Pro Tips From Central Florida Sod & Turf Experts

Lake Jem Farms – The Trusted Source for Sod & Turf for Over 30 years!

How to Prep for Sod Installation

Dec 19, 2014 | Lawn Care

Creating a thick, lush lawn in Florida is easily achievable by installing sod onto your lawn. However, it’s not as easy as just rolling the sod out and adding water. There are a few things to check off your list before having sod installed by a Central Florida sod farm, such as choosing the right sod for your property, ensuring all weeds are killed, and that your lawn is graded and your soil is as healthy as possible. 

Choosing a Turfgrass

Not all lawns are created equal. The amount of shade or sun that your yard gets, the soil pH of your property, and the time you’re looking to put into maintenance are all factors that could dictate your turfgrass options. To see what kind of turfgrass would be best for your yard, check our article on the best types of turfgrass for Central Florida.

Taking Care of Weeds

Once you’ve chosen the type of sod you’ll be placing on your property it is time to start prepping. While a sod lawn will give you the instant look you desire, it can easily be penetrated by weeds during the first season if not prepared properly. Chemical weed killers can be a good option, as many commercial mixes are available to eradicate local varieties of weeds. However, many organic gardeners choose sun sterilization to kill off weeds by placing a plastic sheeting over the weeds to create heat underneath, sterilizing the soil.

Grading Your Property

For the best results out of any lawn, a property should never be completely flat. Property that slopes away from landmarks such as buildings, large trees, or sidewalks allows for water to slide away instead of pooling in low areas. Creating this gentle slope to your property by building up these areas can help eliminate huge puddles, which could cause lawn issues.

Soil Amendments

To get the best start for your sod installation, it is important to ensure your soil pH levels are compatible with your sod choice. A soil test can tell you the exact pH level, as well as nutrients that are present. Generally, a good pH level for sod placement is between 6.0 and 7.0. If your pH levels are low, you can raise them with the addition of limestone. Shredded mulch and compost also make good additions to soil before laying sod. They can add drainage to the soil and create nutrients as they decompose.

Irrigation System Check

One of the last, but most important things to prepare your lawn for sod installation is to ensure you have the proper irrigation system in place. Whether you choose to have a sprinkler system or drip lines, having these in place can save you time and ensure your new lawn gets the water it needs. Using an automatic timer to control on/off times and length of watering is recommended.