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Discussion Starter #1
I had to till up my backyard as all the topsoil had washed away and exposed nothing but rocks. I'm in the process of raking, leveling and removing the rocks. I had a sod roller scheduled for rental (along with the tiller) but the shop messed up and gave it out, there are no others around to be found.

Anyways, I'm trying to determine how important it is to roll the yard before my sod arrives on Monday. I know it needs to be rolled after the sod is put in, but what about before?
 

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Charles
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When we did our backyard we tilled a litlle but then had topsoil brought in and spread at about three inches thick to level out the ground a little. We rolled it. Then we laid the sod but no rolling needed. Just keep it well watered for about three weeks and don't mow it during that time. Put down some fertilizer for new lawns as well.
 

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I've sodded a few baseball infields and learned a few lessons the hard way. Every time I do it, I remind myself more work up front means less work and better results later.

It's actually more important to get the ground firm and level now than after you lay the sod. The frequent irrigation will insure the roots make good contact with the soil below it.

If you don't get a firm and level base under your sod, the ground could settle on you in places, and you end up with some low spots.

A key factor is how much you have turned the soil over, how much soil amendment you used and how evenly it was distributed, and how consistant the depth of tilling was (the deeper you tilled the more uneven it tendsto be and the more it can settle).

Also important to consider is the type of turf you'll be putting in. If it's hybrid bermuda, you need an extremely solid and smooth base. I'd suggest watering to get it firm and level on and off for a week before bringing in the sod. Those short grass required a glass smooth surface to look right.

If it's a tall fescue type of grass and you are going to cut it fairly high, then getting the ground absolutely level isn't as important.

One more thing, don't forget that 5-5-5 starter fertilizer. You want to get that turf off and growing well to prevent any weeds from getting a foothold....


Good luck,
Mark

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks all. I was able to find one last roller at the rental place at a Home Depot. It seems the entire town is out! I've tilled about 4-6 inches deep. The problem with my yard/soil is that it is full of rocks. I've removed all the big rocks, but I can't do anything about the small ones. However, the yard is much better than when I started. Tomorrow I'm putting in the starter fertilzer and getting it as smooth as possible, then rolling. The sod arrives on Monday so I don't have the time to do any additional topsoil. Plus, there is no way for a truck to dump in my backyard and I'm not moving it from a pile in the front to the back via wheel barrow nor do I feel like doing bag by bag for 2,500 square feet. I only have weekends to work at home and one weekend on this is enough. Oh, the grass is zoysia emerald.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well...crap! I was all done except for the rolling. I decided to eat lunch, I should have waited. It started raining during lunch, but only a light drizzle. So, I figure I can still get the rolling done...NOT! All I was doing was picking up mud and it was nearly impossible for the roller to turn. I was only able to make a couple of passes with it. I'm very frustrated. The yard looks pretty good, but I really would have liked to get it rolled. I guess I'll just have to do my best after the sod is installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
More crap! The rain affected the cutting of the sod this morning and they can't deliver the grass. It's supposed to storm the next two days which will wash away all the yard prep I just finished. I'll have to do it all again this weekend. I'm sooo frustrated! What a waste of time, effort and money :mad:
 

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The rain will help to settle the ground and firm up what you've already tilled so that when you relevel and roll again, the ground will stay very close to that shape for the long haul.

So all is not lost, although I know on projects like this you just want to get it over with and move on!
 
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