Interested in purchasing fresh sod for an upcoming renovation project? Download NG Turf’s Sod Project Planner to help you walk through the necessary considerations to help select the right grass variety for your project.
Whether you are a homeowner doing a DIY or a landscape professional talking through the process with a client, our Sod Project Planner will ask the right questions to help us better assist you in selecting the perfect grass variety.
Step 1: Calculating Project Area
To calculate how much sod you need for your next landscaping project, first, you need to know how big the area is you want to cover. Yard shapes vary and our handy Sod Calculator conveniently allows you to select and calculate the area of various shaped spaces.
We advise adding 5-10% to the suggested sod minimum to allow for cutting and waste.
A single NG Turf sod pallet covers 504 sq ft.
Knowing how much sun different areas of your yard receive is a major factor when selecting which grass varieties will work best. Factors such as tall trees, landscaping, and yard orientation may mean specific parts of your yard get varying amounts of light.
NG Turf’s printable sun exposure chart can help you
How to Determine Amount of Sun Exposure
To determine the amount of sun exposure, look at specific areas of the yard at 1-hour intervals from sunrise until sundown. It may be helpful to sketch out the renovation space on the graph paper provided on the second page of our Sod Planner and number each section. Numbering the different sections will allow you to keep track of the sun levels in different sections.
Use our Sun Exposure Tracking Chart to write down the type of sunlight (full sun, partial shade, filtered sun, or full shade) in each section at each timed interval.
Once the sun exposure of the yard has been tracked over the course of a day (from sunrise to sunset) the areas can be sorted into the following categorizes:
6 or more hours of direct sunlight
6 or more hours of no direct sunlight
a sunny area that gets some shade
– typically gets morning shade and 4-6 hours of hot afternoon sun
a shady area that gets a few hours of morning sun and 4-6 hours of shade
sunlight that is filtered through trees, bushes, fences, etc.
There are three basic soil types: Clay, Loamy, and Sandy. Of course, soil types span a wide spectrum, and your soil likely falls somewhere in between these three basic types. Depending on your soil type, amendments may need to be made to create a more desirable growing environment.
Determining Your Soil Type
Three basic textures combine to create soil type:
- Clay: fine, sticky particles that easily bind together
- Silt: medium, floury particles that loosely bind together
- Sand: coarse, gritty particles that will not hold together
The unique combination of these textures in your yard makes up your soil type.
For a simple soil type test:
- Dig down three or four inches below the grass.
- Take a handful of soil, and if it is dry, dampen it slightly.
- Now try to roll it into a ball.
- If you can easily roll it into a ball or a ribbon, your soil type is clay.
- If the soil remains loose and won’t bind into a ball, then your soil is sandy.
- Loamy soil is a balanced soil of all three textures that holds together loosely, but won’t form a compact ball.
While traffic tolerance is only one of the many factors to consider when selecting a grass variety, it is a critical one in making the best choice for your lawn. Typically, warm-season grasses, such as Bermudagrass and zoysia, are better equipped to tolerate high traffic during the warmer growing months. Whereas cool-season grasses, like fescue, will handle heavy traffic better in the cooler months.
Consider and note the amount and type of traffic you expect the area to receive. Is there a dog who likes to run the fence line? Children who will be playing or practicing sports often? Will the area host a lot of outdoor events?
Without proper drainage, standing or pooling water could result in disease or death of a lawn. Worse, it could cause structural damage to a building. Noting any low areas or trouble spots in the area to be renovated in advance can help determine if solutions can be implemented before sod installation.
People often initiate renovations for a variety of reasons, such as to fix existing problems, increase the property value of a home, increase functionality, or even a desire to become more eco-friendly. Noting why you or your client are looking to purchase new sod can help our Turfgrass Professionals select a grass variety that will work best for your desired end result.
Last, but certainly not least, how does the person in charge of the lawn’s upkeep feel about yard maintenance? At NG Turf we do our best to find a solution that will satisfy the customers’ individual preferences. Some grass varieties need more maintenance than others, such as frequency of mowing and fertilization needs. And some people enjoy working in the lawns while others despise it. Thinking through the typical yearly maintenance needs of a specific grass variety may sway the customer from one variety to another.
Our friendly team of experts are only a phone call away, ready to offer any help or advice you may need along the way. NG Turf is with you every step of the journey to ensure complete customer satisfaction. And you can enjoy the peace of protection with NG Turf’s industry leading One Year Warranty.