I've also fasttracked that for you with this blog post: The Best Types of Grass for Your Lawn
Take note of your climate, availability of sunlight, and whether your grass is of the warm or cold season variety. Once you get an idea of what they are, then you can narrow down your choices.
And here is what you need to look for when buying sod:
• Good strong roots that don’t easily break or tear.
• 2-inch deep green blades that look uniform in appearance.
• They are in rolls that look lush with no thatch and no withered patches.
• The grass lays on a bed of at least 1 inch of rich, moist soil.
Assuming that you've already found out what you need to be looking for when buying sod, you can also bring with you a sample of a small piece of your lawn for technicians and sales associates to look at.
They too will likely be able to accurately identify what to offer you from their supply on hand.
Sod rolls usually come in sizes of 2ft. up to 10 ft. long, and 2 ft. wide.
And here is what you need to look for when buying sod:
- Good strong roots that don’t easily break or tear.
- 2-inch deep green blades that look uniform in appearance.
- They are in rolls that look lush with no thatch and no withered patches.
- The grass lays on a bed of at least 1 inch of rich, moist soil.
Places to Buy Sod: (in no particular order)
Just in case you might just need to fill in some spaces in your lawn, a garden center is the best place to go since they usually sell at 18x12 inches or sometimes 24x12 inches at 1 dollar apiece. (prices may vary). An indicator of a good garden center is its knowledgeability and its readiness to answer your questions.
Moreover, if you are looking to replace a large portion of your lawn or maybe the whole thing, you can go ahead and order 1 pallet of sod which usually weighs at 1 ton. It’s ok to buy per square foot too since buying in bulk is better as it costs cheaper per square foot. In addition to that, you will want to ask if there are any charges for pallets, delivery and if they have a forklift available as well.
Nurseries are often located in garden centers and can also be display centers of farms. You can pick out any variety of grass fresh off the display and is usually on a first-come-first-served basis. So, if you are already a regular buyer of sod and pretty much know what you are looking for, the nursery is a good place to find sod at cheaper prices whether in retail or wholesale. You can go ahead load your truck with fresh sod that is available for the day.
Big Box Stores
Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart are just a few examples of big box stores. They are large retail establishments that are usually part of a national chain of stores. Among all the other regular merchandise they sell are various garden supplies including sod.
You can buy sod from them per piece with a retail price which is generally considered reasonable, considering the convenience they provide.
Buying Sod Online
Nowadays, it is already commonplace to try to find any merchandise online and have them delivered directly to your house. Of course, before clicking that button to buy sod purchase preparations have to be made. You'll have to make sure that your ground is ready so that there will be no delay once your order arrives.
First, you will have to know exactly the kind of grass that you are buying. A mistake could cost you and the seller yours and his time, and some inconvenience too. Just in case the product that came is not the one that you need and you'd have to return it That is if they do accept any kind return. Save yourself the trouble, make sure to research and specify the kind of grass that you need.
Next, it will be wise to know exactly how much you need as well as check your budget. When you have it already figured out, you can now buy accordingly. There are available area calculators on nursery websites that can give you a direct quote. It'll say how much you will have to pay for the amount of sod that you would like to buy. Choose to use the calculator on the same exact website where you will be making your purchase.
Buying online will not only save you money but will also give you the chance to choose from the farm that can produce some of the best sods and even deliver the quickest.
Buying Direct from the Sod Farm
If you run a commercial complex like a sports field or maybe a golf course, you would have to procure sod directly from a large scale farm. You will have to do a single purchase carried overtime to complete the installation process. Just like an extended purchase on one delivery cycle, sod straight from the farm is available in small and big rolls, depending on the need.
A big sod roll can measure at 4 ft wide and 333 ft. long. These are rolls that are usually harvested by using a tube and wrapped in a net. The net is removed once it is installed. The purpose of this is to hold the sod together and not fall apart when being transported or installed.
By the way, the farm usually charges for the use of the pallet, the tubes as well.
Things to Consider Before Making a Purchase:
• Check if your yard has good exposure to sunlight all day, every day.
• Availability of water
• Possible foot or vehicle traffic
• The climate in your area
• Type of soil, sandy, clay, or maybe a combination of both.
It is important to note that some grasses look good and thrive well, but generally they could not survive heavy foot traffic from kids or even as part of a driveway. If you have soil that is more of clay, you would need to have grass that is hardy and vigorous even on wet soil. Sandy lawns will do well with grass that has deep roots and can survive droughts.
Again, it is important to always match the kind of grass with its environment. This is to make sure of survivability and vigor even when the seasons change.
Preparations that You Can Do Before Your Sod Arrives
You would want to make sure that the land is already prepared prior to the delivery date. You can also adjust your order date according to whenever you feel you are ready to install.
Step 1: Cut Your Existing GrassFor a partial grass replacement, you can cut your healthy grass using the lowest settings on your mower. Get rid of any large or small rocks and other debris that may be lying around.
Step 2: Till Your SoilPrepare the soil by tilling it as deep as 6 inches. Rake it a few times to level the ground.
Step 3: Amend your SoilAdd a starter fertilizer that will help your grass grow long roots. After applying fertilizer and other amendments, use a rake to till and work the fertilizer into the soil.
Step 4: Install the Sod
The recommended install period is within 8 hours of harvest from the farm.
Sod can spoil if not installed within 24 hours from harvest.
Do not install if the ground is frozen. If the weather is warm enough install sod over the newly prepared ground and avoid walking on it.
Treading on newly installed sod will cause it to be uneven and dislocated, thus creating uneven growth which can be seen even when the grass has already grown.
Step 5: Water Sod Regularly
- 3x a day on the 1st week
- 2x a day on the 2nd week
- Once a day on the 3rd week
DIY vs. Hire a Sod Installer
Your yard is something that you will take care of and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor with.
On the other hand, you can also enjoy your lawn with the help of an expert technician/installer, by paying for it.
Instead of putting up the time and money investment, some would say it is even cheaper to pay an expert to do it for you. Others would say it’s the result that counts. And that alone makes it all worthwhile.