disclosure: I am a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger. I was provided a gift card to purchase products for this article, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Living in Albuquerque, you have to be really careful of what you plant because everything dies. When we bought our home last year, the backyard was….sand. All. Sand.
Our yard is decently sized, so landscaping it was going to be super expensive. We had to do it ourselves.
For the month of May, my challenge for Lowe’s was a landscaping project! PERFECT!
We knew we wanted grass…but planting grass in New Mexico is nearly impossible. We have crazy spring winds that would just make all the seed blow away, so sod is the only way to go. You can’t just lay sod on sand though. You have to prepare the area. Let me show you what we were working with:
Yeah, that’s dirt….well, sand. Lots of it. For this picture we had already leveled the ground and installed the flower beds…but I’ll show you how to do those later!
To prepare the area:
- Remove the rock, sticks, etc from the area you will be laying the sod. Using a rake, try to make the area as flat as possible.
- We added 8 bags of Sta-Green Seed and Sod Lawn Soil. This helped to give some nutrients to the soil.
- Using a rototiller, turn the soil. We bought the tool to do it by hand but ended up borrowing a motorized one from the neighbor.
- If you brought any type of debris to the top, remove to keep the area clean.
- Create a smooth surface by raking and then compacting the soil by tamping it down. Don’t tamp it down so much that the ground is hard, but you want it slightly spongy.
- Add additional Lawn Soil if needed and sprinkle with fertilizer.
**Remember, your ground should be about 2 inches below the top of cement or pavers to allow for sod**
To install sod:
- Begin laying your sod along a straight edge. Use your patio or a walkway to start even.
- Each piece of sod should be laid horizontally with the house and/or street.
- Line each piece of sod so the ends touch. Do NOT overlap because you will get bumps if your lawn (don’t ask me how I know).
- To cut the sod, you can use a sod knife, serrated knife or the like to cut the sod to fit on the ends and irregular borders.
How to maintain sod:
- For the first two days, water your sod heavily. You want to be able to see the water on the ground surface but not enough to have standing water. Do this three times per day for these first two days. *My tip, if you notice areas that aren’t as full as the others, sprinkle with a little grass seed.
- For the next 10-12 days, water your grass thoroughly but do not flood.
- After this you can reduce your watering to every other day.
- You should be able to tell if your grass is getting too dry and you need to increase your watering or decrease.
- After about 4-6 weeks, fertilize your lawn.
Let me tell you, I had never had sod before. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. At first, it looked a little….yellow…and dry. I thought it was going to die. We kept watering it and it has turned green! Our lawn is great now. I was really worried for a minute, but by keeping up with the watering, we have a gorgeous yard! It took us about two to three weeks before the lines went away.
To give it more a finished look, we took regular sized bricks and dug the dirt around the edges and placed them to create a border! It was easy and made it look a lot more “finished”.
Would you like to get more ideas and tips?