Sod installation

Billings Landscaping, LLC has a green thumb when it comes to new lawns.  Sod installation is an important part of creating a successful landscape.  We have the experience to design and install your new sprinkler systems and lawns.  We regularly work with new home owners and builder to create lasting landscapes.  Our goal is to provide you with a lawn that will remain healthy and attractive throughout the year.

sod
Sod after being installed.  New construction job located in Copper Ridge Subdivision in Billings, MT.

Why install Sod?

In Billings Montana, sod is usually the best way to get a nice lawn.  Sod can usually be installed within one day and when done right, it establishes itself as part of the landscape very quickly.  Within a week, sod will root into the native ground and provide you with a lush green lawn.  Unlike with hydro-seeding,  sod requires less watering to become establishes and is less susceptible to damage from heavy rain or foot traffic.

Things to know about installing sod

Nobody likes a lumpy lawn.  The trick to a nice smooth lawn is all in the preparation.  Before laying sod, remove rocks and hard clumps of dirt and clay.  Use a landscapers finish rake to get a nice smooth grade throughout the area receiving the sod.  Apply root starter fertilizer per the sod suppliers recommendations.  Additional topsoil and soil conditioning is always good for your lawn, but isn’t always necessary.  Consult an expert to address your site needs specifically.

sod preparation
Typical job site scene getting ready for sod.

Sod will turn yellow and begin to die if you don’t water it adequately.  A lot of inexperienced sod installers don’t realize at first the dry ground will wick the moisture away from fresh laid sod.  Even if you run water on the sod via the sprinkler system, it is most important so give the sod a very heavy soak after first installing it….especially if the ground is really dusty and dry when you laid it.  Soak the fresh sod well enough for the water to penetrate deep into the soil beneath.  It may take a few heavy watering cycles to achieve this goal, but now is not the time to conserve water.  Water conservation is best achieved over the long run by using a sprinkler system that is efficient and has a low evaporation rate.  You can learn more about sprinkler systems here.

When the ground it moist, it is soft.  The reason you don’t walk on fresh laid sod is not because the sod can’t handle it.  The reason is because if it was done right, then it should be really wet.   The wet soil will gush and displace under your foot because the roots of the sod have not yet penetrated into the soil to help stabilize it.  This will leave a hole or low spot in your lawn, so try to avoid walking on fresh laid sod at all cost.  Accidents do happen and sometime it might be necessary.  If this happens, pull up the sod in those locations, apply new topsoil to level out the low spot, and re-water.  This process can be a lot of work if you let your dog out on your fresh laid sod and he or she treks all over the lawn.  It is best to stay off of the sod for the first week or two, and especially avoid walking on it right after you water.

When installing sod, be sure to keep the joints tight and move quickly. It is best to have some help! It is also well worth having the sod supplier deliver the sod for you. Sod suppliers has special equipment and experienced operators who will drop the pallets of sod in the best locations.

Soggy sod is susceptible to diseases. Fungus and other diseases can attach sod that is weakened by too much moisture. Many landscapes have natural low spots and sometimes these low spots can’t be avoided. This is where having the experience of a professional sprinkler installer pays off big time. It is important to design the sprinkler system to prevent over watering in the low areas. There is more to the design than simply adjusting the coverage in those areas. Sprinkler systems are under pressure when they are on, but that pressure doesn’t stay in the system after the watering cycle is complete. Instead, the pressure is reduced by allowing water to release from the heads after the system is off. Check valves can be used to control where the water is discharged in order to prevent too much water from entering a low spot in the lawn.

sod installation tips
Remove clumps of clay and rock before laying sod.

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