Monday, November 25, 2013

SOD Installation: The best way to Install St. Augustine, Bermuda or Zoysia

This is  installing St. Augustine.
There are a multitude of landscaping companies as well as SOD companies in Dallas and on the Gulf Coast. The best SOD in my opinion comes from the Texas Gulf Coast. There are some local farms around the Dallas, Ft. Worth area that produce high quality grass. I am writing this blog to inform the public about SOD, SOD installation and how to choose a Landscaping Company for your SOD installation. First things first, Your BUDGET. SOD installation is the most expensive way to replace your lawn. But it is the BEST and fastest way to get a new lawn in just a day or two. 

Pallets of St. Augustine SOD
One Pallet of SOD is equal to 450sq ft
 in most cases
There are basically three costs to look at: Delivery, Labor and Materials (SOD). All these costs will vary because when it comes to SOD installation there really is not a standard rate for these three things. But I can give you a good idea on what to look for. A new lawn can cost anywhere from $250.00(small lawn), $2,500 (large lawn), to $10,000(very large lawn). Again, this all depends on WHO is installing your SOD. You should ALWAYS see Materials, Labor and Delivery on your Estimate for new SOD. The materials part will usually be SOD and Soil. NEVER place fertilizer on new SOD, not even a "SOD" starter. This can damage your SOD, I do not recommend it. Out of the hundreds of lawns I have replaced with SOD, I have NEVER used fertilizer or a SOD starter. Once you have determined that you do have a budget for new SOD (base your budget on the size of your lawn). For a quick budget estimate, multiply total square feet (measure your lawn with a tape measure) by .333 then double that. This will be about how much you will pay, it will at least get you in the ball park. For example if you measured a total of 800 square feet, you would get (800 x .3) =  266.40 x 2= $532.28 (plus tax). Delivery will vary between $50 to $120. Note: SOD costs fluctuate with fuel prices. One pallet of SOD weighs about 2,000 pounds! That's a lot of pounds to haul around. Furthermore, some companies have a minimum SOD installation requirements. That is they will charge you starting at a certain rate. I have a minimum charge of $250 unless it is a job for senior citizen or a disabled person or some other special circumstance that contributes to society. After all who doesn't like to do good deeds. 

Now that you have an idea of what a lawn replacement will cost you, we can move on to the next step, Lawn Analysis. There are many reasons why your lawn is ugly. You could have a drainage problem, too much shade, not enough watering, too much watering, broken sprinkler heads, improper sprinkler coverage, grubs, insects, dog traffic, dog urine, weeds, poor soil, mowing too low, etc. I could go on and on. Finding out why your lawn is ugly is important before planting new sod. SOD is an investment, so protect that investment. I recommend leaving it to a landscape specialist if you do not have experience with basic lawn service (SOD, Sprinklers, Drainage,Grass Diseases, Grass types, etc). 

Once you have determined your budget and have found out why your lawn is so sad, you need to determine what type of grass best fits your lawn. There are a wide range of grass types in the world, hundreds of them. But only a few can survive constant mowing. That brings us to our region or as some might say our own country Texas, specifically, Dallas/ Ft. Worth. I have narrowed it down to three basic "Turfgrasses" for the "Southern Zone" or "Warm Season": Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. I will not get into great detail about these turfgrasses yet, I will write about them in my next blog or you can visit my site here. If your lawn is shady, I recommend using St. Augustine or Zoysia. If you have full sun I recommend Bermuda. 

You have your budget, the reason(s) why your lawn is ( insert word here), and have an idea about what type of SOD you want. Now ask yourself this: "Am I a DIY person?, Do I ave the time to install a lawn? Can I do this in a day or two? Can I haul around SOD in a wheel Barrel? Do I have all the proper equipment and techniques to properly install my SOD?" These are serious questions you definitely should ask yourself. Time and time again I have come across frustrated customers who have tried to take on a SOD project and have come up short. Of Course we are happy to help. Yes, planting SOD is not rocket science but it actually is science and art in one. My method of laying SOD has been proven to work 99% of the time. Out of the hundreds of lawns I have planted only a few have failed. And the few that did was due to some unforeseen circumstance like a grub attack or a customer placing fertilizer on freshly planted SOD. One thing to remember is that SOD is a produce product and is not guaranteed to take root. But with my method (I will explain this in my next blog) I am 99% sure that it will grow and take root. Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave some on this blog or on my website #sodinstall


  1. I have Zoysia sod, what do I need to for the winter season?

  2. Your grass will go dormant for the winter. You can purchase a winterizer fertilizer from Home Depot. Remember that the roots are still alive and need nutrients as well as water.

  3. Should I have it cut before adding the winterize?

  4. If the lawn need to be mowed, yes. Follow instructions on bag.


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