- Clear Ground of things like wood, cement, bricks as well as any buried stumps, rocks, stones or debris.
- Rough Grade Sod Area to eliminate any drainage problems on the property. This would include sloping the grade away from building foundations, eliminating or reducing severe slopes and filling low-lying areas. A tractor-mounted blade and/or box are most often used for rough grading, but if the area is smaller, it can be done with hand tools. The rough grading will probably uncover more debris that should be removed.
- Eliminate Weeds by spraying the area to be sodded prior to initial tilling with Round Up or similar non selective herbicide. Wait up to a week for weeds to die, then begin tilling.
- Tilling to a depth of a minimum of 2 inches. This should be completed prior to adding any topsoil or soil amendments. This will control most annual weeds, alleviate subsoil compaction and permit a bonding of the topsoil to the subsoil and improve root penetration and water movement.
- Add Topsoil 4-6 inches. San Diego Sod Farm carries top soil appropriate for Sod in San Diego County.
- Test the soil pH with a chemical soil test to determine if any pH correction materials are required. Acidic soils (pH of 6 and below) can be improved with the addition of lime. The type (or source) and total amount of applied lime will be determined by the level of acidity and should be based on the recommendations of a reliable garden center or turf professional. Alkaline soils (pH of 7.5 and higher) can be improved with the addition of sulfur or gypsum. As with acidic soil correction materials, the type and total amount of materials will be determined by the level of alkalinity and should be based on professional recommendations.
- Apply Starter Fertilizer High in Phosphate. The letter P is Phosphate, or the middle number on a bag of fertilizer, at a rate recommended for the particular product. To prevent root injury to newly installed sod, this fertilizer should be worked into the top 3-4 inches of soil. Finish grade the entire site, maintaining the rough grading contours and slopes, with a tractor-mounted box blade on large areas or heavy-duty rake on smaller sites.
- Use Lawn Roller . Fill one third full of water to firm and settle the surface and reveal any low spots that should be filled to match the surrounding grade surface. The site is now ready for sod.
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