Cleaning Up Your Own Backyard

Four Tips To Control Weeds In New Sod

by Warren Garcia

A major issue with trying to grow a lawn from seed is that weeds often move in before the grass establishes itself. Planting from sod helps alleviate this issue, but sometimes, weeds can still try to establish themselves before the sod is fully rooted. The following tips can help you prevent weed problems in your new sod.

1. Prepare the Soil Correctly

If you had weed problems before you planted the sod, there is an increased chance that you will still have weeds after the sod is down -- unless you are proactive in preventing them. Make sure all the old turf is stripped from the area before you lay the new sod. It's also a good idea to treat the area with a preemergent herbicide and work it into the top couple inches of soil a couple of weeks before sodding. The preemergent herbicide will kill any weed seeds still in the soil.

2. Purchase Quality Sod

Laying down sod that contains weeds is a great way to ensure your new lawn will also have weeds. Purchase sod from a sod farm that specializes in the type of grass you want to grow. Find out what steps the company takes to prevent weeds in their sod, and inquire as to what guarantees they offer in regards to weed-free sod. When your sod arrives, carefully inspect each bundle for weeds as it is installed. If you find weeds, don't hesitate to ask for a replacement.

3. Avoid Open Joints

When sod is laid, the strips are placed together tightly at the joints. If a large space is left between two pieces of sod, then weeds may take over the patch of bare soil before the grass can spread and fill it in. Make sure all joints are tightly abutted together but not overlapping. Avoid bare soil as much as possible since this is just an invitation to lawn weeds.

4. Target Weeds Carefully

Even with your best efforts, some weeds may invade your new sod as it is still establishing. Avoid pulling up larger weeds, as their deep roots may pull up some of the new sod as well. Small, newly germinated weeds can be plucked carefully. Instead of pulling larger weeds, either cut them off at the base to prevent them from setting seed or spray them with a targeted post-emergent herbicide to kill them.

Contact a sod farm in your area if you have more questions.