The suggested sequence for placement of sod is:


Shape Sodbed

Ditch channels should be shaped in order to obtain a relatively level, flat‑bottom ditch which will drain without water ponding. The depth should be a minimum of 6 inches below adjacent ground. Many ditch failures result because the ditch bottom is not level, causing a concentration of flow on one side of the ditch.


Apply Fertilizer

The first application of fertilizer shall be applied prior to laying of sod. Fertilizer must be spread with a mechanical spreader at a uniform rate of application. A cyclone seeder may be used.


Place Sod

Note the quality of sod, making sure it is free of objectionable material (tree roots, brush, stones, etc.) also that it is free of noxious weeds and relatively free of all other weeds and grasses other than bluegrass. The sod is to be mowed to a height of 1 1/2 to 2 inches prior to cutting. On the sides and bottoms of ditches and channels, strips must be laid at right angles to the centerline of the channel.


The project engineer may order areas staked to prevent loss of sod before the root system becomes established. Staking of sod channels ordered by the project engineer is paid for at 25 percent of the contract price for sodding.


Sod can be placed until the ground freezes at the construction site or at the sod farm.


Finish Sod

Smooth disturbed areas along the edges of the sod. Be sure that no ridge of dirt remains along side the sod ditch, and that the disturbed area is properly shaped and sloped to allow water to run onto the sod.



Reseed disturbed areas, using the seed mixture specified.



Mulch disturbed areas, using the mulch rate specified.



Water the sod within one hour after laying. Five additional waterings will be required with the second, third, and fourth waterings performed at 4 calendar day intervals, and the fifth and sixth waterings performed at weekly intervals. The amount of water required for sodding varies depending upon soil type, soil moisture, and local weather conditions at the time of sodding. Watering is to saturate the soil to a depth of 4 inches or a maximum of 100 gallons of water per 100 square feet. This is roughly equivalent to a 1 inch rainfall but depends on soils conditions, rate of rainfall, and topography of land. Sod should be watered with a spray, and not much pressure. Too much pressure disturbs the sod and has a tendency to wash the dirt away from its edges. All areas disturbed in preparation of sod ditches must be watered with the sod after seeding, fertilizing, and mulching. The scheduled waterings may be deleted if precipitation has moistened the soil to a depth of 4 inches.


The specifications provide for a price adjustment per calendar day if the Contractor does not complete the watering.



Tamp or roll sod as specified if necessary to secure bonding.


Special Ditch Control

Place special ditch control over the sod when specified. This material is normally specified on steep ditch grades, and at the outlet end of roadway pipes where large volumes of runoff water may occur.



Payment for the sod item will not be made until the watering has been completed. If the quantity of sod to be placed is large, the sod may be paid as a stockpiled material at the time all of the sod is installed according to specifications.


If the contractor fails to maintain the sod as specified above, washed out sod must be replaced at the contractor's expense.


Per Standard Specification 2601.05, A, 11, when there is a large area to be watered, the contract documents will include an item for Watering and payment will be based on the predetermined contract unit price per 1000 gallons. When an item for Watering is not included, then the cost of watering is included in the amount paid for the item to be watered.


Typically, projects that have a contract item for Watering should also include a contract item for Mobilization for Watering, unless they are identified as erosion control or landscaping projects. Initial watering required at installation will not be counted for payment of Mobilization for Watering.