Anyone have sod installed?

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ThankYouJack
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Anyone have sod installed?

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:49 pm

If so, what sort of grass, how much was it, how much maintenance did it require, and how happy were you with it?

RudyS
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by RudyS » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:33 pm

This will be very location-dependent, especially type of grass. You might give a hint as to location. You could also check with your State Extension service - probably has web site - for recommendations on suitable types of grass. Sort of a second opinion (or first?) relative to whatever vendors you contact for bids.

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MastersChampion
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by MastersChampion » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:33 pm

This was almost 10 years ago now, so I don't remember the price.

We had just added onto the house and had most of the back yard sodded to replace grass trashed by construction.
It was a mixture of types, but mostly Bluegrass. It required watering attention the first year.
Now, I hardly ever sprinkle it, but I fertilize once a year and spot-kill weeds to make it look nice. I spend at most 2 hours per year on it aside from mowing.

I am very happy with it. It looks great 10 years on, and I'm happy we spent that money. We are in Northern Illinois so we are temperate and get plenty of rain.

tomd37
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by tomd37 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:57 pm

Some good comments thus far. Check with your State or County Agricultural Agent for guidance and suggestions. IMO proper soil preparation and installation of the sod is critical as is the ability to provide adequate and constant watering over a long period of time. I suspect if you are going to use a cool season type sod you would be much better off to do it in the fall the same as you would if you were seeding or over seeding.

I have only installed sod in smaller areas, but quickly found out proper soil preparation was critical in some areas where they did not properly till the soil to a proper depth before laying the sod. Where they did, fine but in some other areas not good at all. :annoyed
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:03 pm

Soil preparation is key. In addition to deep rototilling of soil, make sure the landscaper or the home owner gives the soil a good soaking of water before they lay the actual sod down. My landscaper failed to tell me that, then proceeded to lay the sod down on one of the hottest days of late spring, shocking the sod into temporary dormancy. It then required me to literally run my sprinklers two hours a day per zone for two straight weeks before my sod recovered to a nice healthy green.

Here's a good source on caring for sod ---> https://turf.purdue.edu/homeowner.html
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Taz
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by Taz » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:13 pm

If you live in Florida check out the University of Florida's turf program http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/

BTW, dealing with my lawn is the biggest downside to living in Florida.
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BUBear29
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by BUBear29 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:14 pm

Live in Dallas. Just re-sod my back yard which is about 2000 SF. Planted zoysia - excellent grass for warmer climates and if there is a bit of shade. very pretty and comfortable grass. cost me $4k to grade,till, add a french drain and grass.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:39 pm

BUBear29 wrote:Live in Dallas. Just re-sod my back yard which is about 2000 SF. Planted zoysia - excellent grass for warmer climates and if there is a bit of shade. very pretty and comfortable grass. cost me $4k to grade,till, add a french drain and grass.
Thanks, I was thinking zoysia too as it was recommended by our landscape architect. Any ideas about the maintenance, especially weeds? How's it feel in bare feet: prickly or comfortable? Not sure I want to spend over a few grand on it, but I'll get a quote or two from landscapers and research further.

rebellovw
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by rebellovw » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:43 pm

I installed it myself and it worked out really well.

When Home Depot delivered the Sod - it was yellowish and not looking healthy - I immediately sent it back and got a very nice green replacement - so make sure that what is delivered is healthy or reject it.

Then of course prep the soil and irrigation system - rototiller and peatmoss.

BUBear29
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by BUBear29 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:51 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
BUBear29 wrote:Live in Dallas. Just re-sod my back yard which is about 2000 SF. Planted zoysia - excellent grass for warmer climates and if there is a bit of shade. very pretty and comfortable grass. cost me $4k to grade,till, add a french drain and grass.
Thanks, I was thinking zoysia too as it was recommended by our landscape architect. Any ideas about the maintenance, especially weeds? How's it feel in bare feet: prickly or comfortable? Not sure I want to spend over a few grand on it, but I'll get a quote or two from landscapers and research further.
I bet the bulk of my cost was grading the existing dirt as it was all wrong. you could do it yourself at a significant discount if you have a good palette to work with. The grass is extremely comfortable to stand on. as far as weeds, my grass is new and just taking root, I have noticed weeds growing up as is expected until I can cut and treat-nothing I'm really worried about.
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livesoft
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:56 pm

Years ago we bought a couple pallets of St Augustine grass for about $400 delivered and spent two days plopping it down. Soil prep was minimal. Gravity and rain will help flatten everything and make the roots grow towards the center of the earth. Maintenance is trivial: Mow, water, fertilize as needed.
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letsgobobby
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by letsgobobby » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:22 am

live near the sod capital of the country. 8000 sf of sod delivered on pallets would be about $3000. working on a bid for someone else to do the work and figure it will be a multiple of that. soil prep is important and it helps to have the right equipment and experience. our native clay soil will otherwise suffocate grass roots.

mw1739
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by mw1739 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:40 am

letsgobobby wrote:live near the sod capital of the country. 8000 sf of sod delivered on pallets would be about $3000. working on a bid for someone else to do the work and figure it will be a multiple of that. soil prep is important and it helps to have the right equipment and experience. our native clay soil will otherwise suffocate grass roots.
I've done a little research as my wife doesn't like our current grass. The numbers I came up with in the Midwest are similar at about 50 cents a square foot installed. I used http://www.findlotsize.com to measure my property less the driveway, sidewalk, mulch etc.

iamlucky13
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:56 pm

letsgobobby wrote:live near the sod capital of the country. 8000 sf of sod delivered on pallets would be about $3000. working on a bid for someone else to do the work and figure it will be a multiple of that. soil prep is important and it helps to have the right equipment and experience. our native clay soil will otherwise suffocate grass roots.
Yes. Your soil prep is critical.

Sod is not a roll-out lawn like it is sometimes portrayed. It's more like pre-sprouted grass seed to give you a month or so head start on getting the lawn the established. Its success at being established will largely depend having good soil to grow into, and do so easily. Most grasses need a 4-6 inches of decent top soil, and sod usually comes with less than an inch attached.

If you've got bare clay, like what is left in new housing developments after grading, a lot of soil amendment is needed. If you've got existing top soil to till, adding some compost to mix in is still probably worthwhile, but less critical, in addition to checking pH.

There are lots of housing developments where they clearly just spread a thin compost or soil dressing on top of the clay, and put sod down on top. 2-3 years later, homeowners are watering 2-3 times a week just to keep it alive, much less thriving, even in mild Washington state. I've pulled dandelions out of this kind of yard only to have a patch of sod come up with the dandelion - the roots hadn't really grown into the underlying clay at all.

wfrobinette
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by wfrobinette » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:29 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:If so, what sort of grass, how much was it, how much maintenance did it require, and how happy were you with it?
If you are in an area that can support it, I have heard the buffalo grass works well as it's a native NA plant and can root up to 4 to 8 feet, needs minimal mowing and water but can go dormant if no water but won't thrive in extreme moisture either. Almost all other lawn grass here is not native to NA

I've primarily had Tall Fescue lawns, now have a Bluegrass/fine fescue mix. I've heard decent things about Zoysia and stay away from Bermuda unless you want to buy a reel mower and keep it short.

Pay attention to the shade you have. Some grass doesn't do well there and will be quite thin. Even with Sod you'll still have to over seed

Get the soil tested, prepare the soil to at least 6 inches deep and add in missing nutrients/compost and then get an irrigation system if you want a lush thick yard. Spend the money there first. As others have said if you don't do the prep the sod won't thrive.

I've done sod twice and two from seed in the fall. I'd never spend the money on the sod again. I'd spend it on the prep and plant seed.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:00 pm

wfrobinette wrote:
I've done sod twice and two from seed in the fall. I'd never spend the money on the sod again. I'd spend it on the prep and plant seed.
That's what I'm leaning towards after reading through the thread. My soil is hard clay so getting good topsoil would help quite a bit. Still not sure if I should try to repair what's there and try to make it look half decent or dig out everything, till in topsoil and start from scratch. I guess it'll depend on the cost

wfrobinette
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Re: Anyone have sod installed?

Post by wfrobinette » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:14 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
wfrobinette wrote:
I've done sod twice and two from seed in the fall. I'd never spend the money on the sod again. I'd spend it on the prep and plant seed.
That's what I'm leaning towards after reading through the thread. My soil is hard clay so getting good topsoil would help quite a bit. Still not sure if I should try to repair what's there and try to make it look half decent or dig out everything, till in topsoil and start from scratch. I guess it'll depend on the cost
I had very fine hard/wet clay when I lived in VA beach. I swear I could have used it to make pottery. I'd wish I had done better job on the top soil. Tilling is going to be a real pain unless your clay is dry and fairly loose. You might not just be able to add topsoil because it could mess with the grade. You probably should consider having some excavation done to remove some of the clay. Then add soil and compost type material and work it in.

See this http://homeguides.sfgate.com/plant-gras ... 66016.html. It explains how to do it. At least you can test to see how much organic material it takes to get a 3x3 area right before you order a bunch of topsoil find out you got too much.

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