stagger the joints in each row in a brick-like
fashion, using a large sharp knife to trim corners, etc. Avoid leaving small strips at outer
edge as they will not retain moisture.

On slopes, place sod across the slope.

After installing the turf, roll the entire area to improve sod / soil contact and smooth.

STEP 4 - Watering

Give your new sod lawn a good soaking of water within 1/2 hour of installation. Water
daily, or more often, keeping sod moist until it is firmly rooted (about 2 weeks), then begin
less frequent and deeper watering.

Lift random pieces of sod to ascertain that you are watering enough to wet the soil below
the sod. Weather conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering. Be certain
that your new lawn has enough moisture to survive hot, dry or windy periods.

Water areas near buildings more often where reflected heat dries the turf.

STEP 5 - Mowing

Begin mowing as soon as your sod has rooted to the extent that mowing does not displace
it. It is important that mowing not be delayed too long. Cut high the first time, but gradually
and deliberately lower the cut-height.

Prepare the soil as if you were seeding. Measure the area to be sodded to calculate the
quantity you’ll need to order. Lay the first piece along a straight line such as a driveway or
sidewalk. Install all additional pieces so the seams create a brick-like pattern. Apply at least
one inch of water on the new sod, beginning within 30 minutes of laying down the first
piece. Keep the base soil moist with daily (or more frequent) watering for the next two

Are there any "tricks of the trade" to make the installation better?

Sodding is simple, but it can be made easier by:

  • Leveling the soil approximately one-inch below any hard surfaces such as patios,
    sidewalks and driveways so that when the sod is installed it won’t be higher or
    lower than the hard surface.
  • Asking the delivery driver to place the pallets of sod across the yard, approximating
    how much each pallet will cover…this will reduce the time and distance you’ll might
    have to otherwise carry each piece.
  • If there’s any slope, begin sodding at the bottom and work your way up the slope to
    keep the seam and joints tightly together. If the slope is quite steep, run the pieces
    across the direction of the slope.
  • To make sure you are applying enough water, lift a corner of any piece of sod and
    insert a screwdriver or other sharp probe into the underlying soil. If it’s hard to
    push in or the soil’s not moist, keep watering.

What can I do to maintain a beautiful lawn?

Quality grass simply needs water, air, sunlight and nutrients. In most areas, grass needs
approximately one-inch of water a week. Infrequent and deep watering encourages deep
roots and a healthy lawn.

Mow frequently enough (with a sharp blade) so you never cut-off more than one-third of
the grass blades in a single mowing. This will also allow you to leave the clippings on the
lawn so they can naturally degrade and return nutrients to the lawn.

Prune trees so they allow as much light as possible onto the lawn.

Fertilize at least annually, or according to the specific needs of your lawn.

Aerate every other year to reduce compaction and increase the exchange of water and air at
the root level.

How can I patch thin or dead areas?

Turfgrass sod can provide an instant patch by cutting out the old grass and trimming in a
sod patch. It’s easy, simple and immediate.

Additional Questions?

If you have any additional questions or would like more information before you begin your
project, please feel free to contact our office at (919) 872-5174 or (919) 872-3149or send
us an email at
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R.L. Bradsher Contracting, Inc.
Office:  (919) 872-5174 or (919) 872-3149
Frequently Asked Questions
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