After you have selected the type of turf that will work best for your application, it is time to prepare for the installation of the turf.
Sod Soil Preparation:
The first recommended step is to complete a soil test to find out what nutrients your soil needs. To prepare the yard for the new sod, your soil should be loose to a depth of 3 to 6 inches. Make sure the yard is smooth and free of any debris. This is a great time to add lime or fertilizer to your soil. A recommended fertilizer would be one that emphasizes phosphorus to promote root growth, like 15-20-10 25% SCU. Once your soil is prepared, it is time to install your new sod.
Start installing your sod along a natural straight line in your yard, like a driveway or a flower bed. Make sure that when you install your sod, all of the seams are butted tightly together with no gaps or overlaps. Place sod in a checkerboard pattern so that the joints are staggered. Use a large knife to cut or trim the sod. Try not to use small pieces along outer edges as it is more difficult for these pieces to retain moisture. Avoid repeated walking on the new sod as this will cause indentions and prevent sod from contacting the soil. It is recommended that you roll the sod to ensure good soil contact. If installing sod on a slope, install the sod across the slope. If the slope is severe, sod staples may be necessary. Once installed, begin watering your sod within 30 minutes of installation. If you can finish one area, go ahead and start watering the finished area before installing sod on the next area.
Immediately after you have finished installing all of the sod, you should water the sod so that there is moisture in the soil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Maintain this moisture level for the first 2 weeks after installation, your new sod should be firmly rooted into the soil.
After the sod has become firmly rooted, you should now change your watering practices to longer periods of time with less frequency, to promote deeper root growth. During the hot summer months, you may need to water more than 1 time a day to keep the moisture level up during the growing period.
It is recommended that you avoid heavy use of your newly sodded area for the first couple of weeks to allow time for full establishment.