Installing Sod for your Baseball Field

Sod for your Baseball Field
 
For your problem areas or the whole field
to give you instant turf
 

 
Choices and Decisions
  1. Sod requires proper planning and preparation BEFORE the sod is delivered. Where as seeding can happen when you are ready to do it.

  2. Proper installation on the day of delivery is critical to success with sod.

  3. Make sure the sod matches the existing turf as much as possible. Be aware the sod farms heavily fertilize and the sod may arrive looking much darker than what you have. It will blend in over time.

  4. Try to get sod grown on ground similar to what you have. Clay based sod goes on a clay baseball field. Sand grown sod goes on a sandy loam field.

 

Sources and Suppliers

I used sod for the area in front of the mound during a renovation job. I wanted a good, strong footing for pitchers when fielding bunts or grounders.

I used Horizon to order a sod with the same consistency as the sports turf seed I used - 80% rye and 20% bluegrass. Horizon in turn had Delta Bluegrass deliver the sod to me.



Tips & Hints
  1. Measure the area you'll put sod on. It is good to know both square feet and square yards when ordering.

  2. Add 10% to the amount you need to allow for trimming to make the sod fit together and fit in our area. Better a little too much than to run out!

  3. Till to a depth of 4 inches. Add in compost or topsoil/compost mix to level the area. It is ok for it to be a little higher than the surrounding area. It will settle as it is watered.

  4. Smooth dirt with a field rake. Roll soil with a lawn roller. Ensure it is still a bit higher than surrounding soil. It will settle. Spread fertilizer.

  5. Water the soil until it is damp. Not puddling. Start laying sod.

  6. Water the sod within 30 minutes of installation. Protect unused sod. Put in the shade, cover with a wet cloth, or sprinkler it occasionally.

  7. Install sod. Butt the pieces together. It will shrink a bit. Stagger the joints.

  8. After installation, roll the sod to level and get contact with soil.

  9. Soak the sod and water daily for about two weeks till the sod takes. Then cut back on watering. You can also put some fertilizer on top of the sod. Lift a few random pieces to ensure your watering is getting down to the roots and soil below.

  10. Mow as soon as you can without loosing the pieces. Mow high the first time, the mow at normal height.

  11. If you end up with gaps between pieces that shrink because you didn't butt them close enough, add some topsoil to the gap and spread some seed. Rake it in and tap it down. It will fill in.



Mistakes to avoid

  1. Avoid skinny little pieces at the edges. They won't retain moisture and will die.

  2. Don't just place the sod pieces next to each other. You need to butt them up to allow for shrinkage. Ever see a sod job after the pieces shrink and then there are open areas between each piece? Fix by following step 11 above.

 

sod farm
a sod farm


sod is heavy to haul
sod is heavy; here sod
previously removed
is being added after
the area was regraded



pallets of sod
1,000 sq ft of sod
delivered on pallets,
then covered till used



installing sod
installation starting
with the longest runs



installing sod around the mound
working our way
around the mound



sod installation complete
right after sod is
installed; note darker
color at first


three weeks after sod installation
same field just 3 weeks
later - firm and looks
great


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