10 May Putting Down Sod: Use Compost to Achieve a Healthy-Looking Lawn
It’s Spring…finally. And the springtime is the perfect time laying down a new lawn. Here’s a few tip sand tricks—including the importance of adding a layer of compost beneath the sod—to getting the job done right.
Prep the Yard
Laying down the sod is simple and quick, but the trick to having sod roots take and continue to succeed in a new patch of ground is a properly prepared dirt surface. If you are repairing a patchy area of lawn, you will want to clear the area of the existing grass and weeds. Use a combination of shovels and grass rakes—rakes with rigidly-hard metal teeth—to overturn the topmost layer of soil. When you have cleared the area, establish a rough grade to the ground. Use stakes and twine to establish a rough grade—low spots should be filled and high spots leveled. And when you have an established grade—it doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect (you’re going to till the soil soon), just get it level enough that the ground is flat, without hills or divots. When the yard is set to a rough grade, it’s time to till in compost. Why compost? Compost adds nutrients to the soil; it holds in twice as much water at the base of the grass’s roots than dirt; and, whether the underlying soil is overly compacted or too sandy, the compost will change the soil’s characteristics. Spread 3 to 6 inches of compost per 1000 square feet and then till in the compost with the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. With the soil tilled, firm up the ground by packing it down or watering it down; if the forecast is calling for rain or snow, the incoming precipitation will naturally level the ground. Fine grade the freshly tilled/packed ground and you are ready to lay new sod.
When you determine how much compost you’ll need for the job, then contact Rocky Mountain Compost for all your composting needs.