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  • Writer's pictureKirk Harris



Laying sod is an easy way to instantly transform any old yard into a lush green paradise, but proper soil preparation is essential if you want that new healthy lawn to last. So, what should you put down before laying sod?

Soil Preparation

Before putting anything down in the seedbed, there are a few crucial steps that you need to take to properly prepare the seed bed for the sod.

Clear the Area

First, clear the soil of any existing vegetation, rocks, and debris that could interfere with the growth of your new grass. Level it out so that there aren’t any big bumps or depressions, to prevent waterlogged and dry spots from forming.

Test the Soil

Using a soil pH test kit, test the soil to ensure that it is fit and ready to support all of the new sod. The ideal soil pH level is anywhere between 6.0 and 7.5.

Till the Soil

Tilling breaks up the soil and creates air pockets that allow more oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the ground, facilitating the sod's growth.

Level the Seedbed

Level the seedbed so that there aren’t any big bumps or depressions. This will allow water to be more equally distributed throughout the yard and prevent waterlogged and dry spots from forming.

What Should You Put Down Before Laying Sod?

Now that the soil is properly prepared, there are lots of things that you can put down in the seedbed to help the new sod take root and thrive.

Add Soil Amendments

Adding soil amendments to your seed bed is a great way to improve the structure of the soil and add important nutrients that the new grass will need to grow. Amendments like compost, peat moss, grass clippings, wood ash, and many other types of organic matter all work great.

Adding soil amendments to soil can also help improve its pH level if your pH test shows that the soil is too basic or acidic. Still, even if the pH level is normal, adding soil amendments will improve the chance that the grass grows and stays healthy.

Add Fertilizer

Adding fertilizer to the soil before you lay any sod can also help facilitate the growth of new grass. Fertilizers, especially those high in phosphorus content which is essential to root growth, can help ensure that the seed bed has all of the nutrients it needs to take root and grow quickly.

Just be sure to follow the directions on the packaging of the fertilizer that you use as adding too much can be just as detrimental as adding too little.

Purchase Sod Grown in Iron Rich Soil

Sod grown in Iron rich soils will easily provide an increased but balanced Iron level for your lawn for many years to come. Iron rich soils are found across the nation and are typically red (rust) in color. Red colored soils when combined with other soils will slowly release stored iron to your lawn for years.

Add Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Every homeowner knows that weeds are a constant struggle, but adding pre-emergent herbicides to the seedbed can help you get ahead of them and prevent weeds from ruining your beautiful new lawn.

Many fertilizers come with pre-emergent herbicides included, allowing you to knock out two birds with one stone.

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