How to lay turf or sod in Calgary

Laying turf or sod

The hardest part about laying turf or sod as some like to call it, is the preparation work. The prep work is alot easier if you have good soil. By good soil, we mean low clay, well draining, high organic material, and very few weed seeds.

Benefits of Good turf soil prep:

  • uniform growth throughout the lawn area
  • faster recovery from wear in high traffic areas
  • less water, fertilizer and chemicals required
  • healthier looking lawn all round

What does a good turf lawn need

Turf for your lawn only requires 4 things:

  • sunlight
  • air
  • water
  • nutrients

With these four things in the right moderation’s, you can end up with great turf and a healthy lawn.

Turf requires a minimum of 4″ of good quality (ph 6, loamy/sandy loam) soil, and with head to head coverage irrigation, you will be 90% of the way there.

A few other things to keep your lawn thriving, are to fertilize in spring, summer and fall with the correct fertilizer.

Mowing to keep your turf at a reasonable level, as well as removal of invasive plants such as crabgrass and clover will help to keep your turf lawn healthy and all one colour.

Steps for great turf results:

  1. Remove all sub-grade material until you are at a consist depth of 4+” from your desired finished grade
  2. Install high quality soil and roughly rake out. Tamp entire area to ensure no settling once turf is laid.
  3. Note: your soil should be around 1/2″ down from finished level. Check this at walkways, driveways etc
  4. Once soil is spread and tamped, start at the furthest point and begin to final grade with your rake, stopping every few minutes to stand back and check the overall look.
  5. Take into consideration the direction you will be laying the turf (we suggest taking the longest straight edge), how you will get the turf to the rows and your path of travel to get to each row. Also as you complete your grading, make sure to sweep off excess soil from walkways and clean up around edges as you go, so you don’t have soil to cleanup after laying the turf.
  6. With the soil down , and final grading done, start bring in turf ready for laying.
  7. Once ready to start laying, apply a ‘Starter Fertilizer’ (as per directions).
  8. Your now ready to lay your rows of turf. Make sure not to drag turf as it will cause soil to mound and levels to become undone.
  9. As you complete rows make sure to lightly re-rake the next row so you can remove any footprints/dents that have been made.
  10. Also make sure you ‘butt’ each roll of turf up against the last to prevent drying out. Also pay attention to the inside of the roll end, as it may need to have special attention to lay flat.
  11. Once the entire lawn is laid, you will now be able to go around the edges and cut your lawn shape, and then cleanup.
  12. Once finished, roll the area with a lawn roller that is 1/3rd full of water. now water until turf is saturated through to the soil. If working on a large area, it maybe be required to block out an area so you can start watering it to stop the turf from drying out.