- spade or fork
- all-purpose granular fertilizer
- served topsoil mixed with horticultural sand
- wooden plank
- garden hose
Step 1: Prepare Soil
Two months before the turf arrives, weed the site thoroughly. Dig 4 inches of organic matter into the soil, and dig plenty of grit into heavy clay to increase drainage.
Step 2: Tread Over the Plot
Level the area with a rake, then keep your weight on your heels and tread over the length of your plot. Repeat at a right angle across the width.
Step 3: Apply Fertilizer
Rake the ground level to remove any depressions. Leave for five weeks for the soil to settle, then hoe to remove weeds. Apply an all-purpose fertilizer.
Step 4: Unroll the Turf
Carefully unroll the turf, laying whole pieces down and working out from an edge. Stand on a plank to distribute your weight, and tamp down with a rake.
Step 5: Lay Turf in Rows
Continue to lay the turf in rows, and stagger the joints like a wall of bricks. This produces a much stronger structure. Use an old knife for cutting if necessary.
Step 6: Create a Tight Seam
Butt pieces together so they almost overlap, and press the crease down firmly with your thumbs.
Step 7: Lay Small Pieces in the Middle
Don’t use small pieces of turf at the edge of the lawn; they will dry out and shrink—instead lay them in the middle of the site. Firm in well with a rake.
Step 8: Shape the Lawn's Edges
Use a garden hose or rope to mark out the curves, and then cut around your template with an edger or sharp spade.
Step 9: Blend the Turf
To help adjacent pieces of turf to grow together and root firmly, brush in a blend of sieved topsoil and horticultural sand using a stiff broom.
Step 10: Water the Lawn Frequently
Keep the lawn well watered all summer. This is especially important during dry spells when there is a risk of shrinkage. If cracks do appear, brush in some soil.
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The best time to lay sod is early fall or early spring. Keep the lawn well watered, or sod will shrink and curl.