Laying St. Augustine Sod prep questions

Laying St. Augustine Sod prep questions

Commodore – posted 22 June 2002 09:15

I live in Orlando Fl. I am laying St. Augustine sod next weekend in an area that is shady. I am using Seville sod. Should I rotor till the soil and lay Black Cow on top before I lay the sod? Does tilling the soil and adding nutrients help before I lay the sod? Thanks for any help

tedconcho – posted 05 September 2003 16:30

I have lived in the dallas,tx area for 37 years and try to maintain a decent st augustine lawn.I was raised on farms/ranchesand not quite as stupid about growing things as “professional yard men”like to think.Some so-called professionals tell one that you can just lay the sod down,roll it in and it will do fine.I had one dude do part of my yard that way and not only was it a mess,but the majority of the sod he put down died,not to mention he didn’t slope it away from the foundation for drainage purposes.He never returned my calls-he is a crook.here it is a few years later and I’m havingit redone.This “professional”spread about an inch or so nice topsoil over the harda– ground and laid the sod right on that.as a result part of the durn yard is too high and its also not sloped away from the foundationas it should be.He sez not to worry,I’ll roll it 4 or 5 times inthe next month and it will be great.Some of these guys are so full of b.s.,Ill bet they get no return business.Now that I have vented.I’ll give my advice on laying sod.Sure,prep the soil by tilling three or so inches, add in compost,manure,etc.,level it(remember if its close to your houses foundation and you’re not in the desert)allow a slight slope away from the slab.the sod will probably sink an inch or more once its laid and watered some.If its a little high have it rolled a few times.also check www.thebostonchannel.com/rebeccasgarden/812530/detail.html .There is good info there-When I was physically able to lay some of my own sod,Iwould dig up the area,loosen and level it,wet down and work the sod down a little.Never had any of it die except for fungus or bugs!Again,watch out for some of these “pros”.they prefer to do their work when you’re not around,so they can throw the sod down and go to the next victim!

Dchall_San_Antonio – posted 10 September 2003 22:43

I very rarely see any good reason to till. This is no exception. Too bad I missed this one back in June when it was posted.

You cannot lay sod on living grass and expect good results. You can, however, smother it with compost or a very fine mulch and lay sod on that. It does need to be rolled to make sure the bottom of the sod is in full contact with the underlying soil. Roots will not grow through air.

TedConcho obviously has a grading problem. I don’t think he’s alone in that, either. When a building is finished and the carpet is down, the land is ready for finish grading. A guy will push a backhoe and pull tines around it until the bottom sill of the house is 4 inches above grade and water will drain away from the building in all directions with no pooling anywhere. TedConcho still needs to have this done to his yard before he will be satisfied.

Sir Skrip – posted 11 September 2003 08:31

I laid my own sod. Most of it was roto-tilled, except my sidewalk. What I did was first take out about an inch of dirt from the top, clean it off any weeds, and then add an inch or 2 of TopSoil. Then I soaked it down, and rolled the sod down over it. Then I soaked it once again with lots of water. I continually water daily for the next 2 weeks.

I cut my sod in half though, to get ‘more’ out of it since it’s St. Augustine. Left about 3-4 inch of spacing between each square. After the 2 weeks of watering, I added topsoil in between each sod so that the grass that grows out sideways can be level with the sod, therefore eliminating ‘mounds’ if you will.

Andrew33 – posted 16 February 2010 09:47

I have done ST.Augustine plugs many times. My personal way is to kill off (using roundup) everything first. Then take line trimmer (weedeater) and grind everything to the ground after it is completely dead. After two weeks spread a layer of sandy soil about 2 inches thick, filling in any low spots and knocking down high spots. Then regrade and space plugs 2 to 4 inches apart. Don’t put plugs too deep or they will die! Just deep enough to get rootballs in the ground but never bury the green parts of the grass. Do not try this until the lows at night are above 68 or the plugs will grow very slowly and allow weeds to invade. Water twice daily and pull any weeds you see. St Augustine is a spreading grass and will fill in within a month. As a rule, the more plugs, the better. Watch for grubworms (whitish giant maggots in the soil as they feed on St Augustine.) You can do your yard all at once or in sections as long as you leave a gap between old turf and prepared and plugged areas. This method has worked for me many times.

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