Preparing for a New Lawn

Removing the existing lawn

Prior to the installation of sod, any existing lawn should be removed. Apply an herbicide to the entire lawn. When the turf is completely brown and dead, the old lawn can be easily removed either manually or using a sod cutter. Be sure to remove only the top-most layer. All you wish to remove is dead vegetation, not a thick layer of soil. After removal of the dead turf, clear the ground of all remaining debris like rocks and weeds.

Preparing the soil

Should there be too many weeds to clear by hand an herbicide will lighten the work load. Once cleared of debris, spread soil amendments such as compost and fertilisers in an even layer about of 1 to 3cm thick. Using a rototiller, blend the amendments and fertilisers with the soil to a depth of 100-150mm. Ensure that all loose stones and lumps of organic matter is removed.

Once again, clear the surface of any large root segments, rocks or debris that may have surfaced after tilling. Using a wide rake, begin levelling the area. Break up any large clods of dirt that remain. Make sure the soil level is approximately 25mm below the edges of cement structures such as sidewalks, driveways or patios.

Using a lawn roller, roll the area in two different directions. This will further assist in breaking up clods and will expose any high or low spots in your proposed lawn area. Rolling firms the soil and will assist in minimizing excessive settling. After rolling, fill in any ‘low’ spots and “fine” grade the area. Excessive settling after installation of the sod will result in a very uneven mowing surface and poor appearance. Several days prior to the delivery and installation of your sod, the area should receive a good watering. This will enable the new sod to establish quickly. This would be an excellent time to check out your sprinkler system. To avoid dry patches and to promote even growth, coverage should be overlapping from sprinkler head to sprinkler head. Prior to sod installation; check once more for uneven settling and low areas. Regrade if necessary. To avoid compaction, ensure that the soil is dry prior to rolling.

The levelling and shaping must mimic the final contour that you require your lawn to be.

Installing irrigation

A sprinkler or irrigation system is a virtual necessity for the survival of any lawn. When installing sprinklers, ensure that the head will be flush with the soil, but lower than sidewalks or cement structures. Bergland can design and install your irrigation system. Remember, it is recommended that lawn irrigation systems remain separate from those of trees, shrubs and groundcovers. Incorporation of a timer in the irrigation system, which will control frequency and quantity of watering, is strongly recommended. There are many excellent irrigation systems available at a wide range of pricing to ease the cost of installation and operation. Leave sprinkler risers capped while you complete the grading process of the soil in order to avoid clogged sprinkler lines.


Apply fertiliser or compost to the entire area at the rate of 5kg per 100 square metres, to a depth of 7 to 10cm. The sod may be laid directly on the fertiliser.

It is important to schedule the delivery of the sod after the soil preparation is complete. Prompt installation of the lawn on the day of delivery is crucial for the strong growth of your lawn.

Your New Lawn

Selecting | Measuring | Preparing | Laying | Maintenance