It isn't difficult to lay your own sod. The most important thing to remember is that you get what you put into it. You can lay Bermuda grass on concrete and it will live, well you know because Bermuda is a weed!
How do I prepare my ground?
The more preparation you do the better your sod grass will thrive and give you a beautiful lawn for years to come. Depending on the exisiting soil quality you may need to add good quality top soil and ammendments, adjust you PH and till to loosen and mix the existing soil and new additional top soil and amendments.
We highly recommend a soil test which can be taken to your local county extension office and for a small fee they will test the soil and give you an enterpretation of the recommendations given on the analysis you recieve. Based on the information you may need to add lime or other amendments to adjust your soil for optimum performance of your sod grass. Here is a helpful website to give you the information you need to collect your soil sample and how to go through the process. http://extension.uga.edu/agriculture/soil/
If you choose not to add soil or ammendments the very least you need to take care of is to get all the weeds and as many of the rock out of the area to be sodded. You can rake with a hard rake to get the debris and small rocks that will become lumps under your sod. Some lumpiness can be gotten out after you lay your sod with a rollar, but it is much easier to get it right before you lay the pieces down.
When you are raking it out make sure you are keeping the grade going away from your home and not sending water into your foundation. If you are not sure, run some water in the area and see where it goes. If it puddles in one area then raise that area. if it directs to your foundation you need to redirect the water by creating a fall away from your home.
If you have just had trees cut down and the stumps ground you need to get as much of the ground tree mulch out and replace with soil. if you leave the mulch, it will compost and degenerate leaving a depression in your lawn.
If you have a lot of weeds and feel the need to use a weed killer, I recommend that you do this at least 4 weeks in advance, then again in 2 weeks prior to you planned installation.
Stay tuned for the next installation, were we will be covering how to measure and order your sod.