Ground Preparation for California Sod Installation

Good soil preparation is essential for healthy sod grass growth. By following these guidelines, you’ll be on your way to a beautiful lawn.

Begin by removing any surface rocks or debris. We recommend adding mulch (1 cubic yard per 1,000 square feet) and finely-ground gypsum (50 pounds per 1,000 square feet) to create a healthy soil. Till in soil amendments to a depth of 4" to 6." Now is also the best time to install your sprinkler system. As you are working the soil additional debris may appear which should be removed.

Work the soil to create a level surface for installation. Water heavily to compact the soil, then use a roller as a final step to eliminate any air pockets. This will reduce settling which will lead to an uneven surface. Your final grade should be 1/2" - 1" below walkways, and 1/2" below sprinkler heads.


Install When Delivered

Be sure to install your sod on the same day it’s delivered. Begin by laying the sod lengthwise along a straight edge, such as a walkway or driveway. Joints should be butted tightly together, but not overlapping. Stagger the sod pieces similar to a row of bricks. You will need to use a sharp knife to cut around curves or sprinkler heads.


Water Is Critical

Begin lightly hand watering each piece of sod throughout the installation process. It is imperative to keep the sod moist. This will prevent wilting and drying the delicate roots.

Once all sod has been installed, water lightly and then roll your newly installed sod once again to ensure a level surface and to press out any air pockets.


Initial Watering

Newly installed sod should be kept consistently wet for the first 7-10 days. However, do not let water puddle. Average watering time is 5 to 10 minutes, 4-6 times per day. Water application rates vary greatly among sprinkler brands and you will need to adjust this recommendation according to your situation.

If you notice water beginning to puddle, we advise decreasing the watering time and increasing the watering frequency.

Once your sod grass is established, we recommend watering 2 to 3 times per week for 10 to 45 minutes. Early morning watering is best.

Summer Schedule
Number of Weeks Times per Day Duration
First Two Weeks 4 - 8 5 - 10 minutes
Third Week 1 15 - 45 minutes
Established Lawns 2 - 3 times per week 10 - 25 minutes
Winter Schedule
Number of Weeks Times per Day Duration
First Two Weeks 2 10 - 15 minutes
Third Week 1 15 - 20 minutes
Established Lawns Weather conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering.

Maintenance Tips

To maintain your new sod grass lawn you should begin mowing no sooner than 2 weeks after installation. Mow frequently enough that you remove no more than 1/3" of the height of the grass.

Fertilizing every 30 days is an important key to a healthy lawn. Use a fertilizer with high nitrogen, medium phosphorous, and medium potassium such as 16-8-4, 21-7-14, 26-4-2 or 24-0-4, just to name a few popular analyses. Be sure to water according to our suggested watering schedule. This will not only assist with under or over watering, it will help your new sod flourish and properly develop a healthy root system.

Helpful Information

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How To Install

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