5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 20, 2014 6:43 PM by canthony

    sod, sod stories


      After we have lived here three decades, my spouse recently initiated laying of sod.

      Before this, I mowed our moss as infrequently as possible.

      There is still a "wild park" taking up about a quarter of our 1/3 acre (suburban).

      Now our water usage will sky-rocket (sprinklers one hour generally every other day).

      Spouse and I have very (extremely) different views:


      height to cut -- she low (very short) - he, never shorter than three inches

      frequency: she - "the grass needs to be cut" -- he, as infrequently as feasible -

      when I mow, I like to be able to see some effect.

      how to care for new sod: she - catch the grass clippings; recommended, let the clippings fall into the ground

      and retain nutrients.

      In any case, we do NOT bag. Everything stays -- augmenting our compost pile.


      What I am getting to.

      I refuse to put "my" lawn mower on newly laid sod ("time to mow," she says).

      After we just spent a "fortune" on this new landscaping, I want professionals with professional equipment

      to care for the resulting lawn -- we pay.

      Am I allowed to say how much per year would be the price of assisted living in D.C. AFTER we would pay for

      the condo itself?

      not small for sure.

        • Re: sod, sod stories
          MyR Community Manager

          BoBraxton, thank you for creating a new discussion thread! We appreciate and enjoy your participation in the MyRetirement online community and look forward to your future contributions.

          • Re: sod, sod stories

            For cool season grasses, (Bluegrass or Tall Fescue) the grass should be cut frequently enough so that not more than 1/3 of the blade is removed and not shorter than 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches.  Mow grass when  it is dry with a sharp mower blade and leave the clippings.  Get a soil sample at least once every 3 years or so and make sure the pH is high enough.  If you follow these steps you should not need to apply much fertilizer other than maybe a little nitrogen in the fall for cool season grasses.


            For warm season grasses (Bermuda or Zoysia), you can mow a little shorter - 1 1/2 to 2 inches.  Mowing should still be done frequently enough so that not more than 1/3 of the blade is removed when dry, sharp blade as before, leaving clippings. Warm season grasses are fertilized with nitrogen in the late spring. 


            You should definitely not be watering every other day once the grass is established - if the ground was prepared well and the sod laid properly this should happen within 1- 2 weeks.  If you are going to water it should be done infrequently and then deeply in the morning when you do water.  This allows the grass to dry off by evening and reduces the chance of disease. One of the worst things you can do to a lawn is to water lightly and frequently in the evenings.  What is watering deeply? - until you can push a Phillips screwdriver 6 inches into the soil easily - unless you are in an area which gets predictably infrequent rains you should not just be putting the sprinklers on a schedule. One hour may not be enough or it could be too much.


            As for lawn services - be careful - there are a lot of fly by nights out there.  Only use companies which one of your neighbors can recommend and you can observe what kind of job they are capable of doing.  It is not always the most expensive ones either - just make sure they are properly insured.

            • Re: sod, sod stories

              We are two or three weeks (only) into the initial one year of establishing a proper lawn (after three decades) on our corner suburban lot. The impact is so powerful that following the initial two days of work by five people (supervised by the landscaping firm) I keep feeling like I wake up (every day) at someone else's place.

              • Re: sod, sod stories

                Watch out for grubs, they just love beautiful lawns.  Another thing to worry about!