Putting Down Sod In Winter

What You'll Need
Sharp knife
Rotivator (hired from a tool hire store)

Putting down sod in winter is one of those cold weather tasks that can make an enormous difference to your garden in a short space of time. Follow these simple steps to create a beautiful lawn.

Step 1 –Smooth the Surface

Before you even purchase the sod, walk over the surface where you intend to lay it, and remove any large rocks. Then take out any weeds and remove them from the garden – they will only try to compete with your new lawn for nutrients and space if you leave them there.

While you cannot expect to level every lawn, the sod will root much more easily if rake over the plot. Make sure that you rake at least an inch into the soil, as this will give the grass a fair chance.  A particularly uneven surface might need to be rotivated, to ensure that firm ground has been broken up for grass roots to work their way into.

Finally, cut clean edges against paths and borders so that the layers of sod will sit tidily against them. These areas are where people will notice gaps, so it is particularly important to do a good job.

Step 2 – Prepare the Soil

Now is the time to fertilise the soil. Don’t forget to choose a fertilizer that is appropriate for the soil you have – a local gardeners’ group or store should be able to advise you on this. If you live in a rural area, why not approach the local stable for some manure? Some horse owners will give it away free, so you can get some organic nourishment into your lawn for nothing!

Step 3 – Purchase the Sod

For the best results with a sod winter garden project, buy the sod as close as possible to the time you intend to lay it. Ideally, you not purchase sod that has been harvested more than 48 hours ago, and you should lay it within 24 hours of purchase.

Step 4 – Watering

Watering the ground before you lay anything onto it is the secret to a successful lawn. Conduct a final inspection of the ground. If it is frozen, wait until the soil has defrosted, as new sod will not be able to send roots into solid soil.

Step 5 – Laying the sod

You should lay your first roll of sod against a pathway or border, to give a neat finish. Start the next roll a couple of feet down the first, to resemble bricklaying. This makes the joins between the rolls less noticeable. Try to make the joins as close as you can, but if it is impossible to join them up leaving a gap is always preferable to overlapping them. Overlapping will cause unsightly bumps in the lawn, whereas gaps can be filled by cutting appropriate patches from a new roll with a knife.

Step 6 – More Watering

Once it has been laid, watering sod in winter is essential to helping it grow into a healthy lawn. Make a diary note to do this at least every couple of weeks.