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Telfair 11-30-2011 07:27 PM

This time I'm doing the SOD work myself
But I'm not sure how to do it right so I'm looking for pointers..

At the top of the below picture is a gate that needs to open from time to time & I plan to leave the drainage pipe on the right there as a boarder between the sod & the house.

I was figuring that having a slope from the foot of the picture to the gate top left might be a good idea for drainage toward my hedges outside the gate.

How much slope is best?
What should I do before laying the Sod besides a top soil mix?
I'm just starting out with this tiny area as a learning project before I start taking on the back yard.

I plan to have St Agustine being this will be be where the dog hangs out & from what I've learned, for dogs your pretty much best off with St Agustine?

Bud Cline 11-30-2011 07:32 PM

The slope is up to you and what the terrain may dictate. Once the sod is installed keep it watered/soaked for a while to encourage root expansion and to keep the soil soft so as to accept the roots.:)

joecaption 11-30-2011 07:38 PM

If this is where the dogs hang out then sod is never going to last for long.
I'd use some form of stone so the dogs will not dig and the urine will just soak into the soil below.
1/4" per foot no matter what you put down.

Telfair 11-30-2011 07:46 PM

The dog is not even a sperm at this point so the SOD will have plenty of time to settle in before we get our dog.

The dog will have the whole yard to hang out in but my wife tends to hang out at the back door when she smokes so that will probably were the dog sits with her when she's out there, So I figured its a good place to start with my learning experience.

Bud Cline 11-30-2011 07:57 PM

Go for it, it will be fine for a while as long as the dog(s) don't urinate there constantly.:)

user1007 12-01-2011 08:56 AM

Got to prep the soil for sod almost more than you would for seed. You cannot just lay it down on top of what you are showing you know. You need to turn that soil up, ammend it, add some nutrients and balance Ph. A rototiller is in your future. Then rake it flat. Saturate it and then press your new sod into the saturated soil with a roller. Then keep it moist. Biggest problem with sod failure in California is that it is never bonded with the soil. It grows in its own layer and takes tons of water to ever reach roots down and grab that native. St. Augistine has shallow roots to start.

You sure you want something you have to navigate a mower around in that narrow area? What about some 12x12 or 24x24 pavers with something green you did not have to mow in the joints? Irish or Scotch moss (not moss at all) would be lowest growing. Other possibilities galore. And some nice ground cover on the sides and to hide that pipe? Ornamental strawberry or even needlepoint ivy and you will have something that looks great and will tolerate your beast, if the puppy turns into some 200 pound, truckload of dog chow per day, beast.

Bud Cline 12-01-2011 09:47 AM


You sure you want something you have to navigate a mower around in that narrow area?
Get a goat.

user1007 12-01-2011 11:08 AM


Originally Posted by Bud Cline (Post 783116)
Get a goat.

Amazing animals. Bud I know you were joking but the little miniature ones would be perfect for keeping that little patch of grass trimmed.

I was caretaker for a goat ranch in Livermore, CA one summer. Owners were a teacher and a super high tech guy that sold printers and plotters. Their kids got them into goats through 4H which was hilarious at first since they were both from Chicago and city people. I will always be a mix of country and city I suppose although I trust the latter more these days.

Anyhow goat milk was a big deal and there was a line longer than the supply every morning. Apparently livestock offspring abandoned by their mothers can drink goat milk and not get sick. Lactose intolerant human infants too I am told. So I milked goats a couple times a day.

I am not going to milk a miniature goat in LA. I hate California and hope never to have to set foot in the State again. 20 years of nonsense was enough.

I am not going to make bagpipes out of a dead goat either because it only ate St. Augustine sod. I found this through my fave site, Crappy Taxidermy!

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