Tips For Transporting And Installing Sod

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Using sod to plant a new lawn is the quickest way to ensure even and lush grass coverage. Picking up the sod directly from the sod farm means you can get it soon after it is cut and put it down the same day, which is the best way to encourage healthy growth and minimal dieback. The following tips will help you transport and begin the installation of the sod properly.

Tip #1: Verify sod dimensions

Call the sod farm before you head up to verify the dimensions of the cut sod. Most suppliers sell either by the pallet or roll. Multiply the length times the width of the area you need to cover, and then divide this number by nine to get the square yardage. Plan to purchase enough pallets or rolls to cover this yardage. For example, if a roll is 5 square yards and you need to cover 87 square yards, you will need 18 rolls.

Tip #2: Know your hauling capacity

Unless you are driving a pickup, you will likely need to make sure your car can handle the load. The farm can provide you with approximate weight for a roll or pallet. Your owner's manual can tell you the weight limits for your vehicle, or you can call the dealership to find out. If you are driving a car or an SUV, plan to purchase rolls and do not transport more at one time than what meets the weight restriction. You may also opt to rent a trailer to haul a pallet, just make sure you don't go over the recommended hauling weights for your vehicle.

Tip #3: Prep the site ahead of time

It's good practice to have the site ready for the sod before you head out to pick it up. This means removing any weeds or grass, tilling the soil, and working in compost and fertilizer. Doing this ensures you can get the sod installed as quickly as possible. You may want to focus on prep work the day before your scheduled pick-up.

Tip #4: Unload immediately

Don't leave the sod in your trunk or sitting in your pickup bed longer than necessary. This can cause the sod to dry out, or worse, begin to cook under the hot sun. Lay down a tarp on your driveway or in another area near the installation site. It's best to have two people carry a single roll, supporting each end. Stack the rolls in a single layer if possible. If you must stack rolls on top of each other, offset them as you would when forming a pyramid. Keep the rolls moist and cover them loosely with a tarp so they don't dry out if you can't install the sod the same day you purchase it, but don't store the sod for more than a day or two or it may begin to rot.

For more help, contact a sod supplier in your area, such as B & B Hoffman Sod Farms.

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