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Simply Sod & Sprinklers

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

When it comes to your landscape, sometimes you only need a simple job done well. It definitely helps when you start with a good foundation. On this project nearly everything was done correctly by the home builder. The elevation of the house, in relation to the surrounding grade, allowed for positive drainage away from the home in all directions. The builder also brought in black dirt after rough grading so the grass would have good soil for establishment. Proper grading and drainage is always a crucial element to address, since if done incorrectly the consequences can be costly.

There was one small obstacle in the yard to work around but it didn’t make much of a difference for the overall scope of the project. We had to work around the sidewalk to the back shed but it was not different than working around an existing sidewalk or driveway. Both the shed and secondary sidewalk were installed in a manner that they did not affect the overall house drainage and worked well with the flow of the landscape.


Since this project didn’t need much work in regards to grade or site prep we were able to jump right into the sprinkler installation. As with most modern installations we installed a WiFi smart controller. The homeowner elected to have the controller installed in the shed for easy outdoor access. For a smart controller we need to have access to run a multi strand wire from the sprinkler valves as well as it needs to have an electrical outlet. The shed already had power so this made for a great location. Another consideration with the WiFi controllers is the router signal. This shed was also close enough to the WiFi router located inside the home which allows us to control the sprinklers from any computer, tablet or smartphone anywhere that has a data signal or internet.


Since we were planning on installing fescue sod we highly recommended installing a sprinkler system. Without adequate water during the hot, dry summer months fescue tends to go dormant and allows weed pressure to take over. For this sprinkler system we installed rotor heads since the lawn had large open areas which allowed for larger gaps in the head spacing. When we are mapping out a sprinkler system first we take into consideration the water pressure (psi) as well as flow (gpm). The pressure and flow on a site will dictate how many heads can be installed in a zone. Additionally, the nozzle size in the sprinkler head will determine how much flow each head consumes. After calculating the specific site needs we can lay out the valve boxes and lateral zones in an efficient manner.


Once all of the underground work is complete we can begin our prep work for the lawn. First we backfill and compact our sprinkler trenches. The last thing we want is to have settling occur after grass has been established. Once all of the dirt is rough graded we can begin the process of fine grading. Generally we will use an equipment attachment to prepare the upper layer of the soil for seed or sod. We want to remove any high or low spots in the grade as well as remove any sizable rocks or debris near the surface. We want to give the new roots of our lawn the best possible chance at success.

Next we installed the sod. This is a time sensitive portion of the project as sod can quickly dry out and reach its demise on the pallet. Timing will depend on a variety of factors such as weather, as well as the specific variety of sod. The sooner the sod can be installed and watered the better. It’s equally important to note that if the dirt the sod is being laid on is hot and dry it can actually dry out the sod faster than on the pallet. Laying sod is a repetitive process which can quickly become very mundane. Some key elements are to keep the joints tight, roll out the sod in the same direction and stagger like bricks. It’s also important to lay your horizontal seam perpendicular to the natural flow of water. Other considerations on what direction you lay might be fixed objects such as buildings, property lines, sidewalks or driveways.


To wrap up our work we clean up sod scraps, debris and dirt on sidewalks or streets and set up establishment watering. We want to water with short shallow waterings. Over the coming weeks we will slowly increase watering lengths and decrease watering frequency. Eventually we will back it off to no more than a few waterings per week. After about a month it will be ready for the first mow. Mowing height should not remove more than ⅓ of the grass blade. It is also important to check the root growth and back off watering before the first mow or any foot traffic occurs so ruts and divots are not formed. For more information on establishment watering check out this article on Proper Care and Watering for New Seed or Sod Lawns.


Overall this project was very simple in scope. That said there are many layers in a job well done that make this simple install stand out from the rest. We hope you enjoyed this project spotlight from Jasper Ridge. Jasper Ridge landscaping provides “Professional Landscape Services” to the Joplin and surrounding areas; including Carl Junction and Webb City. Our service area is contained within Jasper and Newton Counties in Missouri (MO). For more information about Jasper Ridge LLC please contact us using the contact form.






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