There are several advantages of using sod to get the lush look you love to see in your lawn. Even if it may have a patchwork pattern at first, you get green cover and density from the start. Sod also needs less water than seeds, making it a little easier to get the grass going.
Before you purchase pieces of sod, you should already have an idea of how much ground you need to cover. You might only need a couple of slabs to fill in some patches in well-worn areas of the yard, or you may need quite a few more to cover the whole lawn. Getting these figures together up front will let you know how heavy you can expect the purchase to be.
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What Is Sod?
Sod is pre-grown grass that has a dense root system in the soil. This soil, root, and grass matrix is known as turf, and when it’s laid out on exposed soil, the roots will grow into the ground and install themselves in the yard as a new lawn.
You can buy sod rolls or pallets of sod at many local nurseries and garden centers. Planning ahead makes the process go most efficiently since you’ll want to install the sod within the day or two of purchase; otherwise, it can dry out the soil, which can crumble and break, as well as the roots and blades of the grass itself.
How Much Does Sod Weigh?
The dimensions and moisture content will define how much a piece of sod weighs. They can range from 15 to 45 pounds per piece, depending on their size.
On average, a piece will be rectangular, the total size of a roll of sod being 2×5 feet to 3×6.5 feet. One roll of sod will cover an area of 5 to 10 square feet. Smaller pieces and mini rolls can also be found or requested.
Wet sod will weigh more, and dry sod will weigh less. Depending on the number of rolls or slabs that you buy, the total weight of a sod purchase will vary. If you buy a pallet of rolled sod, which usually has 50-100 pieces, it can weigh up to 1,500-3,000 pounds.
It takes a little math to figure out how much 500 sq ft of sod weighs. For example, 100 2×5 pieces (500 sq ft) that weigh about 20 pounds per piece will have a pallet weight of 2,000 pounds.
How To Transport Sod
Depending on the amount and the weight, you might transport the sod in your own pickup truck or have it delivered by the company. In either case, have the sod dropped off as near as you can to where you’ll be installing it. Since you’ll either be carrying the pieces or using a wheelbarrow to transport them around your yard, the proximity of the bulk of the sod will make a difference in the time and effort it takes to install it.
The time of day the sod arrives at your home is also a factor in the installation process. If it needs to sit until you’re ready, and it’s the middle of the day, sun and heat will dry it out. It should be stored in a cool, shaded area to retain moisture if it isn’t installed immediately.
How To Establish Sod Once Installed
There are things to do before and after installing sod that contribute to its good establishment as your new lawn.
- Prepare the soil for the new sod by tilling the ground 6 inches deep to remove any other plants or root systems that might be there. This gives an added benefit of aerating the soil and incorporating a green mulch.
- Cleared soil allows a smoother application, and the tillage will help the turf bond with the topsoil.
- Adding sand to tilled topsoil can help with better drainage, encouraging roots to reach deep into the ground.
- Laying potassium-rich starter fertilizer before installing the sod will contribute to root growth during its period of establishment.
- Water the sod every day once it has been laid for the first 4 to 6 weeks. Less water more frequently will help the grass settle in for the long term.
- Once the roots are well established, you can fertilize with nitrogen fertilizers for mature grass after those first 4 to 6 weeks.