Greenfields Turf, Inc.

Specialized sod and lawn growers in the Salinas Valley

Ground Prep, Sod Installation & Big Rolls

Ground Preparation:

Preparing your soil properly is a very important step in establishing a drought-tolerant and healthy Lawn. Soil preparation can only be done once before laying your sod.

Before your sod is delivered:

  • Clear all weeds and debris from lawn area. (use a weed killer to properly kill all existing weeds in new lawn area).
  • Rototill soil as deep as possible 6” to 8” deep.
  • Add a 2-inch layer of soil amendments over the top of your soil such as ground fir bark, mulch and Gypsum. Then rototill it back into the soil as deep as you can (4 to 6 inches).
  • Install irrigation system and be sure to soak all sprinkler pipe trenches to settle the soil in trench for proper leveling. Then check sprinklers for even water coverage on lawn areas. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. This is what will keep your lawn alive.
  • Re-level and grade entire area for low spots for your final grade. Be sure to leave your soil about 1 to 1 ½ inches below your driveway, sidewalk and headers.
  • Use a lawn roller to roll the entire area to firm-up the soil. (be sure you fill roller about half full of water).
  • Pre-soak soil several days prior and let drain before installation of new sod.

Install a good Sprinkler System:

  • A good sprinkler system will ensure the survival and guarantee a good healthy Lawn.
  • Your sprinkler system should have even head-to-head coverage.
  • Your system should be well designed and thought out.
  • A good landscaper or irrigation supply store is an excellent place to get your design and information from.

Pre-Plant Fertilizer:

Use a good pre-plant fertilizer or starter fertilizer which will be low in Nitrogen and high in Phosphorous and Potassium 4-10-10 or 6-20-20. Be sure to read the label for application rates. (Do not use more than recommended) This will help give your lawn a good healthy start.

Sod Installation:

Sod is a perishable product and needs to be installed immediately at the time of delivery and watered immediately to ensure it will survive. All ground preparation and sprinkler system needs to be completed the day before delivery.

Guide to follow by:

  • Start by laying sod in a straight line such as along a driveway or sidewalk.
  • Unroll the first roll of sod on the longest edge keeping off the sod while you are installing it.
  • Lay rolls out and stagger the seams in each row in a pattern as if you were laying bricks and rake out any footprints as you go.
  • Make sure to butt edges of sod snugly against each other without overlapping them. Not only will seams be less noticeable this way but the edges will be less likely to dry out and die back.
  • Try to avoid use of small pieces of sod along the edges as they will dry out much faster.
  • Smooth out the rolls of sod as you are laying it by patting down the sod so it’s flat against the soil underneath it, with no air pockets.
  • When laying sod in Hot Weather, within 30 minutes of installing sod start watering small areas with a garden hose lightly every 30 minutes to avoid drying out until entire lawn area is installed.

After completion of laying your sod:

  • Lightly water entire sod area and then fill your sod roller half-full of water and roll entire area. This will ensure that sod has complete contact and no air-pockets with soil. This will ensure a good bounding between soil and sod for faster rooting.

Water, water, water: “DO NOT LET SOD DRY OUT”

  • Start watering “immediately” after installation. (Soak lawn area making it “squishy wet” This is the only time you will water the sod making it “squishy wet.”
  • Newly planted sod for the first 10 to 14 days needs to be watered 3 to 4 TIMES DAILY during the Summer and 2 TIMES DAILY during the Winter months.
  • Set your Sprinklers to start watering between hours of 5 am to 6 pm for 20 to 25 minutes per station.
  • If water starts to pool on lawn area or starts to run off on sidewalk area during watering cut back your watering time another 5 minutes per station.
  • Shaded area normally requires watering once a day. Even in hot weather, shaded area will require less water to establish.
  • After 14 days rooting should be established and you can cut back watering to once a day (early morning only) for next 6 to 8 days.
  • After 3 weeks, you can start to cut back on watering your lawn to every other day giving it a total of an inch of water per week, more in the Hot Summer approximately 1½ to 2 inches per week.
  • Windy conditions can dry out new lawn as quickly as full sunlight and heat. Be sure to maintain moisture on newly-laid sod to prevent seams from drying out.

Mowing your new lawn:

  • Mowing your new lawn generally 10 to 14 days after installation. This is very important for new lawn establishment.
  • Do not cut more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single mowing. Maintain a regular mowing schedule. (Normally every 7 days)
  • Set mowing blade height to 2-2½ inches for normal height.
  • Keep your mower blade sharp as a dull blade will tear grass leaves and damage the blades causing tips of grass to turn brown.
  • Always mow when the grass is dry.

Now that your new Lawn is established you can check with your local Nursery for a good fertilizing program that is best suited for your area. (All areas will vary depending on the climate that you live in)

Big Jobs require Big Rolls

Big Roll installation is available at Greenfields Turf, Inc.

Big roll is the ideal choice to quickly and efficiently sod large open areas such as:

  • Sports Fields (baseball, football & soccer fields)
  • Golf Courses (driving range & fairways)
  • Commercial Parks and Playground areas.
  • Large Residential areas.

Benefits of Big Roll installation:

  • Allows for quicker use of athletic and sports fields.
  • Wider and longer rolls
  • 80% less seams provide established turf in minimum time.
  • Results in better looking finished product.

Big Roll Specs:

  • 48 inches wide by 125 feet long.
  • 500 sq. ft. per roll.
  • Approximate weight 2,500 lbs.

Soil Preparation:

For best results, follow the same procedures as standard turf installation.

  1. Kill weeds and grasses.
  2. Remove rocks and debris.
  3. Rototill the area to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.
  4. Incorporate soil amendments into the soil.
  5. Smooth and level soil to proper grade. (Rolling may be done to firm soil)


  • Make sure your irrigation system on site is ready to use.
  • Start watering sections of turf within 1 hour of installation.
  • It is very important for the next 10 days that you water the new turf 3 times per day, giving it ¼ inch of water each time. The new roots are very short and will dry out quickly if not kept moist.