topsoil, Sod and Grass Seeding
Steps to creating a beautiful lawn with sod or seed.
1. Sub Base Preparation
The sub-base is the existing fill material on the site.
All Stumps, rock or other waste larger than 3 inches shall be removed. All initial drainage, grading, and form grading shall be done with the sub-base.
2. Site Grading
Surface water drainage is controlled by grades; these grades must be greater than a 2 % slope to allow for adequate water movement. Always grade you soil away from your building. It is important to be sure that your grades are correct before spreading topsoil, to eliminate drainage problems. Ground water drainage is typically controlled using french drains or tile drains.
3. Topsoil Installation
We-Do-All Contractors use only the finest Topsoil for sod and seeding installation. Topsoil that is too sandy does not retain water well for root growth or turf stability. Topsoil that contains heavy clay creates drainage problems. Roots require air and water in order to grow. Water does not travel well in clay and can cause compaction causing air to become less available for roots.
Topsoil shall not contain any waste, rocks or stumps larger than 1 ½ inches. Topsoil shall be spread evenly at a industry recommended depth of 4 to 6 inches. Keep the grade about 1 to inches below walks, patios and driveways to allow for the sod install.
4. Sod Installation
We begin by installing your sod along a straight line, such as a driveway, sidewalk or the side of a building. Stagger joints, much like paving stone or roofing, pulling the edges together. Until we have covered all the area of your yard that require sod.
6. Edging and Pegging
Sod edges shall be cut in using a sharp knife (utility knife) Any sod laid on a slope of 2 vertical to 1 horizontal or greater shall be pegged to prevent slippage and/or soil erosion during rain falls prior to rooting of the plant. Pegs shall remain until turf has taken well. (approximately 14 days following installation).
7. Watering Information
After one week, the sod should be watered once daily for fifteen to twenty minute time blocks. This schedule should be maintained for two to three weeks, or until the sod becomes rooted in the soil. The main rule is that the sod should not be allowed to dry out at any time before you see that it is firmly rooted.
The ideal time to water your lawn is during the late night hours (about 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.) and not during the day. At night, less of the water is evaporated and the sod will be able to use the water more efficiently. If this might be a difficult time to water, given your particular schedule, you could get by watering during the day. But, you should try to keep it to dawn or dusk hours (6 a.m. to 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and you may have to water longer than the previously suggested fifteen to twenty minute time blocks. Just be sure the sod is moist to the touch, but not muddy, as it is possible to over-water your sod.
Once the sod has become firmly rooted in the soil, you can gradually decrease the number of watering sessions, but you should then increase the amount of water used. For example, once the sod is rooted, you can then water it twice a week for a half hour at a time and then go down to once a week for a 45 minute time block. The sod will be receiving the same amount of water, but more mature sod can hold more water and use it more efficiently. And, as the sod grows longer, the concern for over-watering decreases.
This watering schedule should be kept for at least one full summer to ensure that the roots go deep and stay healthy. If your lawn is installed late in summer or early in fall, water regularly as suggested above until the weather starts to cool and start up again as soon as possible the following spring.
Be aware that the weather will affect the way you care for your sod. Use common sense when watering as compared to weather patterns. For example, if there is at least an inch of rainfall on a particular day, you won't have to water the sod that day. Likewise, if the weather is very hot and/or very dry, keep a twice weekly watering schedule until the weather is cooler and/or more humid.
Also be aware that chemical fertilizers should be applied to dry sod, and thus, you will want to apply it at the end of the season.
If irrigation is available: Lawns can be sown any time during the summer. The most suitable time would be mid to late August, since the warm soil will encourage rapid germination and there is less chance of weed competition during this period.
If irrigation is not available: During most of the growing season, it is best to seed before mid-June, or early to late fall. The best seeding dates will depend on the soil zone in your area.
Dates Recommended for Seeding Lawns in Saskatchewan Soil Zone Watered / Not Watered
Brown and Dark Brown
Spring--before June 15 / Spring--before June 1
Early Fall--August 15 to September 1 / Late Fall--just before freeze-up*
Black and Grey (Parkland)
Spring--before June 15 / Spring--before June 15
Early Fall--August 15 to September 1 / Spring--Before June 15*
*Cover the area with branches to hold snow. Leave until the grass has germinated in the spring
Recommended Seeding Rates for Lawns That Can Be Watered Location Grasses Seeding Rate (lbs per 1000 sq. ft.) Sunny Kentucky bluegrass 4 Shady Kentucky bluegrass & creeping red fescue 3 + 3. Recommended Seeding Rates for Lawns That Cannot Be Watered Soil Zone Grasses
Seeding Rates (lbs per 1000 sq. ft.)
Brown and Dark Brown (Prairie)
Russian wild ryegrass 5
Streambank wheatgrass & Crested wheatgrass 5
Russian wild ryegrass & Kentucky bluegrass 5 + 1
Streambank wheatgrass & Kentucky bluegrass 5 + 1
Black and Grey (Parkland)
Kentucky bluegrass 5
Creeping red fescue 5