Sod Laid On Clay

Asked April 11, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

My homebuilder's landscaper laid sod on compacted clay with no soil prep. What steps, if any, can I take to improve my soil with the sod sitting on it? The grass has not taken root as of yet. I live in Northern Colorado with a west facing front lawn which will be subject to full sun.

Boulder County Colorado

1 Response

Hello,
We recommend the following:

  1. It is very important to have your soil tested first. It is the only way to know exactly what ammendments need to be done.
  2. You mentioned the grass has not taken root yet. Use a sod roller to help the roots to make contact with the soil.
  3. Core aeration will relieve soil compaction.
  4. Watering practices with a new sod are very important depending on the type of turf you have and, with it being a new lawn, you may need to water frequently.
  5. Your soil test will determine when and how much fertilizer you need.
We highly recommend you leave your grass clippings on your lawn. This returns moisture and nitrogen to your grass. Also, make sure your mower blade is sharp to prevent shredded blades of grass that will lead to disease.

Attached are CSU fact sheet that will provide detailed information.

Hope this helps,
Janet

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/07202.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/551.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/221.html