Sep. 8, 2011 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips

Seed or sod…a fast finished turf project or the time for the seed to mature…that’s the question.  Sodding is transplanting of a mature turf, while seeding is a real adventure of wits and circumstances (sometimes all stacked against getting the seed to take).  While there are more grass types to choose from now than there used to be and it is (maybe) less expensive, seeding time is limited mainly to late summer and early fall and moisture is critical.  (Have you noticed any rain lately?)

So, what is the advantage of sodding…it takes faster, it is great for laying any time during the growing season but it is expensive. When sodding, there are limited varieties…here in MN it is generally a mixture of Kentucky bluegrass.

Preparing the soil is the most important of seeding or sodding.  This will save maintenance in later years and ensures a healthier turf.  One of the first things to do is take a soil test…the best soil is sandy loam. Amendments may need to be mixed into the current soil so that it will support a good lawn.  Amend heavy clay soil with organic matter to allow better air and water flow.  You want clean soil, free of weeds and herbicides residue…know where you soil is coming from and it’s make up. Firm up the soil with a roller that also breaks up the clumps.

Seeding. In MN the best time is mid-August to mid-September. Fewer weed seeds germinate at that time to compete with the seedlings. About 6-12 weeks are needed to establish a good lawn…and it takes about a full season for a durable turf that will withstand traffic.  Seed is to be spread in two steps, half rate in perpendicular directions across the area. This will give a more uniform coverage…do some light raking so that about 10% of the seeds are visible, then roller it again. Water it so that the soil is moist around 4 inches or so, stop watering when puddles begin to show. When the seeds are coming up begin regular watering, tapering off as the plants grow larger and the temperature cools off.

Sodding. Buy only fresh sod…no more that 24 hours old. Lay it within one day. Put it down like brick laying, staggering the pieces again on moistened soil. If necessary stake the rolls in place, fill any cracks with soil to prevent the edges from drying out, and roll it so the roots are in contact with the soil.  Keep it moist until it is firmly rooted and then begin to reduce the watering. In a few months it can be considered an established lawn.

Better still…add a garden and have less turf. smile…that’s what Gentle Gardener’s say!

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2011 at 11:33 pm and is filed under Gardening Tips. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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