Soil Preparation: Step-by-Step Guide
How to prepare
soil for sod
Sod installation is a landscaping task that homeowners can perform themselves if they are up to the challenge. Preparation should begin a few weeks before you are ready to install new sod. The first step to getting ready for sod installation is to prepare your soil. Follow our step-by-step guide to get your soil ready.
Step 1: Clear the Site
- Clear the site of any and all debris, including rocks and sticks.
Step 2: Rough Grade
- Rough grade is the process of making a level or slope base for projects like turf establishment.
- Rough grade the entire area to prevent drainage issues.
- Always slope away from buildings.
Step 3: Till the Soil
- Initial tilling of at least of at least four to six inches is recommended.
- This should be done before adding any topsoil and will allow for adequate water movement.
Step 4: Add Topsoil
- Add topsoil if your soil lacks nutrients (see step 5).
- Your soil should be a minimum of four inches in depth.
Step 5: Test the Soil
- Test the topsoil pH with a chemical soil test to determine if changes are necessary.
- Acidic soils with a pH of 6 and below can be improved with the addition of lime.
- The type and amount of line can be determined by the level of acidity.
- Our step-by-step guide to testing your soil , your local corporative extension office, or one of NG Turf’s Certified Turfgrass Professionals are all great resources for more information on soil testing.
Step 6: Apply Starter Fertilizer
- Apply a starter fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 13-13-13, and lime to the soil per soil test recommendations.
- Till fertilizer into the soil before laying sod.
Step 7: Finish Grade
- Finish grade the entire site, making sure to maintain uniform drainage of rainwater.
Step 8: Roll the Area
- Roll the area with a lawn roller to firm and settle the soil on the surface.
- Fill in low spots as they appear.
Step 9: Ready for Sod
- The site is now ready for turfgrass sod. Remember to water the sod as you lay it. Sod will wilt quickly on hot days.