Sod Installation Hawaii Soil Tips

Step-By-Step Site Preparation

Follow these simple steps for a beautiful, healthy and trouble free lawn:

  1. Spray Weeds and all living grasses. You want to make sure everything is completely dead before soil preparations. Nut Sedge or commonly known as Nut Grass should be killed with a selective herbicide products.
  2. Initial tilling to a depth of at least 2-4 inches should be completed prior to adding any topsoil or soil amendment. This will improve your root penetration as well as air exchange and water movement.
  3. Add topsoil to achieve a topsoil depth of 6-12 inches. Use the best quality soil, and soil amendments to achieve a healthy soil and landscape.
  4. Apply fertilizer to correct any deficiencies you might have in soil and follow directions on label. Use a fertilizer spreader to evenly distribute fertilizer.
  5. Finish grade the entire site. Use a rake to grade surface as evenly as possible.
  6. Roll the area with a lawn roller full of water to firm and settle the surface. Low spots should be filled to match the surrounding grade surface. Rake and roll as much times as it takes to achieve a level, semi compacted, smooth surface.

Step-By-Step Turfgrass Installation

  1. Site and Soil Preparation – Refer step-by-step to site preparation.
  2. Measuring and Ordering Sod – Measure the area of your planned lawn. Get the total square footage by taking the length x width = total square footage. Hawaiian Turfgrass will be happy to assist you in determining the amount of turfgrass sod you will need for your project. Schedule turfgrass order in advance to assure sod will be ready promptly for pick up or delivery time. Once you have completed your soil and site preparation you are ready to install turfgrass.
  3. Turfgrass Installation – Begin installing turf along the longest straight line. Butt together pieces of sod and push edges together tightly. Avoid leaving small strips at outer edges as they do not retain moisture and will quickly dry. After installing the turfgrass, roll the entire area to improve and level sodded area.
  4. Watering – Give your lawn at least 1 inch of water within 30 minutes of installation. Water daily and often for the first 2 weeks following installation. Then once sod is firmly rooted then less frequent and deeper watering should begin. Water as early in the morning as possible. Watering in the evening is discouraged because water remaining on the grass can promote disease and fungus.
  5. CAUTION – Avoid heavy or concentrated use of your lawn for the first couple of weeks. This gives the roots an opportunity to grow into the soil and ensures the turf will remain smooth.

Post Installation Care of Turfgrass

  1. Fertilizer – The type of quantity of fertilizer required for your lawn will depend on your grass variety. Warm season grasses vary as do their nutrient requirements. Hawaiian Turfgrass sells both quick release and slow release fertilizers and can determine what type of fertilizer is best for your lawn. It is best to fertilize every 2-3 months with a fertilizer spreader. Apply fertilizer after mowing and water in once applied to turf.
  2. Mowing – Turfgrass can be mowed when it is rooted into soil. Be sure to remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade. The more often you mow, the easier it’ll be for you the next time. Turfgrass selection plays a key role in determining how often you have to mow. If possible mow turfgrass every week, but rule of thumb is to mow grass every 2 weeks. Reel mowers are the best and mower blades should be kept sharp. Dull blades tear the grass blade instead of cutting it cleanly. These small rips in the turfgrass can cause the grass to lose more water, increase irrigation needs, create stress, and make lawn more vulnerable to diseases.
  3. Grass Clippings – If possible leave grass clippings. If you follow the 1/3 cutting rule grass clipping wont smother the grass plants. They will dry out and work their way down to the soil surface. These clippings return nutrients to the soil, resulting in less fertilizer use. They also cool the soil and help it retain water.
  4. Thatch – Thatch is a layer of dead and decomposing plant tissue that forms above the soil. A thin 1/2 inch layer is beneficial to a lawn as it protects plant crowns and reduces compaction. But if the layer gets too thick, water, air and fertilizer can’t get through to the soil and grass roots. Thatch usually occurs on turf that hasn’t been mowed or is heavily fertilized, and is most common on poorly drained, compacted and acidic soil. Some species of turf are more prone to thatch problems than others. Severe thatch problems left unattended may eventually require the use of a de-thatching machine. To prevent or minimize thatch problems, core aeration is an option depending on your situation.
  5. Aeration – Core aerators punch small holes in the lawn allowing air and moisture to penetrate through the holes. Core aeration will also help increase water infiltration on compacted soils. After aeration, rake up soil cores that are on surface and fill holes with compost, soil, or sand.