Are you losing ground in the fight against erosion? It might be time to add some fresh turf and bring life and lushness back to your lawn with a sod installation.
Sod vs. Seed
For years, gardeners have been debating whether seed or sod installation is the better solution for their lawn. While there are benefits to each type of lawn care, in many cases, sod wins out because it’s easy to maintain, provides an instantaneous makeover, and immediately prevents erosion.
Although the average cost to install sod is more expensive than the reseeding process, the benefits of preventing erosion make up for it in the long run. With sod installation, you’ll see an immediate effect. When you reseed a lawn, it can take weeks to establish a proper root system that battles erosion.
Sod Installation Basics
Although sod installation provides a much faster turnaround than seeding your lawn, it does come with a number of important steps:
Remove the old grass and prepare the soil. Using a sod cutter, cut out long strips of the old grass and the top layer of soil. Then, till the top 6-8 inches of soil. This loosened dirt will provide your new sod with a great environment to root in.
Level the soil. Straighten out any uneven sections of soil. Sod is installed in flat strips, and even ground will allow them to make full contact with the soil below. Lighty water the soil when it’s level.
Lay the sod. Starting with the longest side, lay your sod in neat rows, making sure there are no air pockets or gaps. You can use a knife to cut excess pieces of sod into the proper shape for curved edges—like those around flower beds.
Press down the sod. Using a lawn roller, press down the sod. This helps promote growth and will flatten out any air pockets you might have missed.
Water the sod. Freshly laid sod should be watered at least once a day for the first week. This will ensure that it thrives and becomes properly rooted in the soil below. Avoid walking on it for this period of time.
One of sod’s primary benefits as an erosion prevention solution is that it acts as a water buffer. When you receive your rolls of sod from the garden center or sod farm, they’re already fully grown, roots and all. So, when this sod is installed, it creates an immediate buffer to the flow of water. The leaves and rhizomes slow the flow down and disperse the water over a wider area, letting the water soak into the soil instead of eroding it.
Sod Eliminates Seed Runoff
Although you can save money on the front end by seeding your lawn instead of installing sod, it can take weeks for grass seed to establish itself, leaving soil bare and exposed to the elements in the meantime. Moreover, seeds are easily displaced by rain, watering, and wind, so if you opt for seeding a lawn, you’ll likely have to reseed a few times before everything takes root.
With lawn sod installation, however, you can circumvent the problem of seed runoff. Rolls of sod can be immediately placed on top of bare areas of dirt and organic matter, covering and protecting them from erosion. There are no seeds involved, since rolls of sod come to you already fully grown.
Sod Installation Makes Sloped Lawns Manageable
The sloped areas of your lawn will likely experience more erosion than its flat sections, since water has a tendency to run downhill. If you try to seed a sloped area of your lawn, it will prove to be difficult because many of the seeds will flow downhill with the water.
However, if you plan to lay rolls of sod perpendicular to the angle of the slope, you can greatly reduce erosion. The turf and its established root systems will slow down the flow of the water, and less soil will be picked up in the process. You can even secure rolls of sod with staples, which will further reduce the possibility of erosion.
Sod Presents a Long-Term Solution Any Time of the Year
Finding the right window to seed your lawn can be difficult. Although you can seed your lawn in the winter—this is called dormant seeding—the seeds won’t germinate until the ground thaws, leaving your lawn barren and exposed to erosion until then. In the height of summer, seedlings will struggle to survive under the harsh glare of the sun. Again, this leaves your soil exposed to the elements.
The benefit of sod is that it can be installed even when the grass is dormant. So, in the winter, you can install your rolls of sod knowing they’ll come to life and take root when the weather warms up. In the meantime, they’ll prevent your lawn from eroding. In the summer, sod installation can provide an immediate hardiness to your lawn. Lush rolls of sod can retain water, remain hydrated, and power through the scorching heat, all while providing immediate erosion protection.
Install Sod With Varsity, Inc.
If you’re looking to immediately prevent erosion and instantly have a lush lawn, then sod installation is your solution. At Varsity, Inc. we will professionally install your sod, making it look like it’s been growing on your lawn for years. Reach out today to spruce up your lawn with our sod installation solutions.
Varsity Inc. has been providing a full range of landscape related services to the Northeast commercial and industrial markets since 1974.