When you want a new lawn, you can’t beat sod. Install the sod yourself and you’ll soon have an attractive lawn. Sod is available from garden centers, big box home improvement stores and sod farms. Taking care to install sod correctly will get you the results you want quickly. What do you have to do to get the best results? First, prepare your yard and level the surface. Do this by using a rototiller to loosen the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. Work in a few inches of compost. Add sand to improve the drainage in your yard. Using a hand rake, level the surface and make sure it’s approximately 1 inch below the grade of any paved surface like a driveway or a sidewalk. Next, lay the first row of sod along the longest straight edge. Don’t walk on the sod while you’re working with it and fluff out any footprints as you go along. Gently smooth the sod out, making sure you’ve eliminated any air pockets. Now you can go on to lay the rest of the sod. Make sure you butt the sections together, but don’t overlap them. Cut at least one piece of sod so that you are staggering the seams – much like laying hardwood flooring. After the sod has been installed, water the lawn thoroughly. Keep foot traffic and pets off the sod for the next week or so. Sod needs to be watered every day. The best time to water is in the morning. This avoids water evaporating quickly or getting too damp and falling victim to fungal disease. Once the sod’s been in for a week, reduce the water schedule to every other day. By the end of the third week, the sod needs to watered twice a week. Once the lawn has settled in, make sure you are watering at least once a week. By this time, you’ll be anxious to mow your new lawn. Sod should be first mown when it is 3 inches high. Use a walk behind mower because ride on mowers are two heavy for the still fragile sod and be sure to use a sharp blade. Clippings from the first mowing should be bagged. Using a starter fertilizer, fertilize the lawn three or four weeks after it’s been installed. This is necessary to replace the nutrients in the soil that were washed away the substantial watering schedule. Preparing the soil and following a watering schedule may seem like a lot of unnecessary work. Enjoying the look of your sodded lawn, though, makes it all worth while. Special thanks to Sod Tallahassee.