What Makes Good Quality Sod?

For those who are looking to install a new lawn, they may have a tough time figuring out which sod is best for the job.  It’s not true that all sod is the same – there are certain things you should look for when choosing a sod to buy.  In this article we’ll try to answer the question of “What makes a good quality sod?”

The Grass

You want to buy sod where the grass has actually reached maturity.  Buying sod with grass that’s too young will result in a lawn that struggles to take root because it’s still too weak to recover from the shock of being harvested.  To tell if the grass has reached maturity before it was harvested, look for a strongly tangled web of roots on the underside.  You’ll also want the grass blades to be densely packed, about two inches tall and a consistent shade of deep green.  Beware of discoloured and thinly growing grass blades with undeveloped root systems.

The Soil

To be able to properly take root, a patch of sod needs the right type, consistency and depth of soil.  You’re looking for soil that’s rich and moist.  If it’s brittle and cracked it may have been harvested too long ago and will have a hard time transferring nutrients to the grass.  You also don’t want it too compacted as it will be tough for the roots to grow into the ground below.  The soil layer should be around one inch thick – not much more or much less than that. 

The Harvest Time

The closer to the harvest time that you obtain your sod, the more likely it’ll root successfully.  Ideally you’d get your sod within eight hours of it being harvested.  Any longer than that and it starts to dry out.  You want the roots and soil to still be moist when you take possession of it.  Beyond checking the soil moisture you can also look at the colour of the grass.  Look for a consistent deep green colour.  Also place your hand firmly on the grass blades.  They should be cool to the touch.  Warm or hot grass means that it’s probably been sitting in the sun too long and will have started breaking down.