Properly prepping your soil prior to sod installation will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Cheaper is not always better when it comes to sod installation or sod quality. There is a reason why other contractors charge significantly less to do the “same” job. What we come across quite frequently when we maintain lawns after sod installation, is that vegetation was not controlled, proper grading was not done, black dirt was not installed and debris was not removed. When choosing a contractor to sod your lawn, keep in mind that all of the above problems will affect the quality of your lawn after the installation.
Before Sod Installation.
Vegetation- If not treated properly before the installation of sod, you may wind up with a lawn full of weeds. There are quite a few invasive grassy weeds that are not easily controlled. If these weeds were treated properly before the sod installation, they would not be a problem
Proper Grading- Improper grading can lead to water problems, trip hazards and an unsightly appearance of your lawn. Water can pond, flow the wrong way or not flow at all if proper grading was not done. Low areas around sidewalks and drives can create trip hazards.
Black Dirt- If you have experienced new construction, you may have noticed the big pile of black dirt that the contractor took off of your lawn. Most contractors now days will only put a minimal amount of black dirt back in the lawn prior to sodding, if that. If you install sod on clay, it will not grow correctly and it will almost always look bad. If you drive through older neighborhoods in the summer, the grass in those neighborhoods will almost always be greener than the grass in new developments. The removal of black dirt is usually the suspect when it comes to overall turf quality. If you are building a new home, don’t let your contractor take your black dirt and sell it back to you. Make sure that they replace what they took before they sod.
Debris Removal- Sod installation over concrete or construction materials is not a good idea. Make sure that your sodding contractor removes these prior to sodding your lawn. Any debris left in the lawn will hamper the growth of your grass.