A patch of dead grass, even a small one, in an otherwise acceptable lawn can be an eyesore and a source of constant and consistent aggravation, unless you know how to fix it right and fast, the first time. Discovering the ease of using turfgrass sod, (those rolls or strips of mature grass with the roots and all attached), makes patching a lawn not just easy and foolproof, but also immediate and permanent.
Follow these simple steps recommended by The Lawn Institute for repairing a lawn with turfgrass sod.
Step 1. Identify what caused the old grass to die and fix the problem. It might have been too much traffic on the area, root-eating insects, disease or a liquid that spilled on the area. Fix the source of the problem, or you'll just be re-doing the next steps over and over again.
Step 2. Outline the patch area with boards, string or chalk to create straight sides encompassing the dead area. Next, till, spade or otherwise loosen the soil under the dead patch. Then, rake it smooth while you remove roots, clods, rocks and other debris. The straight sides will make it easier to fit the new sod in place without a lot of trimming, gaps or holes.
Step 3. Purchase enough fresh turfgrass sod from a turfgrass sod farm, home center or garden center to finish the repair by measuring the four sides of the tilled area and converting this to square feet or square yards. (Example: 3 feet wide by 4 feet long equals 12 square feet. Dividing the 12 square feet by 9 converts the area into 1.3 square yards).
Step 4. Within hours after buying the sod, begin installing it onto the tilled area by placing the first piece on the longest, straight line available. All subsequent pieces of sod should be laid tightly against the first piece, without stretching or overlapping.
Step 5. Ensure the new sod has good contact with the soil underneath by either using a half-filled lawn roller, or just place foot-square boards on the new sod and walk on the boards a few times.
Step 6. Water the new patch until the soil under the sod is wet, but not saturated. Depending on how sunny the location is, the amount of wind or other drying conditions, you may have to water the patch more than once a day for the first week. If the soil beneath the sod is not wet, you need to apply more water. You can check to see how well the sod is rooting by lightly tugging on a convenient corner of a sod piece.
Step 7. Restrict traffic on the area for at least two weeks to give the grass a chance to grow roots and for the soil to settle.
Step 8. Mow the area about two weeks after patching, or whenever the sod is tightly rooted. If possible, try to run your mower diagonally across the sod seams. This will reduce rutting and the chance of your mower lifting a corner of sod from the new patch.
Step 9. Enjoy your lawn, without further worries about that patched area!
Unlike patching with grass seed that often take months and several re-workings to achieve even a marginally acceptable result, these simple steps will create a mature and complete lawn patch immediately,
For information on turfgrass lawns and sodding visit www.TheLawnInstitute.com or contact the The Lawn Institute at 800/405-TURF or write their office at 2 East Main Street, East Dundee, IL. 60118.