Arlene’s Tips on Seeding Your Lawn and Laying Sod


Fall time is an optimum time for laying sod or seeding your lawn as the weather is not too hot, precipitation is prevalent and the conditions are ideal for establishing turf.

The fall is the best time to over-seed your lawn as well, so as in the spring, the new grass will help choke out any weeds.

If you are seeding a new lawn or laying sod, as in everything else in the garden, preparation is the key. Prepare the ground.
TIP - In our clay soil, work in some organic matter such as peat moss. Do not add sand as it will pack harder and become like concrete.
Slope the soil away from the house. Remove rocks, weeds and any other debris that could prevent good contact with the soil. Till to a depth of 4 – 6 inches and insure all big clumps are broken up. You may want to add a good quality top soil, 3-way mix or just plain peat moss.
TIP - If you are using peat moss, mix it in a large muck bucket with water to prevent it from blowing away to your neighbours before applying it to the lawn.
Rake the soil to an even level. Water the soil, purchase a good quality grass seed and apply it according to directions. Push a lawn roller over the seed or tamp it down to help it make better contact with the soil. Unless it makes contact with the soil, it will not germinate. Keep it moist but not drenched and don’t water it so heavily, the seed washes away. Don’t let the seed dry out! The seed needs soil, water, warm temperature and nutrients to germinate.

The same preparation as above is needed if you are laying sod.
TIP - If you are unable to lay the sod as soon as it is delivered, lay the sod pieces out in a shady area and do not leave the sod stacked in piles.
Start laying the sod against a straight edge like a sidewalk or driveway and lay the sod so the rows are perpendicular to your house. Unroll the first piece of sod, keeping it tight against the straight edge as you go. Butt the second piece tightly against the first, without stretching either piece and keep in mind that sod pieces will shrink as they dry out. Start the second row with a partial piece of sod as the seams between the end of one strip and the beginning of the next should be offset like brickwork. After completion, use a roller to compress the sod slightly to help the roots make contact with the soil.
TIP – Don’t let the sod dry out. Begin watering the sod within about thirty minutes after installing to encourage rooting and preventing it from drying out.
Keep the sod moist after installation but don’t soak the area. Water in the morning, if possible, so the grass has a chance to dry before nightfall. Leaving grass wet overnight, encourages disease. Newly laid sod requires about 1 inch of water every 2 – 3 days, depending on the soil temperature and rainfall. Once established, 1 inch of water every 4 – 7 days is sufficient. Allow the grass to grow for a couple of weeks and then mow to about 2 inches. Never remove over 1/3 of the leaf blade when mowing.
TIP – Over time, decrease watering to encourage deeper root growth.
Try to keep children and pets off the area until your new lawn is established and until after the second mowing.