P&PDL Picture of the Week for
February 5, 2007

Short-term thinking can create long-term headaches.

Glenn Hardebeck, Turfgrass Research Agronomist, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University

In the rush to complete a construction project, details are often sacrificed.  Sodding can provide an “instant” lawn, but site preparation is critical to long-term success.  Preparing a lawn to be sodded is much the same as it is for seeding.  Construction debris should be removed from the area.  Construction compaction must be alleviated with cultivation such as roto-tilling followed by grading and leveling.  If you choose to amend clayey soils, do not use sand or gravel.  The end result may be a tighter soil than the original.  Instead, add organic material such as compost or peat and mix as thoroughly as possible.  Post-sodding care is important as well.  Sod needs light frequent irrigation at first to keep the sod from drying out in the heat of the afternoon.  As the sod begins to root into the soil, irrigation should shift to deeper and more infrequent.  Many sodded areas can benefit from the addition of spring and fall core aerification once the sodded is well rooted.  More information on sodding a lawn can be found at http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/ay-28.pdf

click image to enlarge

Preparing a site for sodding is at least as important as laying the sod itself.
Picture provided by Zac Reicher

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service