Site preparations for sod

1. Remove construction debris and vegetation to allow good sod to soil contact.

2. Do a rough grade to promote good drainage away from buildings, then rototill to loosen the soil if there has been heavy traffic during construction and remove any additional debris that becomes exposed. Soil amendments can be added at this time if necessary.  

3. Firm soil up by rolling or watering to the point that foot prints are very shallow. This prevents air pockets under the sod after installation.

4. Install underground sprinklers if desired, leaving the heads about 1.5 inches above the soil surface.

5. Finish grade with soil 1.5 inches below sidewalks and other hardscape features.

6. Apply starter fertilizer at the recommended rate on the bag.

7. Watering the site prior to installation is necessary only if the soil is very dry, and then allow the surface to dry out before laying the sod so it isn’t muddy. On the day of installation if the soil is hot from direct sun, dampen the soil to cool it, lessening the transplant shock.

Keystone Sod
Quality Sod at Affordable Prices


<- Keystone Sod being installed by Western Turf at the new OReilly Auto Parts.

Keystone Sod’s ten steps to a beautiful yard

1. Measure the area you would like to sod. For help with the square footage and cost check out the calculator HERE

2. Call to order one to two days in advance contact Loren HERE

3. Plan your pickup and transport requirements HERE

4. Sod must be installed within 24 hours of pickup. Microorganisms are at work in the sod which generates heat that will ultimately kill the turf, watering the outside of the pallet WILL NOT prevent it. So have your site ready prior to arrival. Need to know what’s required check HERE

5. Before laying the sod apply a starter fertilizer on the soil, this will allow the roots direct access to the nutrients.

6. Begin installing the sod along a straight line such as a driveway or sidewalk where you won’t need to walk across it to continue laying more sod. Butt the ends and sides of the strips tightly. Trim around sprinklers and other objects with a sharp knife. This should be done in a horizontal brick pattern and especially across the slope; this will prevent the runoff from eroding under the sod, as it will if there is a continuous seam.

7. Begin watering as soon as you have an area done that you can run a zone of sprinklers. If this isn’t possible within 30 minutes, then use a garden hose sprinkler to water what you have laid. For follow-up watering check HERE

8. Keep pet and foot traffic to a minimum for 3-4 weeks. Allow 10 days to 2 weeks before mowing and then only with a push mower to avoid pulling up the sod. Remember the 1/3 rule; Remove no more than 1/3 of the plant when mowing, mow at least 3 inches high to maintain a healthier turf. Dense healthy turf prevents a lot of potential weed problems.

9. Return the pallets for refund!


Watering newly installed sod

1. Begin watering sod within a half hour of installation, check to assure adequate saturation by lifting the corner of the sod, the soil should be very wet underneath.

2. Make certain that all areas are getting watered adequately. Corners and edges are easily missed due to wind drift. Keep in mind that areas next to buildings dry out faster because of the reflective heat and may need more water.

3. Water may run off sloped areas before they are adequately moist. In these situations when runoff begins turn off the water. Wait 30 minutes or more then restart watering until it runs off again. Repeat this until the area is adequately soaked.

4. As the turf begins to root down it will be difficult to pick up the corner to check for adequate moisture so a screwdriver can be used to check the soil moisture, it should be easy to stick in the soil 3-4 inches, if not then more water is needed.

5. Deep early morning watering is preferred since there usually is less wind to interfere with good sprinkler coverage. In the heat of summer a lighter application is needed to cool the turf in the early and possibly late afternoon.

6. After 3-4 weeks when the sod has taken root, the watering periods can be extended to encourage the turf to root deeper into the soil. This allows the grass blades to dry out which discourages diseases. Also this will help the grass survive drought and hot weather.

7. Cool season turf species do most of their growth and root development in the fall and the next spring after installation. It is important that it isn’t allowed to dry out late in the fall. Many sprinkler systems are turned off and drained at sign of first frost due to backflow devices. So some hand or garden hose watering may be needed late in the fall on occasion to lessen the chance of winter kill.

8. To determine the amount of water needed follow these visual guides. Grass in need of water will have a grey-blue cast to it, rather than a blue-green or green color. Also, foot prints will still appear after a half-hour or more on a lawn in need of water, while on well-watered lawn foot-prints will completely disappear within minutes.