Installation Guide and Soil Preparation


For optimum growth, turfgrass needs just four things (in the proper balance) to grow…sunlight, air, water and nutrients. Reduce any of these, or provide too much of any one, and the grass may die or simply suffer. In the right proportions, the grass will flourish, providing not only beauty to the landscape, but also a clean and safe place to play. It has many benefits to the environment.

Grass obtains three of these four essential factors (air, water and nutrients) from the soil, but many soils are less than ideal for growing grass. Some soils contain too much clay and may be very compacted…great for roads, bad for grass because air and water aren’t available to the roots and the roots can’t grow. Other soils may have too much sand… beautiful on a beach, but difficult to grow grass because water and nutrients won’t stay in the root zone long enough for the plant to use. Another frequently observed problem with many soils is that its pH (the degree of acidity or alkalinity) is too high or too low for optimum grass growth.

Quick Fact: What is the best soil for Turfgrass?

Loams, sandy loams and loamy sands, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0 are the very best soils for producing a beautiful, high-use, low-maintenance lawn. Unfortunately, this ideal soil mixture is seldom found on an property after construction.

Quick Fact: How deep should the soil be for Turf grass?

The absolute minimum quality soil depth for a care-free lawn is 10 am (4 inches); however, for deeper root penetration and the benefits that brings, the accepted standard is 15 am (6 inches).

Quick Fact: Can soils be improved?

Practically without exception, not only can most soils be improved, they usually need to be improved to get the maximum results with only a minimum of other on-going effort.

The knowledge of whats necessary, the amount and availability of materials and the immediate costs of time and money are the factors that typically deter people from taking the steps necessary to improving the soil. While some people do not fully understand the importance of good soils for grass, many also believe they can save time and money by ignoring the need to improve their lawn’s soil.

The fact is that failing to improve the soil before planting is only inviting a much greater and continual investment of both time and money, that will never return its value as fully as preparing the soil properly before planting any grass.

“The beauty is in the blades, but the ‘action’ is in the roots,” is a good adage to remember when growing grass. Thus, the value of proper site preparation and soil improvement, before any planting takes place, is that it will be easier for the grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly. Deep roots will make the lawn more drought resistant, a more efficient water and nutrient user and more dense as new grass plant shoots emerge. A dense lawn crowds out weeds and better resists insects and disease.


With a tape measurer, measure the area of your planned lawn. Give us the length and width of the area to be sodded. For irregular areas, break down into small squares and rectangles. We can calculate the amount of sod with you.

Schedule your order for delivery of Willowlee Sod after prep-work is completed and you are ready to install. Sod is a perishable product. Prompt installation on the day of delivery is crucial, no later than 24 hours.


Step 1. Preparation

Sod must be laid on bare soil. To achieve this you can

a. Rototill area and then rake off all debris and level the surface


b. Set mower very low to the ground, rake off the debris then put down 2.5-5.0 cm of good topsoil.

Step 2. Leveling

Grade the surface by carefully leveling all

surfaces to be sodded.The level of the soil should

be about 2.5cm below walkways and driveways.

Step 3. Fertilizer

Apply Willowlee Starter Fertilizer at a rate of

9 lbs per 1000 ft and rake it into the topsoil.


Step 4. Sod Installation

Install your lawn immediately upon delivery. Begin watering lawn within 30 minutes of installation. Turf is a living plant that requires ground contact and moisture to survive.

In hot weather, protect unlaid turf by placing stacks in the shade, covering with moist burlap sacking and/or sprinkling.

Begin installing turf along the longest straight line, such as a driveway or sidewalk. Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching. Avoid gaps or overlaps. Stagger the joints in each row in a brick-like fashion, using a large sharp knife to trim corners, etc. Avoid leaving small strips at outer edges as they will not retain moisture. On slopes, place the turn pieces across the slope.

To avoid causing indentations or air pockets avoid repeated walking or kneeling on the turf while it is being installed or just after watering.

Step 5. Rolling

After installing the turf, rolling is recommended to ensure good root-to-soil contact and remove air pockets if the area is uneven preventing root to soil contact.

Step 6. Watering

Give your lawn at least 2-3cm (1 inch) of water within half an hour of installation. Water daily, or more often, keeping turf moist until it is firmly root (about 2 weeks). Then less frequent and deeper watering should begin.

Weather conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering. Be certain that your new lawn has enough moisture to survive hot, dry, or windy periods. Water areas near your home or establishment more often where reflected heat dries the turf.

Caution: During the first three weeks, avoid heavy or concentrated use of your new lawn. This gives the roots an opportunity to firmly knit with the soil, and ensures that the turf will remain smooth.

Step 7. Maintenance

a. Water daily to keep soil moist beneath the sod for about 2 weeks, then water less frequently, but deeper watering should begin.

b. Mowing should begin once the sod has rooted enough to prevent the edges from being pulled     into the mower blades. Test this by gently pulling on a corner of the sod roll installed. The sod should be rooted within 10 to 17 days. Once sod is established, mow often removing no more than 1/3 of the grass height each time.