Are you working on a landscaping project, and you want to know if your sod should be level with the concrete patio, walkway, or driveway? You’ve come to the right place, for we’ve researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
The level of the soil surrounding any concrete patio or walkway should be an inch lower than the concrete before you lay out your sod.
Learn more about laying sod in the succeeding sections. We included some best practices that will be helpful in your landscaping project.
Ground Level For Successful Sod Installation
It is important to get the soil level down by an inch lower around the concrete of the patio or walkways to provide proper drainage. Once you lay your sod around the concrete, water will drain away from the concrete and into the sod layer.
For better water drainage, it is a good idea to give your concrete and sod a slight slope leading away from the house.
Tips For Sod Installation
Here are some tips for a successful sod installation. You can follow these tips whether you’re installing sod around concrete or on an open lawn.
Remove Old Sod
Your new sod will grow better if you remove any old sod, grass, weeds, and other vegetation. Loosen the soil to get rid of weeds from the root.
Use a sod cutter if you have a large area to clear. A sod cutter is an engine-driven machine that has a large blade that goes down into the ground and cuts grass, weed, and old sod at the root. Getting rid of vegetation from the root ensures that your new sod will not have any competition when it comes to soil nutrients.
Any existing vegetation on the ground will make it difficult for your new sod to take root and grow healthy. An unhealthy root system can lead to sod with brown patches. This can even lead to unwanted weeds drying out your new grass, destroying your work.
Level The Ground
As mentioned earlier, the soil level should be an inch lower than any concrete patio or walkway. Your new sod will come with its own bed of soil that will take up the depth that you take away.
If you do not have sufficient depth before you lay your new sod, water will drain towards the concrete. This will flood your concrete pavers, making them slippery, eventually leading to mold and fungus growth.
If you’re laying over a large area around concrete paving, have the soil slope a little, leading away from the house. A slight slope will ensure that water will drain away from your house and prevent flooding.
Slope Away From Concrete
Just as it is important to slope away from the house, it is also important to slope your soil away from your concrete pavers before laying down your new sod. Add a ground height of two to three inches for every 10 feet of the ground.
Use wooden stakes or rebars to mark the perimeter of the lawn. Use strings to mark the depth of the soil, including the slope. This will make it easier for you to match the depth of the soil with the slope that you need.
Add or excavate soil to get the slope that you need.
Never Leave Gaps When Installing Sod
There should be no gaps between the sod rolls, and there should be no gaps between the sod and the concrete. When you install the layers of sod, you should not be able to tell where the first layer ended and where the next one started.
It is equally important that the layer of sod is not pushing against each other. This will create peaks and make your lawn look uneven.
Check the level of sod against the height of the concrete paver as you lay them. If you push the sod too tightly against the concrete, you might have a peak going up against the concrete that is higher than the level of the pavers.
Another thing to remember is to stagger the sods so that the connecting points do not line up.
Trim Sod To Fit
Use a sharp cardboard cutter or a sod-cutting knife to trim your sod. If your concrete pavers have curves, your sod must be cut to match that curve tightly. Take the time to cut your sod so that it matches perfectly with the curves of your concrete.
A clean cut along the borders of your concrete pavers will give your lawn a professional look and a better-looking end result.
Always have a few square feet of extra sod. This will give you extra pieces for trimming and a good allowance for error.
Should a lawn be level with the driveway?
A lawn that is level with the driveway is a good idea.
If the lawn is higher than the driveway, muddy water from the lawn will flow toward the driveway. Constant exposure to water can cause pavers to lose their sand layers and eventually sink. Moreover, constant exposure to water will lead to weed growth between the pavers and mold growth on top of the pavers.
On the other hand, if the lawn is lower than the driveway, you will have a mowing nightmare as blade after blade becomes dull when hitting the edges of your driveway. Additionally, the flow of water from the driveway to the lawn will lead to water accumulation on your lawn. This will create ugly muddy spots.
The best option is a lawn that is level with the driveway. Both should have a slope leading away from the house. The lawn should have a slope, leading away from the house and the concrete pavers. The water should ultimately go to a drain to prevent water accumulation on the lawn and the driveway.
What should you not do when laying sod?
Here are common rookie mistakes when laying sod. These mistakes are easy to overlook, and even veterans sometimes make them.
Never Overlap Rolls
Never overlap your sod rolls.
Some people think that overlapping sod rolls will give them better coverage.
Overlapping sod rolls will lead to a lumpy and uneven lawn surface. Just follow our advice above to lay your sod side by side with no gaps between, and you will get the best sod coverage for your lawn.
Do Not Mow Too Soon
Your sod was installed perfectly, and now your lawn looks fantastic. Time to start maintaining the height of the grass. Unfortunately, if you mow your sod too early, it will not have enough time to root.
Ideally, you should wait for two to three weeks before you mow your sod. You may see your grass growing long during those two to three weeks of waiting. That is normal.
Never Forget To Roll After Laying
After you lay your sod, always go over the fresh sod with a lawn roller. Rolling after laying your sod promotes even growth and helps improve rooting.
Do Not Forget To Prepare The Soil
Preparing the ideal environment for your sod is perhaps the most important step. Unless you lay down good soil for your sod, you could end up with unhealthy sod.
Always remove existing vegetation and debris. Add a layer of garden dirt with plenty of nutrients for your grass. Your sod will need at least four to six inches of garden soil to grow healthy.
Never Forget To Water
You need to water your sod three times daily during the first week. Twice daily on the second week, then daily on the third week.
A regular watering schedule will help soften the soil, making it easier for the grass to take root. Constant hydration will lead to a healthier sod.
Never Deliver Too Early
Sod will arrive in its own layer of soil. However, it cannot live indefinitely on rolls or folds.
Ideally, it would help if you lay it on your lawn the same day it was delivered. This will minimize the drying and decomposition of the sod rolls, leading to a healthy layer of grass for your lawn.
Do Not Forget To Fertilize
Forgetting to fertilize based on the soil test is a common mistake. Soil preparation includes neutralizing the pH level of the soil to match the needs of your sod.
Even with a great pH, you should at least apply a starter fertilizer.
The level of sod and your concrete patio, walkway, or driveway is as critical as the slope. Both of them prevent flooding that can ruin your pavers or lawn.
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