Atlanta can boast of a climate and geographic profile that allows a variety of grasses to thrive well.
Given the south-east’s notorious red clay and year-round rainfall, it’s a good idea for every DIY sod installer to invest in a healthy layer of top soil before laying down fresh cut sod.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Sod Installation
The top soil forms a healthy barrier against erosion and allows water and nutrients to pass through to the roots. So, before you purchase sod for your DIY sod installation home project, prepare the landscape by adding top soil.
Because Atlanta has had many years of construction, a lot of the nutrient filled top soil has been disturbed and ultimately moved from your landscape by the time you are in a home.
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So, prepare your soil before purchasing sod for your DIY sod installation by following these tips:
1. Test the Soil pH.
This preparation stage of sod installation is vital to your fresh cut sod’s survival. Key elements in the soil affect the availability of nutrients for your sod.
For about $12 at a local Lowes or HomeDepot store, you can buy a soil test kit to be sure you’ll be giving your sod a good start to its growing cycle.
2. Clean the Area.
Get rid of withered plants, tree stumps, and any debris that has been buried during construction.
You want to ensure that the grading of the land is smooth, without any depressions.
3. Re-grade the Area
Your DIY sod installation project will be so successful if your new sod has good irrigation and drainage.
Try to limit the number of valleys and hills in your landscaping. If you do have a gradient, a 1-2% slope is ideal for drainage.
4. Till the Hard Clay Soil
If your land’s grading is NOT well established, it would be a good idea for you to rent a tiller to till the hard clay. Tilling the clay will break up any compacted area and help you discover partially buried stones or rocks.
Also, the newly tilled clay soil will allow for bonding with top soil and encourage your new sod’s roots to grow deep. Deeper roots make for more drought resistant sod in any Atlanta landscape!
5. Apply 3-4 Inches of Top Soil
Preferably, add 3-4 inches of naturally decayed and decomposed organic material that is filled with nutrients and microscopic activity that boosts the growth of plants.
During construction, most of the top layers of soil in your landscape was moved or eroded, and your new sod will probably not have a good supply of nutrient rich top soil.
So, adding top soil before laying down sod is essential to your turf’s success. Quality top soil can be purchased from your local home supply store.
6. Water the Top Soil
Invest in a good sprinkler that has good area coverage. And, run the sprinkler so that top soil is thoroughly moistened before applying sod to the area.
Good moisture supplied to the roots will ensure a smooth transplant from sod farm to your landscape.