Its July so should i lay down sod or seed?

I have a small 8x8 patch of dirt. I want to grow grass and of course I would prefer sod, but the last time I laid down sod, it didn't work out too well. I didn't let the dogs on it until after about 5 months after I laid it down, and they could still pull it up, I mean pull up whole squares. I was amazed that after 5 months of nothing stepping on it--not even me, and watering it twice a day. The still did not take root like it should have. This time I figured that i would lay down some seed, at least I know that after another 5 months they wont be able to pull this up. I'm thinking i may have not prepared the soil like I should have and thats why the sod didn't take...I'm not sure. Either way, if I choose sod or seed, I am going to have to prepare the soil. Right now I have the 8x8 patch tilled, and thats it. Any suggestion on what I should choose, and on how to prepare the soil.

Update:

If I do use seed, I am going to use patchperfect. I saw the commercial, and thought I'd try it. I still would like advice on how to prepare the soil. I am conflicted between sod or seed??

Update 2:

the dogs will not be on the grass. not for a long long long time.

Update 3:

nobody knows how much to water sod; I swear! some people tell me that I overwatered it because I watered it twice a day in the beginning and then went to once a day, then to every other day and some others said that only once a day was needed. That bugs me..

Update 4:

nobody knows how much to water sod; I swear! some people tell me that I overwatered it because I watered it twice a day in the beginning and then went to once a day, then to every other day and some others said that only once a day was needed. That bugs me..

9 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sod should be watered twice daily for the first two weeks. Then you can drop to once daily for a week. You only need to water for a half an hour the first two weeks, but in a small area like you are doing, 10 minutes should suffice. The reason for the heavy watering the first two weeks is so that the roots grow DOWN into the soil you put the sod on. If you don't water enough, the sod will die.

    Now to your first question, I wouldn't put EITHER sod OR seed down in July. It's too hot and the sod or seed will just die. It may be unsightly right now, but I would spray the area with Roundup to kill any weeds lurking there, then wait until September when the weather cools a bit. By that time the Roundup will have dissipated, and the sod/seed will not have to fight the heat to try to grow.

    Source(s): Horticulture student
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  • 1 decade ago

    Get some good compost. They make special turf building types that are special for grass. Mix it in well. A layer about 1 or 2 inches think tilled into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil. Or just read the directions on the bag(!).

    You overwatered that sod. It had no reason to put roots into the soil if you watered it twice a day.

    If you do seed (which I think is better) you might need to water twice a day untill it get about 3" tall. Then more like every other day, or once a week when it is well established. But be sure to put down enough water so the roots will grow deep.

    But, really July is not the best time to start a lawn, at least in North America. September is much better.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Seed is second best. Takes 7 to 13 days to germinate, and still will not be very strong at that point. i would allow at least three mowings before I let the dogs on it.

    Unless you are using warm season grass like Bermuda, Zoysia, St Augustine or Centipede, summer is the wrong time. Summer is Ok for these, although early May would have been ideal. Warm season grasses are much tougher than cool season.

    Cool season grasses such as fescue or Rye are done in the fall. In September in most areas.

    You already discovered your first mistake. Soil preperation is the answer. Till as deeply as you can, then add compost to the soil, and till it in as well. Compost improves the soil structure of both clay and sandy soils. "Black Gold". Part of the trick is to improve the soil as deeply as you can, so the lawn will have the opportunity to send their roots as deep as possible. Deep watering will assist that also. The compost creates a reseviour to maintain moisture and also nutrients. You can expect it to require less fertilizer in the future when you have adequately improved the soil. Before you seed though, you should get a lawn roller and pack the surface to prevent footprints and such.

    Keep the seed moist to insure germination. Water it three times a day if possible.

    Sod, your best choice.

    Do the same soil preparation as above. When you lay sod, keep the edges tight. Do not stretch the sod out, as it will shrink some as it dries. make sure your sod is fresh. It is very perishable. Only good for about two days. But Sod should take root in days. I would still keep the dogs off until I mowed it three times, but that will be at least two weeks sooner than seed. And you can do sod any time of year as long as they can dig it. Takes much longer to establish in the winter though .

    TopCatt

    Source(s): I am a Certified Horticulturist since '78 and a Landscale Contractor since '95.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Seed will take a couple of months to establish and the dogs will rip it up long before that. Something is wrong if your sod isn't rooting. You need a sprinkler system, bud. Don't think that anything, seed or sod is going to live with a little water. You need to set a timer on 3-4 times per day once you lay sod or seed. keep it wet. If you have bad soil, lay down some good topsoil blend to insure the roots will grow into something decent. Put a little starter fertilzer as well. If you do it right, the sod should be unable to lift up after about 7-10 days!!!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    As long as you follow the directions your seed should germinate in a relatively short period of time. You can choose a Scotts or Vigoro product that will yield favourable results. I have found it useful to use a seed fertilizer or a combination pack. It's also best to lay a thin base of fresh soil, then seed, then more soil. Water one daily, just enough to keep your seeds most during their early stages. This will work. It just has to! I've nurtured many a lawn this way! good luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    What? That size is too small to grow grass. The heat from the sides is accelerating the drying. No wonder you are having trouble.

    Also the "spot" should only be visited by dogs for their potty break and even then they will destroy it with urine in short order.

    Personally I'd brick it over a sand base so the urine could flow into the sand and the poop picked up easily and the whole area washed down.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sod. Water 1x a day for a few weeks and then every other day. Seed should be used when the days are warm and the nights are cool.

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  • ishman
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Aint no is particularly precise. whilst i boost into in landscaping we raked the airborne dirt and mud to be sodded to get rid of roots, rocks, and make the floor point. Then "green side up" laid down the two rolls or rectangles of sod. at one website, the owner drove in the process a million week previous sodded backyard and we had to repair the wear. The sod sheets had already rooted without fertilizer or root stimulator further. so all the tilling and prep Aint pronounced is moot.

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  • 1 decade ago

    seems that you did everything right,top soil,peat moss and sand should be mixed for the base for sod or seeds,make sure that you don't water at night or in the middle of the day,to avoid fungus and the sun burning the grass,if the patch perfect works please let me know i'm thinking of trying it myself

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