Turfgrass Ordering (sod, sprigs, plugs and seed)

The first step needed is lawn measurement. This is best handled as a two-person process. All it takes is a tape measure, paper and pencil.

Measure the length and width of each area of your planned lawn. Illustrate this with a sketch on paper showing the entire area and including the measurements to label the sketch. Make special note of winding curves, circles, strips, small segments and any other spaces that differ from more typical sections of the lawn.

Label any other unusual features, such as variations in height, hills, slopes or low areas. Include existing or planned buildings, hardscape features and landscape plantings in the sketch.

All of these things will impact the microclimate of areas of the lawn that may require special attention during installation and post-installation care.

Review the steps for site preparation, your turfgrass installation options and the installation processes available for each option.

The turfgrass variety or varieties and species best suited to your lawn and the best time of year for the installation will vary according to the option and process you select. You’ll want to confer with your local county extension agent, the turfgrass specialist at your local garden center or your local professional sod producer on these details.

If you decide to go with a form of seeding, review how to read a turfgrass seed label so you’ll be prepared to make the best selection of a seed blend or seed mix for your lawn.

The best lawns start with the best quality seed. Though certified seed may cost a little more, the results will be well worth the cost.

Your sketch information will provide the size of the total area you will be seeding. The seed package will list seeding rates for both new lawn installations and overseeding.

You’ll want to purchase enough seed of the same lot number for the installation process you will be using, plus enough additional seed for at least one total area overseeding. This will allow you to fill in any bare or thin spots with seed that matches your new lawn.

If you decide on one of the vegetative options – plugs, sprigs or sod – you’ll want to work directly with the supplier to determine the turfgrass variety and species and timing factors.

They’ll also help you determine the number of plugs or sprigs, or the amount of sod, needed based on your sketch information.

They will explain the pros and cons of different installation procedures for plugs and sprigs and the time factor involved from installation to a useable, established lawn with various quantities and recommended spacing of plugs or sprigs depending on the time of year.

Obviously, the greater quantity of plugs or sprigs, and the closer the spacing, the faster the results, but costs will be higher.

Turfgrass sod will cost the most to install, but will give you a beautiful, useable lawn much faster.

Ask these professionals about Gold Tag (or sod quality) certification. You want the highest quality plugs, sprigs or sod for a top quality lawn.

There are additional details to discuss with your sod producer for turfgrass sod installation. You’ll want to understand what you will be purchasing in terms of: thickness of cut, the width and length of the strips or rolls, sod strength, moisture content, and mowing height.

You’ll also want to know what will be provided in the delivery and/or installation process.

You’ll want to schedule your turfgrass sod delivery after you have completed your soil and site preparation and are ready to install the turfgrass.

Discuss the targeted delivery date when you place your order and reconfirm it as that date draws near.

Prompt installation on the day of delivery is crucial.

Following these steps will start your lawn off right.

This information provided by The Lawn Institute – www.TheLawnInstitute.org

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