Sod can turn a lawn into a beautiful sea of grass in a matter of days.
If you prepare the soil adequately, choose the proper seed, avoid stepping on the sod while still young, and mow it correctly, sod farms can expand quickly. If you water the sod well, apply the right fertilizer, and weed it periodically, a sod farm will mature extremely fast.
So, how do sod farms grow grass so fast? Let’s find out the reasons why.
How Do Sod Farms Grow Grass So Fast
1. Proper Soil Preparation
For a healthy lawn, soil quality is critical. Preparing your soil well before planting your sod is a crucial step. If you don’t prepare the ground well, the sod might take longer to mature for optimum growth.
Follow the steps below when preparing the soil before planting sod.
1. Remove any existing grass, weeds, and large rocks from the area. Pulling out weeds from the roots will prevent them from growing back.
2. Tilling the soil will aerate it and break up any hard lumps.
3. Level the ground with a firm rake, removing any pebbles and stones in the process.
4. Testing soil pH.
To get the best results, test your soil when it’s dry. Applying lime is a standard solution to raising the pH of soil. Suppose soil is acidic, you can lower the pH by using organic matter. To lower pH, you can also use sulfate fertilizers.
Also read: Best professional lawn aerator
2. Use the Right Seed
Warm-season sod can withstand hot, sunny weather, but they may become dormant in the winter. Cool-season grasses can stay green all year, but they struggle in hot weather.
Warm-season sod will grow fast in a warm climate, while cold season sod performs well in cold weather. If you want your sod to grow fast, you should buy the correct seed for your climate/weather.
3. How often should I water my sod?
New sod requires plenty of water to establish the roots. However, overwatering the sod can kill it. The same is true if you don’t provide it with enough water.
Seeds that haven’t yet taken root can be washed away if they are overwatered. The tiny sod sprouts will dry out without enough water and die. Study how sod performs with different amounts of water to get the optimum quantity.
For at least two months, you should water your sod twice a day. This watering should provide your lawn with a total of six inches of water per cycle. Water your grass in the morning and late afternoon, but remember to change your lawn watering plan to accommodate rainfall.
4. Can I use Fertilizer on sod?
Sod takes in fertilizer well. Therefore, applying a good amount a day after laying it down can boost its growth. Study how your sod grows over the next six months before applying the second dose of fertilizer.
Sod develops mature roots after about six months. Using the right fertilizer during the installation can boost the growth of sod in your lawn. Many farmers opt to use fertilizers rich in iron and nitrogen during summer and fertilizers with sulfur and iron in Fall.
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5. Don’t Walk on the Sod
One common mistake people make is walking on the sod before the sod develops a robust root system. Walking on the sod before its roots mature reduces your chances of success with sod. The usual guideline is to wait two weeks, but the exact number of days depends on how quickly your sod takes root.
It’s simple to tell if the new sod has taken hold of the soil. Lift one corner of a sod piece gently. If you don’t experience any resistance when you lift the sod, then it means that the roots haven’t fully formed.
On the other hand, when you try to lift a corner of mature sod, you will experience quite the resistance since the roots have already stuck into the ground. Giving the sod enough time to develop strong roots will enable them to grow faster.
6. Mow the Sod
Regularly mowing your grass keeps the blades at the proper height for photosynthesis and nutrient absorption. You should cut your sod no less than 2 ½ inches for optimum growth. It also guarantees that the grass grows uniformly throughout your lawn and that all edges receive the same quantity of nutrients.
Mowing will also allow you to detect diseases or pests in your sod. You should treat grass diseases promptly before they spread to other parts of your lawn. Fungal infections can swiftly damage your lawn as they spread.
Mow your sod regularly to ensure healthy, uniform growth.
7. Weed your sod
Weeding is an essential step in caring for sod. There are three different methods of controlling weeds you can employ:
- Uprooting by hand
- Chemical treatment
- Biological methods
Combine all three control methods at different stages of your sod’s growth to get the best results.
Spraying your newly laid sod with herbicides before it takes root might kill it. Therefore, you should avoid using chemicals on your sod until after a couple of weeks when the sod has matured.
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If your grass only contains a few weeds, you can try pulling them by hand. Annual weeds, such as crabgrass and chickweed, have shallow roots and are usually easy to pick up by hand. Perennial weeds have deep, extensive roots and are more difficult to pull out because even a single root left in the ground will cause the weed to grow back.
Digging out the weeds during the soil preparation stage will save you from this problem once you’ve laid down your sod.
8. Control pests
Controlling pests is an essential step to ensuring fast sod growth. There are various ways to eliminate pests from your lawn, such as chinch bugs.
However, we recommend using methods that don’t involve chemicals, as these are environmentally friendly. Here are some control measures you can take against pests on your sod farm.
- You can lower the number of chinch bugs by watering more efficiently.
- Using biological control methods such as nematodes that eat the insect larvae of lawn pests.
- Use of insecticidal soaps that kill the pests. These insecticides are harmless, work swiftly, and dissolve down soon.
Every farmer wants their sod farm to grow fast and look healthy, but do you give the sod the necessary care it needs to mature?
Follow the steps explained above to ensure your sod grows fast and healthy.
Simple procedures like choosing the right seed and preparing the ground well can make a huge difference when it comes to how fast your sod grows.