Archive for the ‘Lawn Maintenance’ Category

Do Not Dethatch Your Winter Lawn in Arizona – Here’s Why!

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

As fall quickly turns into winter, the holiday season seems to be knocking on our doors quicker and quicker every year. Now that Arizona’s climate has finally cooled down to a tolerable temperature, you may be inclined to embark on your lawn dethatching project.  After all, with summer’s scorching sun subdued by autumn’s cooler temperatures, the time only seems right, right? Not true! November is not the time to dethatch your Arizona lawn.

dethatching provides the following benefits to your lawn

Here’s just a few of the reasons this time of year isn’t optimal for removing layers of thatch from your lawn.

Benefits of Dethatching

Dethatching is the process of removing the dead, grassy material that accumulates on top of the soil’s surface. When thatch becomes too thick and dense, your lawn’s roots may not be able to receive the nutrients and moisture necessary to maintain health, which can ultimately result in a dry, brown yard.

In short, dethatching provides the following benefits to your lawn:

  • Alleviated Soil Compaction. The more compact the soil is, the harder it is for the roots of your grass to grow. Dethatching facilitates the movement of air, moisture, and fertilizer throughout your soil. This, in turn, helps keep grass healthy.
  • Improved Water Penetration. Dethatching allows greater water penetration into the soil, so the roots of your grass can have access to the moisture they need. In the event of high moisture, such as rains or the occasional heavy snow in the area, dethatching provides a place for the water to go, reducing runoff.
  • Deeper Roots. A healthy lawn has deep roots that are firmly planted in the ground. The deeper the roots, the more able your grass is to sustain life by grabbing and storing valuable nutrients.

Most Dethatching Should Occur in August

In the climate of Arizona, dethatching should typically be performed between June and August. During those months, lawns are growing at their most active levels, which means it they can sustain the dethatching process and recover quickly.

If you wait until September or October, the dethatching process often removes stolons, often called runners. Stolons are stems that grow just below ground or right at the soil surface. These elements are your lawn’s main way to store it’s ‘food’, so if you do too much damage in the fall when the plant is storing carbs, you’re forcing your grass to use its own energy to regrow. In other words, improper dethatching robs your lawn of its food storage. Think of it this way – it’s the middle of winter, and you’re trapped in your house for the next four months. You’re starving, so you raid the pantry. You filled your belly for the meantime, but now there’s no food to eat when spring arrives.

Your grass will feel the same way if you deprive it of its food source while it’s busy stowing away the stuff it needs to last throughout the chilly winter months.

What if You Missed the Dethatching Boat in August?

If you didn’t dethatch in time this year, mark your calendar so you can hit the ground running when summer comes to an end next year. In the meantime, you can rake your lawn lightly in the fall and winter. You can also scalp it lightly, but take care not to scalp it all the way to the dirt, as you could find yourself facing lawn damage that would be similar to late dethatching. Be careful not to be too aggressive, and your lawn will thank you with lush green blades!

At Evergreen Turf, Arizona sod is our specialty. Whether you just need a bit of sod for a small project or are looking for a full lawn renovation with sod installation, we’re here to help you make the most of your outdoor space. Take a look at our winter lawn tips, or reach out to us if you have specific questions about how to deal with your Arizona lawn.

Winter Weeds to Know + Weed Control Tips

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

During winter in Arizona, your lawn undergoes a number of changes. If you do not overseed your lawn, it turns brown as it goes dormant, and those pesky weeds pop up throughout your backyard. If you have an overseeded lawn, the weeds still come through, turning your luscious green winter lawn into an eyesore.

How did the weeds get there? Most of them started germinating during fall, turn brown in winter, and continue to blossom. The presence of the pesky and ugly winter weeds also means the health of your lawn is wanting as the weak turf allows the weeds to flourish.

Winter weeds are an eyesore and ruin the aesthetic appeal of your yard.

Winter Weed Control Tips

The best time to control the weeds is in the end of summer or beginning of fall. Follow the winter weed control tips below, depending on whether your lawn is overseeded or not.

Non-overseeded Lawns

If you have a non-overseeded lawn, the recommended approach is using pre-emergent herbicides. For best results spray the herbicides mid-September and it stops all weeds from even germinating.

Overseeded Lawns

First, about three weeks before overseeding your lawn, you want to kill any existing weeds. You can spray herbicides or pull them out. Once you have overseeded your lawn, DO NOT spray any herbicides for at least six weeks. The herbicide will damage the new rye grass that is growing in for the winter.

The use of pre-emergent sprays is recommended while the weeds are small. It’s important to identify the kinds of weeds plaguing your lawn, as different weeds require different approaches.

  • Grass weeds- They resemble grass, and they branch out than grow up through the soil.
  • Broadleaf weeds-they have broad leaves, flowers, are small and have tap roots.
  • Sedges-They come from tubers, roots, and seeds that branch out. They grower higher than the normal grass

After identifying the weeds, you can decide on the right approach which includes:

  • Using post and pre-emergent herbicides
  • Hand-pulling the weed

When dealing with herbicides, consider the following:

  • Recommended air temperature is between 66-85 degrees F. Using it a higher temperature damages the turf too.
  • Ensure the soil is moist so that the herbicide seeps into the root system
  • Do not mow before or after the treatment
  • Do not spray during the rainy or windy days, and on newly planted lawns

Common Winter Weeds

Poa annua is one of the common winter weeds in Arizona that appears in January and February. Poa annua germinates together with the ryegrass and only becomes visible in January when its seed heads start showing.

It ruins the aesthetic appeal of your lawn and you cannot spray it since it damages the ryegrass too.

Strategies to control the weed include:

  • Controlling it during germination by using pre-emergence herbicides or wait for it emerge and use post-emergence herbicides
  • Control its growth in non-overseeded sods using pre or post-emergence herbicides

We all want a lush, beautiful and a healthy lawn. Winter weeds are an eyesore and ruin the aesthetic appeal of your yard. It is important to understand the different kinds of weeds, when they emerge and, how to control them.

If you need sod in Arizona, contact Evergreen Turf today. We are Arizona’s premier sod supplier. We serve the following areas: Phoenix, Tucson, Chandler, Mesa, Yuma, Queen Creek, Casa Grande, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Tempe, Buckeye, Gilbert, Surprise, Sierra Vista, Apache Junction, Glendale, and Peoria.

Signs of Lawn Iron Deficiency and Nitrogen Deficiency

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Caring for a nutrient-deficient yard can be difficult if you don’t know the source of the problem. Nitrogen and iron, specifically, can show similar symptoms when deficient thus complicating the matter even further. Know the difference between the two and how to properly care for your lawn with our handy guide.

Signs of Lawn Iron Deficiency - When it comes to leaves, you can detect iron deficiencies in a yellowish exterior with a green center.

Signs of Lawn Iron Deficiency

As you might suspect, lawn care is a scientific process. Photosynthesis occurs with sufficient chlorophyll which is made from iron in the grass. When chlorophyll is unable to properly develop, the result is a yellow or white lawn – the latter of which stems from severe iron chlorosis. Iron deficiencies can be the result excessive fertilization (resulting in high phosphorus) or alkaline soil. Chilly weather along with extra wet or dry soil can also be the culprit. Yards that are particularly shady can succumb to iron deficiencies. When it comes to leaves, you can detect iron deficiencies in a yellowish exterior with a green center.

Signs of Lawn Nitrogen Deficiency

Yellow grass is one sign of a nitrogen imbalance, though poor and patchy growth will often manifest as well. If the lawn appears to be ‘bleached,’ there’s a good chance your lawn is suffering from both iron and nitrogen deficiencies. Other symptoms include:

  • Slow growth
  • Slow recovery from foot traffic, environmental changes, and other stressors
  • Recurring disease

Other Causes of Yellow Grass

Pinpointing the cause of the discoloration is often the hardest part. Once you identify the problem, you can work toward a solution. Other causes of yellow grass include:

    • Overwatering. Too much water robs the plant of oxygen that’s necessary for growth. When the porous spaces within soil are constantly drowned in water, root systems die and grass appears weed-ridden, spongey to the touch, and yellow in color.
    • Insects. Cinch bugs can be detrimental to a healthy lawn as they feed on the sap of the blades. Reducing nitrogen and adhering to a strict watering schedule may help.
    • Fungal diseases. The chances of fungal disease increase with mismanaged temperature, thatch, and moisture levels.
    • Dog urine. Yes, pets are often overlooked as a reason for yellow spots on the lawn. Before you jump to conclusions about nutrient deficiencies, make sure to keep your animals off the grass. Then water thoroughly and wait to see if the color changes to green again.

How to Fix Your Nutrient-Deficient Lawn

Sprays are an effortless way to add iron to your yard; however, they’re merely a Band-Aid on a much larger problem. Once the grass is mowed, iron will be quickly removed and absorbed. Nitrogen deficiencies can be corrected organically with composted manure or coffee grounds mixed into the soil. Chemical fertilizers are also an option – just be sure the first number on the label (the NPK ratio) is appropriate for your grass type and issue. Like sprays, nitrogen fertilizers are a ‘quick fix.’

Often, your yellow yard is a combination of nitrogen and iron deficiencies – especially in Arizona. Test your soil using a kit or send it to a lab for a professional analysis. Getting to the root of the issue is paramount to a healthy yard. Know the triggers and how to correct discoloration and you’ll be well on your way to semi-pro landscaper in no time.

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more answers!

Soil Amendments for Your Arizona Lawn

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Struggling to keep your Arizona lawn looking healthy and green? You’re not alone. Desert soil can be tricky when it comes to maintaining a beautiful yard year-round. Learn when and why you should consider a fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Struggling to keep your Arizona lawn looking healthy and green? Desert soil can be tricky when it comes to maintaining a beautiful yard. Learn when and why you should use fertilizer

Signs you should fertilize your lawn

  1. You live in Arizona! The truth is, certain regions in the southwest are problematic due to harsh weather and a lack of abundant nutrients in the soil.
  2. Your backyard contains high levels of clay. Clay soil can be rock hard to the touch as you might imagine, making it difficult for new vegetation to penetrate through caliche, its upper layer. When clay contracts and expands between extremely dry heat and moisture from monsoon rains, respectively, it can be difficult to maintain the kind of consistency needed for seasonal growth. Further, the alkaline in clay is largely responsible for iron deficiencies that lead to discolored lawns.
  3. The weather is colder or wetter than usual. Always follow the instructions for your specific fertilizer type, but know that certain factors such as heavy rainfall can affect the timing of your application. Save money by fertilizing just before a light rain (as it saves on your water bill) and not fertilizing before heavy rains as the fertilizer will just run off the yard.

Types of fertilizer

The three main types of fertilizer are:

  • Organic
  • Water-soluble
  • Synthetic

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the main nutrients found in fertilizers and marked by their percentage to the overall composition. Nitrogen is what gives the grass its vibrant green color while phosphorous and potassium are responsible for early establishment and growth and the ability to use nitrogen, respectively.

Check out our Nutrition page for more information on fertilization.

Alternative Soil Amendments

Consider organic fertilizer such as composted turkey litter, chicken litter, or steer manure as all provide a great source of organic nitrogen, phosphorus, and microbial stimulants. These can be found in most garden stores as well as local chicken and egg family farms that sell organic litter products.

When to fertilize

Generally, complete fertilizers are best any time of year; however, you should consult a professional landscaper for an analysis if there’s any doubt as to what materials are required for your lawn. You can also conduct a personal pH test of the soil to determine what nutrients are needed.

When transitioning your lawn from winter into a spring or summer yard, apply fertilizer at a half-rate around the first part of May. Less is often more so as not to burn your lawn. If you apply full-rate fertilizer, the rye grass will grow too much causing an unhealthy and unsightly yard. Use full-rate fertilizer in June when Bermuda grass is really growing strong.

For more information on how to properly care for your Arizona sod, contact Evergreen Turf today at 480.456.1199.

Working With Arizona Soil For A Healthy Lawn

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Clay is common in Arizona and has high alkaline levels which cause iron deficiency in home lawns.

Clay Soil 101

If you’re trying to build a landscape of beautiful grass, you must first know the foundation that will support it. Clay is common in Arizona and not particularly easy to work with as high alkaline levels create an iron deficiency. Battling discoloration without knowing the cause will lead to continuous cycles of yellow grass and a lot of frustration that can be easily avoided. On top of that, the density of the soil leads to a soggy lawn during the monsoon season and rock hard dirt in the dry summer sun. This environment leads to stressed grass conducive to weeds and disease. To prepare the soil for optimal grass growth, implement the following practice:

  • Use compost, lawn clippings, and organic fertilizer as a top dressing. Over time, it will decompose and change the natural composition of the soil, improving upon the troublesome qualities of clay. Understand this is not a quick fix and can take multiple seasons—even years.

Five Tips for Fertilizing an Arizona Lawn

  1. Because Arizona soil tends to have a high pH and calcium level, there are certain nutrients that will always carry a deficiency. Iron and phosphorous will need to be supplemented through the application of organic or synthetic fertilizer.
  2. Try adding sulfur to stimulate the activation of amino acids. Spreading sulfur twice a year (using five pounds per one thousand square feet) can lower the pH level of your soil and foster faster, healthier growth.
  3. Know that yellowing is typically a lack of nitrogen or other nutrients. Balancing your soil with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer can turn things around quickly.
  4. Fertilizing doesn’t have to equate to hours of meticulous care. Offset nutrient deficiencies with a lawn spray—just make sure you test your soil and follow instructions to the letter as you would any other soil amendment.
  5. Try Ironite (the brand) to return your lawn to a healthy hue while controlling growth. It contains iron, sulfur, and other micronutrients needed for a strong bed of grass.

Still at a loss for how to work with your Arizona soil in a fool-proof way? The only substitute for hard work and experience is professional help! First, check out our frequently asked questions page for all the common questions we get from Arizona homeowners regarding their lawn.

Contact Evergreen Turf for Arizona sod installation quotes or for questions on various treatment options. Call 480.456.1199 for an estimate.

How to Transition Your Lawn From Winter to Spring and Summer

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Welcome to late spring in Arizona! The temperatures are quickly rising, and – if you haven’t already done so – it’s time to transition your lawn from winter to summer sod. Arizona’s climate is a special place, and the care your lawn needs is specific to our region. What works for other parts of the country simply isn’t applicable for a high-desert area, so to help you transition to your summer lawn, we’ve compiled a few tips.

Transitioning Your Lawn From Winter to Spring

Mid- to Late Spring: Proper Temperatures

In Arizona, transitioning from winter to summer sod usually starts when temperatures hit 95 to 100 degrees on a regular basis. When the thermometer begins to approach triple digits on a regular basis, rye wilts out, and Bermuda grass tries to grow.

At this phase, the first step is to lower the blades on your mower. By lowering your mowing height, you’ll give Bermuda the room it needs to grow.

Early to Mid-Summer: Dethatching

You should dethatch your lawn early to mid-summer. It’s important to wait until the Bermuda grass is ready to grow. If you dethatch too early, the process will discourage the rye grass from growing. Be mindful that dethatching can stress your lawn out a bit, so it’s important to take care of it throughout the process.

Alternatively, you can dethatch in mid-August when Bermuda grass is growing like crazy because it’s had all summer to become strong and healthy. If you wait until late summer, it will recover very quickly.

Early May: Fertilizing

You’ll want to use a complete fertilizer. Around May 1st, put your fertilizer out at half-rate. If you use full-rate fertilizer this early, the rye grass will grow too much. Although this may sound ideal, it’s not a good thing. You can use full-rate fertilizer in June when the Bermuda grass is really growing.

Throughout the Process: Watering

Your grass needs water throughout the transition process, but your lawn needs different amounts at distinct phases in the process. Be mindful that when it gets hot, your lawn will get spots as part of the transition process. Don’t overreact by over-watering. Instead, you simply need to hand-water your lawn just enough to nurture the brown spots away. If you water every two to three days, this should do the trick.

Are you ready to transition your Arizona lawn from winter to summer grass, but you’re not sure where to start? Our team at Evergreen Turf is here to help! Look at our How to Install Sod page, and feel free to reach out to us at 480.456.1199 if you have any questions!

Best Time to Lay Warm-Season Grass In Phoenix

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Taking care of your lawn is an important part of home ownership, but it’s not always easy – especially in the arid desert climate of Arizona. Some grasses do better than others in this region, and sometimes, timing is everything. If you’re laying fresh sod, however, practically anytime is a good time to lay your summer grass. You just need to make sure you take care of your lawn from beginning to end to ensure the best results.

arizona sod

Here are some things you should take into consideration:

Prep Properly For New Sod

It’s important to make sure the ground is properly prepared to ensure the soil will welcome your warm-season grass willfully. Your new grass will need a good amount of water, so you don’t want to under water, but you certainly don’t want to over water, either. You also need to ensure that you’re fertilizing appropriately to optimize growth.

If you’re uncertain how to prepare your lawn for warm-season grass, check out our how to install page.

Stay Patient With Dormant Lawns

If you had a warm season sod lawn last year, and you did not install a winter lawn, your summer lawn should grow back naturally as it comes out of dormancy. In this case, you should not need to lay new sod. Just stay patient, and wait for your beautiful green grass to begin growing again.

Overseeded Lawn – Do Maintenance

If you overseeded your lawn, you just have to perform a few maintenance tasks to get your summer lawn to come back this year. Take a look at our Spring Transition Guide for more help on the following:

  • Mowing your lawn at the right height – You’ll want to lower your mower so you remove approximately ½ the grass leaf blades. With easier access to light, the roots of your grass will receive heat, allowing them to wake up and begin growing.
  • Aerating your lawn – By putting small holes all over your lawn, you’ll invite heat to its root system, which also encourages grass to come out of dormancy.
  • Watering at optimal frequencies – You don’t want to stop watering completely, but it is important to cut back on watering during the spring lawn process. Ultimately, you’re trying to discourage growth of your winter ryegrass while encouraging your warm-weather Bermuda grass to make its springtime appearance.
  • Fertilizing with balanced ingredients – There are several different types of fertilizers, each of which is formulated with various amounts of essential minerals. If you choose the wrong fertilizer, you could set your lawn up for failure. However, the right formula will enhance the growth of your summer grass while further weakening your winter grass. As the ryegrass dies out, be sure to rake your lawn, allowing the Bermudagrass to have a clean canvass.

Still not sure how to make the most of your grass? Our Evergreen Turf team of professionals are experts at helping Arizona homeowners get ready for hot summers and beautiful lawns. Contact us, and let us know what we can do to help!

Arizona Lawn Care Tips for March

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

While it comes as no surprise to homeowners who have installed sod, lush lawns are a labor intensive project. Being mindful of the seasons and their respective maintenance plans will facilitate healthy growth and thwart widespread disease. March is a great time to revisit your lawn care processes and adjust for the weather.

Arizona sod lawn care tips for spring

March Forecast

On average, Phoenix, Arizona, sees .9 inches of rain during the month of March. The average high is 75 degrees with an average low of 49. Temperatures will vary depending on your location within the valley, but seasonal averages can successfully guide you toward the right maintenance plan.

Sod Maintenance Tips for Spring

When spring is in the air, overwatering becomes the number one culprit of fungal infections. You should avoid mowing wet grass for the same reason as a problem confined to one area of the yard will soon spread throughout the entire lawn. Other weather-sensitive issues include:

  • Weeding: Summer is the worst time to try and tackle your weed problem since the roots will be well established and tough. Pre-emergent herbicides will save you days of labor and allow you to tackle the issue when weeds are soft and just beginning to grow.
  • Fertilizing: A quick spring fertilizer will prime your lawn for optimal growth throughout the season. The fertilizer you use will depend upon your particular sod type as well as any problems you may have faced during the winter months. The most important factor is finding the correct balance of essential nutrients conducive to Arizona’s climate.
  • Mowing: As discussed in a previous blog, the frequency and method of mowing will depend on your grass species and how quickly it’s growing. Always keep grass blades at 2/3 their height. As for frequency:
    • A Tifgreen sod lawn mowed below 1/2 of an inch may have to be mowed every 2-3 days.
    • A Midiron hybrid Bermuda sod lawn mowed at 2 inches may only have to be mowed once every 7-10 days.

Spring Gardening Tips

Once you’ve mastered sod care, it’s time to take full advantage of the season and enhance your beautiful yard even more. Spring is a great time to start a vegetable garden or grow your favorite flowers.

  • Best seeds: carrots, cucumbers, green onion, squash, peppers, tomatoes, melons, beets.
  • Best flowers: desert marigold, sunflower, safflower, verbena, cosmos, hollyhock.
  • Best herbs: basil, chamomile, sage, oregano, thyme, lemon grass, parsley, mint.
  • If you have citrus trees, remember to fertilize with nitrogen when they sprout leaves. Transplant new trees during this time as they’ll take approximately three years to produce fruit. A young tree (2-5 years old) will be easier to manage and yield fruit at the same time as an older tree.
  • For other landscape plants, don’t forget to water at least once a month in the absence of rainfall. Remove weeds early and often and prune the plants that are sensitive to frost once they leaf out.

By taking the time to properly care for your lawn, you’ll get to enjoy its beauty for years to come. Follow the recommended maintenance for your sod grass and—when in doubt—consult a professional to ensure its vibrancy and longevity.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Overseed This Year

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Winter can really make you re-evaluate your lawn care regimen. Don’t like the look of a dormant lawn? Now is the perfect time to put your overseeding plans into place so you don’t have to deal with a dormant lawn ever again.

arizona sod can be overseeded for a green lawn all year

You may have noticed that some of your neighbors’ lawns are keeping up their curb appeal as the temperatures have begun to drop. Chances are, they started overseeding with perennial ryegrass when it was still warm outside. The best way to produce a perfect winter lawn is to overseed around the middle of October.

Why Should You Overseed Your Arizona Lawn in the Fall?

Because Arizona summers are notoriously scorching, the ground stays warm much longer than it does it much of the country. Because of this, fall lends itself to an optimal overseeding environment in Arizona, as temperatures tend to linger at or below 65 degrees when night falls beginning in October.

Autumn creates the perfect environment: Soil that’s still warm from the summer heat and cool air that helps facilitate germination.

When you time it right and employ just the right tools, equipment, and ingredients, a lawn that’s overseeded in the fall will yield green grass all year.

What Happens when You Overseed in the Fall?

Simply put, when you overseed, you’re planting a grass seed directly onto an existing turf. This process works great for seasonal grasses such as bermudagrass, which is a warm-season grass. Bermudagrass is super hardy and drought-resistant, which makes is an excellent option for the Southwestern lawns of Arizona in the summer months. In the winter, bermudagrass goes dormant, however, which can leave a lack-luster lawn.

Overseeding allows you to replace dormant warm-season grass with cool-season seeds that will take over when your bermudagrass dies out. By choosing an optimal fertilizer and watering regularly (but not too much), your overseeded bermudagrass will continue to grow as the ryegrass begins to take root.

In the beginning of the overseeding season, the warm temperatures tend to lend themselves to outstanding growth of the bermudagrass, which often out-competes the ryegrass. As the ryegrass begins to grow, your lawn will likely look immaculate, as both species of grass are growing together. When colder temperatures settle in, the bermudagrass will head into dormancy, leading the way for your well-nourished ryegrass to take its place on your lawn.

By combining warm-season grass and cool-season overseeding, you’ll ensure a lawn that’s healthy, lush, and green all year long.

Need a reminder to help you remember when it’s time to fertilize your Arizona sod lawn? Our Evergreen Turf team will be happy to help you keep your lawn looking lush and green all year long. Sign up for fertilizer reminders today!

How To Get A Sod Lawn On A Budget In Arizona

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Beautifying your home with a sod lawn doesn’t have to break the bank. Get started with the following tips from homeowners.

How To Get A Sod Lawn On A Budget In Arizona

Step 1: Measure Twice, Cut Once

Follow the old carpenter’s creed and measure your lawn twice to ensure accuracy. Sod comes in rolls that typically cover 20×25 feet of yard space. Check with your garden center for exact measurements and plan to have the sod delivered the same day you want to install it.

Step 2: Remove Grass

Removing dead grass will take a while, but the more you’re able to clear, the better. Cut whatever you can’t remove as low as possible. Remove rocks, twigs, and other debris to ensure you’re starting with a clean slate. Next, wet the lawn and aerate it so that your sod can become deeply rooted. The easiest way to do this is to rent a soil aerator. Home Depot offers basic aerator rentals (ideal for small to medium sized lawns) for less than $100 per day.

Step 3: Prepare The Soil

Aerating the lawn will most likely present more work, so don’t stop preparing just yet. Remove any newly discovered soil plugs, weeds, or rocks throughout the yard. Your goal is to clear the space entirely of things that would inhibit the growth of new sod—otherwise your hard work will have been in vain. Drainage problems? Fix them. Heaps of dirt? Level them. Be sure to mark the precise location of sprinkler heads and underground utilities for easy access once sod has been installed. Lastly, fertilize the yard with a heavier concentration of phosphorous and wet the earth one final time.

Step 4: Install Sod

Lay your new squares of sod as closely as you can get them without overlapping. Prevent gaps by working slowly and squeezing two pieces together with your hands before laying the third. Start from the straightest point in the yard (e.g. along the fence) and work your way inward. Stagger each roll of sod as you would if you were laying bricks. Using a sod cutter or sharp knife, cut the sod accordingly once you begin to fill in oddly-shaped areas and the space around sprinkler heads. Avoid air pockets by working slowly and patting the sod down as you go without stepping on it.

Step 5: Maintain

A thorough watering is the best way to complete your sod installation. Water once per day—mornings are preferable due to less heat and evaporation. Be aware that night watering can encourage fungal disease since the lawn won’t have a chance to dry out in the sun. Taper your schedule to every other day after the first week and eventually twice per week. Keep off the new lawn for at least one week which might mean taking the kids to the park and keeping the family dog indoors.

When it comes time to mow, aim for a 1/3 of the lawn’s current height. For example, if your grass has grown three inches, mow it down to two. Avoid the weight of a riding lawnmower as the grass will be susceptible to damage. Opt instead for a traditional walking mower with a sharp blade. Bag your trimmings.

Laying your own sod is certainly a good way to work your muscles and learn a new skill. And as with any successful DIY project, the feeling of accomplishment carries its own set of rewards.

If you choose not to DIY, we offer professional install when you purchase our sod in Phoenix, Tucson and surrounding areas.

Contact us to order your sod.