Do It Yourself
For the do-it-yourself installation, our delivery services will help you complete your job with minimal effort. All our trucks are equipped with forklifts to spot turf where you need it, saving you time and effort. Our 2' by 5' small rolls are easily manageable. The rolls weigh an average of 15 to 35 pounds, depending on the weather and the area of the field where harvested.
So How Do I Get Started?
Before ordering sod for your new lawn you must figure the square footage of sod needed. To make the calculation simple, often this total can be reduced to a series of squares and rectangles. Using the following formula makes the task easy and gives you an accurate count of square feet needed.
For optimum growth, turf needs just four things (in the proper balance) to grow...sunlight, air, water and nutrients. Grass obtains three of these four essential factors (air, water and nutrients) from the soil, but many soils are less than ideal for growing grass. Following these instructions will help to insure your soil is properly prepared for turf so you can enjoy the benefits of a turf lawn for years.
Clear the site of all building materials (wood, cement, bricks, etc.), as well as any buried stumps, rocks, stones or other debris that is larger than 2-3 inches in diameter.
Rough grade the entire 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 and not buried.
Initial tilling, to a depth of at least 2 inches, 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.
You might like to test the soil pH to determine if any pH correction materials are required. This can be done with a pH test kit, or bring some soil to an establishment that might even test for free. Michigan Turf and Ornamental in Hudsonville (616-379-0162) has this service. Acidic soils (pH of 6 and below) can be improved with the addition of lime or sulfer. 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.
If you apply "starter fertilizer" such as a 12 - 12 - 12, at a rate recommended for the particular product, to prevent root injury to newly installed turf sod, this fertilizer should be worked into the top 2 inches. This may be skipped if you desire, as our sod has likely been recently fertilized. Probably 25% - 50% of our customers take this step.
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. Rake as smooth as you would like your finished lawn. Also, rake any area that will abutt another surface, such as other sod, patios, driveways and sidewalks, about an inch to and inch and 1/2 lower than the surface the sod will meet.
Remember, our beautiful, hardy Kentucky Bluegrass sod needs sunlight. A minimum of 4 to 6 hours of full sun on a sunny day is recommended. Kentucky Bluegrass will thin out and gradually die without proper sun.
Once you have you measurements, and know your total square footage, call us at 616-669-7715 to place your order. Please call at leaset 24 hours before you would like to pick up, or three to four days, up to a week, before you need a delivery.
Install your lawn immediately upon delivery and begin watering the sod within 30 minutes of installation. Turf is a living plant that requires ground contact and moisture to survive! Begin installing turf along the longest straight line, such as a driveway or sidewalk. Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching. Avoid gaps or overlaps. Stagger the joints in each row in a brick-like fashion, using a large sharp knife to trim perimeter, corners, etc. Avoid leaving very narrow strips at outer edges as they will not retain moisture, but pull the larger piece to edge and insert very narrow pieces between the larger ones. On slopes, place the turf pieces horizontally across the slope. To avoid causing indentations or air pockets avoid repeated walking or kneeling on the turf as much as possible while it is being installed or just after watering. In hot weather, protect unlaid turf by placing stacks in shade and installing as quickly as possible. Installing within 24 hours of harvest is best and even sooner when weather is extremely hot.
Water your newly installed sod twice a day, morning and evening, for about 20 to 30 minutes each time. You might need to add a watering if it feels 'crispy' during the noon hours on unusually hot summer days. Keep this schedule until the sod is firmly rooted down (normally in about 2 to 3 weeks). After turf is rooted firmly, less frequent and deeper watering should begin.
You might need to mow your lawn 7 to 10 days after installation. Set your mower deck to the highest setting for the first mowing, gradually reducing deck height with additional cuttings until it is tightly rooted. Commercial mower mowing is not recommended until the sod is firmly rooted. It is good practice to never mow so that more than 1/3 of the leaf blade is cut in a single mowing. Keep your mower blade sharp, as it will help with moisture retention and help prevent the onset of diseases.
Fertilizing your new lawn is necessary in order for it to thrive. Please use fertilizers with weed control to keep weeds from starting in the lawn. Use a weed and feed program and apply 4 times a year to keep turf properly fed.
Do it yourself