Preparing The Area to Sod
Just like with a good home
the foundation is the key to long term stability and strength. Laying the foundation of a new lawn starts before
ever picking up the first sod piece. After having measured and marked the areas of lawn to replace you will need
to begin preparing the area for your new lawn grass sod. Here are three simple steps on how to begin preparing
the area for your new lawn grass sod.
Step 1: Clean the Area of Debris and Remove Existing Vegetation
To Prepare the
area for sod first remove all obstacles such as play sets and construction debris, old tree stumps,
rocks, weeds, mulch materials , dead or damaged sod etc. If removing larger sections of turf you can rent a
sod cutter from your local garden center or rental store for about $50-$75 dollars.
Getting Rid of Your Old Lawn
- You may opt to till the dead
vegetation into the soil,
you will rarely hear me say
those words and I am an avid gardener.
surprising? See Why…
-If your site has been over run with torpedo grass or other perennial
weeds several consecutive applications of a nonselective herbicide may be used to eradicate the
-Glycophosphate (Roundup) sprayed to the point of runoff, needs to be
applied and left for 14 days and then reapplied to all lingering or re sprouting vegetation. Remember 70 percent
of the foliage on any plant needs to be sprayed for Roundup to take affect and kill the plants root system so
that it does not re-grow again.
- This is
especially important if you are replacing your sod due to a weed
-If you are having the work done for you make sure to discuss any weed problems you have
had in the last 1-2 years so that they are aware of the problem even if the weeds are not visible at the
alternate solution if you are among those that prefer not to use chemicals would be to
“solarize the soil” by waiting until the weeds are in their active growing season and
cover the entire area with black plastic or a tarp. This step is difficult to do when living
in a subdivision because the tarp must be left on for several months for it to be effective
in eradicating the root system of stubborn vegetation.
Step 2: Survey the Grade of the Land, Rough Grade to Level out the Area
Survey the grade of the land and
be sure that there is a gentle slope that will allow water to run away from your house
foundation, sidewalks and driveways etc.
- If the water is
being stopped from running away from the foundation by a sidewalk or other obstacle that is not movable
such as a raised area due to trees raised root system then you may need to install a drain
system to carry water out into the yard and away from your foundation during this
Make sure to check
for low spots and high spots that need leveled out. These areas need to be shoveled and raked as level
Step 3: Adding Amendments if Necessary
Check your soils PH
levels. Most popular North Florida lawn
St. Augustine, Bahia, Centipede and Bermuda are tolerant of low
PH or acidic soils commonly found in North Florida landscapes.
In fact both Bahia and Centipede sod are supposed to
do better in soils with a PH of 5-7. Knowing your soil PH
helps aid the decision of what variety of sod will suit your landscape best.
Check problematic soils
with your local agriculture agent. the phone numbers and
contact information for your areas Agricultural Extension agents are listed below. Here in North Florida you can
reach them by phone or go directly to their office locations and get help with your yard and garden as well as
have soil samples tested for amendment needs.
the North Florida Landscape there are some common soil
problems with simple solutions to
correct those issues during the preparation stage before you begin laying your
soils is a simple matter of
adding organic and inorganic soil amendments onto the soil before
installing plant material. Knowing what your using and why helps avoid unnecessary use of chemicals that may be
damaging our Florida water supply.
Duval County Extension Service
Mailing Address: Duval COunty Extension
1010 N. McDuff Avenue
Jacksonville Florida 32254
Hours: Monday - Saturday 8-5
Phone : 904-255-7450
Clay County Extension
Mailing address: Clay County
P.O. Box 278 Green Cove Springs Florida 32043-0278
2463 State Road 16 West
Green Cove Springs 32043
Phone: 904-284-6355 or 904-269-6355
St. Johns County Extension Service
Address:3125 Agriculture Center
Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32092-0572