TIPS FOR LAYING SOD | BE SURE TO FERTILIZE FIRST!
Apply a Starter Fertilizer first, before laying down the sod. You would also want to include an application of Gypsum, which will loosen the existing ground and encourage a healthier root system. As a general rule of thumb, less Nitrogen (the first number of the fertilizer analysis) and more Phosphorus (the second number of the analysis), is the preferred fertilizer blend; 6-20-20 for example. The role of Phosphorus is to stimulate rooting and the role of Nitrogen is to stimulate vegetative growth, which is more desirable later on.
Always follow label directions, but you’ll want to apply approximately 1 pound per hundred square feet for an acceptable dosage of fertilizer. Also a forty pound bag of Gypsum will cover approximately two hundred square feet – you can’t use too much. It’s so economical, using too little would be a shame during this critical phase of any lawn installation.
Both can be either incorporated into the final soil preparation, or applied to the smooth level surface before the sod is laid out. If the later is done, be sure not to wear your best gardening shoes – you’ll find yourself with white soles once your work is done.
If you have some of the fertilizer still left in the bag, you can certainly use it the first and even the second time you feed your lawn, usually after the third or forth mowing. So don’t be afraid of buying more than what you think you need for the initial application. When the starter fertilizer is gone, then switch to a fertilizer with more Nitrogen (remember, for vegetative growth) moving forward, such as a 21-7-14 or a 16-8-4.