View Full Version : Sod

Liberty Landscaping LLC
03-09-2011, 05:43 PM
This is my first time posting so here goes. I have been in the business about 3 seasons. I used to only do lawn maintenance as I only do this part time and have a full time job. I have a few people asking me to do chemical applications and SOD. I live in NJ and they require a class to get licenced for chemical applications and I want to do it the right way so I signed up for the class. Hopefully they actually teach application methods and what have you. If not I will be back on here for that but my main concern is SOD. I wanted to see how you apply it if anyone has expierence and how you charge for it. I was watching the DIY network and also researched online and they said to remove dead grass and then fertalize and then apply the SOD. Is this the common practice or should I put down top soil. Any advice I would appreciate it. Please tell me how you do it. BTW this site is terrific. I check it almost daily just didn't have a purpose to post till this year. Thanks everyone in advance.

03-09-2011, 06:10 PM
I soil test before hand, if the soil is sufficient for sod to grow on, I do not add soil.

First off, I spray to kill all the grass and weeds, let it set in for a day. Come back with my tractor, till the crap out of it! lol. (my tiller leaves an almost sand consistency to the soil all grass is gone or I rake the remaining grass) Then I have a section of fence about 6 foot wide and 10 foot long I drag across to level it ( a heavy thick chainlink fence). Then I spread a good starter fertilizer, lay the sod (watering it in as you go, dont wait till the end if you have a lot of sod to do, every 500sqft or so water it in), overlap the sod about half an inch at the seams, prevents wash out lines. Run over it with a sod roller and there ya go....

Also, give it a few days BEFORE you lay the fert or sod if you sprayed killer. Let it neutralize... dont want it to kill the new sod! And water the soil the day before you lay the sod, get it good and WET, that away not to *Shock* the root system into dormancy...

Make sure your out of the frost timeline before laying sod too, frost can shock the sod too.

03-10-2011, 02:31 AM
I soil test before hand, if the soil is sufficient for sod to grow on, I do not add soil.

If it is not sufficient, what kinds of things will you do to make it sufficient?

Liberty Landscaping LLC
03-10-2011, 12:28 PM
How do you soil test?

03-10-2011, 02:13 PM
You pull a few plugs of soil, takes a day for the test to run.

Here is a link to one on ebay.


It checks for PH balance, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels.

Depending upon the readings, I adjust accordingly.

The kits will run up to 10 tests per.

So you can run 10 PH, 10 Nitrogen, etc...

Hope this helps, keep a few lock-n-lock containers with you for the soil plugs.

03-10-2011, 10:00 PM
The only thing I would add is that we use a sod cutter to remove the old/bad spots. Again testing the soil is a must. Lots of money to be made if the work to make it look great is required. Beside you don't want it to look like sh%^ after a few weeks cause it still has a problem.

Fix the existing problem $$$ before making it look great.

Its the same with doing any aerating work; its a TEMPORARY mechanical fix for a problem that can be fixed permanently and correctly(obviously not all situations fit this statement; i.e. sports fields, and other high traffic areas...)

Liberty Landscaping LLC
03-11-2011, 01:38 AM
Thanks for the great advise. I ordered the test kit. Also I thought the SOD cutter literaly cut the SOD. Boy I need to research some more.

Also I had someone email me about doing aeration. What do you mean it's not the solution? It's not a permanent fix? I was going to buy one and offer it as a service but I obviously need some more info on it first.

03-11-2011, 01:42 AM
Depending upon the readings, I adjust accordingly.

Once you adjust the dirt's ph levels, do you test it again or what process do you advise before you lay the new sod down?

03-11-2011, 08:47 PM
Sod cutters are used for cutting sod, but you can also use it to cut out small or large areas of grass and turf to be removed. Good for patch work, but I prefer to just till it all in. Unless there were fungal infestations that need to be addressed. Then cut those portions out.

Aeration alone isnt a permanent fix, eventually the soil will compact down again, and will have to be aerated again. Especially heavy clay soils. To remedy this, either natures lawn products which help break down the clay. Or you can aerate and top dress the lawn, with a river silt or sand material and it will help break up the clay concentration.

Hope this helps to explain a bit.

Steve: To begin with, it wouldnt hurt to retest after applications, but after time and careful calculations for applications you almost dont need too, unless you had to apply a lot of chemical or powder to the soil/turf.

03-11-2011, 10:33 PM
CheapNEasy said it all for me.

But out here its not really practical all the time to till it all up. Its not very open out here in AZ so equipment can be an issue; so cutting a good layer (3/4 to 1) adding some top soil, needed fert., and lay sod.

Liberty Landscaping if tilling is possible I would do it cause 1 it aerates the soil and 2 adds organic material.

Liberty Landscaping LLC
03-12-2011, 05:17 PM
I have free reign on this one. It's my parents house they got a new dog and she tore the hell out of the part closest to their house in the back yard so they asked me to lay SOD. Never did it before so figured I would ask first. I love this forum. Thanks for all the help!!! I will let everyone know how it goes. Hopefully next week if the frost is over. Should be soon if not next week.

03-14-2011, 02:23 AM
Take some before, during and after pictures of the process and keep track of the amount of time it takes to do this. It will help with future jobs.

I look forwards to your updates.

Liberty Landscaping LLC
03-14-2011, 11:08 PM
I def. will. Thanks Steve and everyone that assisted!!! I really appreciate it!