A beautiful lawn is a dream for many homeowners, but sometimes the process of lawn installation can seem daunting.
With so many variables to consider, such as grass type, soil type, climate, and irrigation, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
But fear not! In this ultimate guide to lawn installation, we’ll cover everything you need to know to achieve a lush and healthy lawn – and to make it a space that you can enjoy for years to come.
Let’s dive in!
There are multiple types of lawns, including sod, seed, hydroseed, and artificial turf.
Sod is perfect if you want a lawn that is ready to use immediately. Seed is an affordable option that, though it can save some money, requires more care and patience.
Hydroseed is a mixture of grass seed, mulch, and water, which is sprayed onto the soil. It’s an excellent option to cover large areas quickly, and the grass grows uniformly. It is more expensive than just hand-seeding, and takes longer to establish than sod, but can strike a middle ground between the two when it comes to cost.
Once you have decided on the type of lawn, it’s time to install it. Depending on the type of lawn you choose, this can be somewhat tricky – but working with a professional landscaper who specializes in lawn installation, like C&B Property maintenance, can help.
If you’re thinking of installing a new lawn or revamping an existing one, the next question would be – what is the most affordable method of planting it? We already mentioned that seeding tends to be the cheapest option, but why is that?
Seeding has lots of benefits. It’s easy to do, and you can choose from a wide variety of seeds available in the market. You have two options – hand seeding, which can be done by simply scattering seeds on the soil using your hands, or through a mechanical spreader for better distribution.
While the upfront costs are lower compared to sodding, the process is also incredibly time-consuming. You need to prep the soil, water frequently for good germination, and wait for several weeks or even months before seeing results.
Compared to seeding, sodding is the faster and more straightforward approach to establish a new lawn. Sod is already grown (attached to a supporting mesh of organic materials) and can be bought from a supplier.
Installing sod is almost like carpeting your lawn; you just need to unroll it and follow a few steps to give it time to take root. This method is ideal if you need to create an instant lawn or have limited time to wait for a new lawn to grow.
However, the cost is higher compared to seeding, especially if you have a large area to cover. So while no method is necessarily “better” than the other, it’s important to consult with an experienced landscaper who can give you the best recommendation based on your lawn, budget, and other factors.
Sod is, again, essentially turf grass that comes complete with its own root mat, making it much more durable than traditional grass seed. However, installing sod requires more preparation than simply sprinkling some seed on the ground.
Here’s a quick guide so you know what to expect, regardless of whether you do it yourself or hire the professionals.
Before you can install sod, you need to ensure that the soil is conducive to growth. This means removing any debris, rocks, or old grass and weeds.
Next, you’ll want to add a layer of topsoil and compost to the area where you’ll be laying sod. This will create a fertile foundation for your new grass to take root.
In some cases, it may also be important to add lime to the soil to adjust the pH level and prevent moss and weeds from growing.
While not strictly necessary, tilling can help ensure that the soil is loose, permeable, and free of debris. This can increase the chances of the sod rooting properly and can make it easier to level the soil.
If you have an existing lawn, you may be able to skip the tilling step by mowing the grass as low as possible, then removing any debris and adding topsoil to fill in any low spots.
Laying sod over an existing lawn can be a time-saving and cost-effective way to refresh your grass. However, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to ensure that the old grass won’t interfere with the new sod.
Start by mowing your lawn as low as possible, then rake it to remove any debris or clippings. Next, install edging around the perimeter of the area where you’ll be laying sod to prevent it from spreading beyond its borders. Add a layer of topsoil and compost, level it, and lay the new sod.
After preparing the soil and tilling,m if necessary, you need to measure your lawn. Carefully measure the length and width of your yard, taking note of any curves or odd shapes. Afterward, calculate the square footage to determine how much sod is required. When ordering the sod, make sure you choose one with the suitable grass type for your area.
Sod is typically installed within 24 hours of delivery. Clear a space in a shaded area where the sod can be stacked. Be sure to cover the sod with a tarp to keep it moist, but avoid overheating or freezing. Do not store the sod for more than three days.
Make sure the soil is moist to provide a good base for the roots. Lay the first strip across a straight edge, such as a pathway or driveway. Unroll the next strip beside the first with the edges touching without overlapping. Stagger the seams as you continue to lay the sod. Avoid walking on the newly laid sod, and use a utility knife to trim the edges where necessary.
After completing the installation, water the sod thoroughly. This is especially important for the first two weeks to promote healthy root growth. Water the lawn daily for the first week and every other day for the second week. Afterward, reduce watering to twice a week, giving each area around one inch of water per week.
If you decide to go the route of seeding instead of sodding, here’s what to expect.
The best time to start this project is usually late summer or early fall when the weather is a bit cooler and there is still enough time for the new grass to grow.
Keep in mind that you should not work on wet soil, as this can damage the existing grassroots. So, wait for a dry day if the soil is still damp.
Once you have cleared up the area, follow these steps for seeding a new lawn from scratch:
Start by irrigating the area well before planting the seed. Then, pick up any debris you find, such as stones or rocks. Once you’ve done this, go ahead and install the edging to keep the soil and seed in the designated place. Next, add topsoil and compost. Rake the soil to even it out; remove any small rocks or sticks and shape it preparatory to planting.
Then, choose the right seed for your climate and desired look. Follow the instructions to calculate the quantity needed for the area and spread the seed evenly over the soil.
Using a garden rake, gently rake the soil to ensure that the seeds are getting good contact with the soil. This helps to ensure the seeds remain in place and promotes their germination.
To prevent the seeds from being picked and eaten by birds or insects, topdress with straw. Be very gentle during this process to avoid displacing the seeds you’ve worked so hard to put down.
After seeding, water regularly. Do not water during the heat of the day as this will evaporate quickly. Make sure everyone keeps off the grass for the first few weeks while it establishes itself.
Now that you know everything that goes into seeding or sodding a lawn, we don’t blame you if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed!
Don’t worry – we’re here to help. If you are looking for the best commercial and residential sod installation and landscaping company in Connecticut, C&B Property Maintenance LLC is the right choice for your Southington landscaping needs.
With over two decades of experience, we offer a comprehensive list of services that are delivered with quality workmanship, attention to detail, competitive pricing, and exceptional customer service. Contact us today for all your landscaping and lawn installation needs!
We serve the following areas:
- West Hartford