Sod Installation in Chicago

In any city, including Chicago, greenspaces are an urban oasis. This includes everything from parks and business landscapes to backyards and gardens. 

What’s the last thing you want when looking out on what should be an area full of lush, green grass? A struggling or even bare yard covered in dead grasses, patchy areas, standing water, and other unappealing yard problems. 

Sod installation is one of several ways to fix many yard problems – and one of the fastest! 

Installing sod is a common method for establishing a new lawn quickly.

At Ware Landscaping, we have decades of experience in repairing, installing, and growing beautiful lawns. We help our clients achieve their landscaping dreams by providing expert guidance, meticulous attention to detail, and exceptional customer service. 

When you choose Ware Landscaping for your sod installation project, you can expect: 

  • Complete soil prep for an ideal foundation
  • Improved drainage 
  • Seamless grading of the yard 
  • Undetectable sod connections
  • Sustainable methods that are good for our families and our environment

Contact Ware Landscaping if you’re ready to look out at your yard and see something beautiful instead of the problems you see today. 

Make sure the soil is slightly compacted but not too dense, allowing for good root penetration.

Which is better: Growing a new lawn from seed or installing sod? 

We get this question all the time, and it’s an important one! 

The two main options for a major yard overhaul are growing a new lawn from seed or installing sod. There isn’t a “right answer” that applies to every situation. Instead, we can walk you through the pros and cons of each strategy and help you determine the best approach for your lawn. 

Both sod installation and starting a new lawn from seed can address problems like these: 

  • An entirely bare yard (such as after a new build or major construction)
  • Large, bare areas throughout the yard
  • Issues related to poor drainage 
  • Dead grass in patches or large areas
  • Areas that are overgrown with weeds 
  • Damage from nuisance critters like voles, snakes, and moles
  • Discoloration and damage from pet waste 

There are good reasons to choose both sod and seed, so let’s take a look at which one might be best for your yard. 

Sod is generally best if: 

  • Your project is time-sensitive; sod is faster than seed!
  • You have a lot of erosion damage
  • It’s spring or fall
  • You need a completely new lawn

Seed is generally best if: 

  • Your schedule is flexible
  • Your budget is smaller
  • Your preferred grass variety is not available in sod
  • Your soil needs a lot of work
  • It’s late spring/early summer or late summer/early fall
  • Your yard is patchy but not bare
  • You want to try dormant seeding in the winter 

Ware Landscaping’s Sod Installation Process

When you choose Ware Landscaping for your Chicago sod installation project, this is what you can expect: 

  1. Our landscaping professionals will visit your Chicago property for a free consultation. We will learn about your vision for your yard and the problems you’re facing, then create a plan to make it happen. 
  2. If you decide on sod, we can go over all of your sod options so that you can choose the best one for your lawn. 
  3. Before installation, we prep the soil and make sure it is fully hydrated. 
  4. On installation day, we lay the sod to create an instant yard that is aesthetically pleasing and healthy! 
  5. After our initial watering, we show you exactly how much and how often to water your new lawn. 
  6. For continued success, we are happy to schedule ongoing follow-up visits to make sure your yard is looking amazing. In addition to maintenance plans, we’re also available to come out if you’re having trouble or need more help. 

Chicago Sod Installation: FAQs

Do you have questions about your sod installation process in Chicago? We have answers! In addition to our FAQ, you can always reach out to us with specific questions about your unique situation. 

When is the best time to install sod in Chicago? 

Chicago’s hot summers and bitterly cold winters are both undesirable (or even impossible) conditions to install sod. You want to avoid extreme temperatures when sodding a yard. We recommend scheduling your installation in the early spring or early fall for the ideal weather and best results. 

Because we stay busy installing yards and completing yard improvement projects throughout the year, we recommend booking your Chicago sod service early. 

Are some sod varieties better than others? 

The answer to “Which sod is best?” is dependent on where you live, what grasses are native to your area, how much sun and shade the grass will get, and how you plan to use the lawn. 

In Chicago, we recommend planting a cool-season grass like Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, and Perennial Ryegrass. 

Warm-season grasses like Zoysia and Bermuda do not do as well here, as they struggle in our cold Illinois winters. 

Tall Fescue does well in moderate shade, but Fine Fescue is better for a significantly shady area. Most sod varieties require 3-4 hours of sun each day, but we love a challenge! If your yard is very shady and needs grass, let’s talk about how to make that work.

Can I install sod myself? 

Our team is made up of people who love working hard on hands-on projects, so we understand why installing sod as a DIY project might be appealing! 

If you choose to install sod yourself, make sure you do the appropriate prep work! 

  • Test your soil and make sure it is ready for sod
  • Clear the area completely, removing any debris, weeds, old grass, and other plants
  • Till the soil thoroughly, about 4-6 inches in depth, to make sure the dirt is not compacted
  • Rake and level the area so that it is completely flat and even (you may need to do some yard grading, too)
  • Mix 1-2 inches of quality compost into the soil to improve drainage and provide nutrients
  • Test the soil pH and amend the soil accordingly
  • Hydrate the soil before installing the sod

We know this list can seem overwhelming! Our landscaping experts can handle all of this ground preparation for you so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. 

How much do I need to water my new sod? 

It’s so important to keep your new lawn hydrated without overdoing it. 

We recommend that you give your yard 1.5 inches of water, 1-2 times a day for 2-3 weeks after installation. It usually takes about 20 minutes to provide that much water to an area of your yard.  Once the roots become more established, you can slowly reduce the frequency of the watering. After 2-3 months, your grass should be fully integrated into the yard! 

Don’t stress about this too much; we will make sure you know exactly how much water to give your lawn before we wrap up your project! 

When can I mow my newly-sodded yard? 

Don’t mow for the first 10-14 days. After that, use sharp mower blades set to a height of 3 inches to carefully mow your yard. 

In addition to being cautious about mowing, avoid heavy foot traffic on your yard for the first 3-4 weeks. That will give your grass plenty of time to grow new roots.

Remember these key sod selection facts

Making the right choice for your sod installation is one of the most important indicators of success! Here are some key takeaways about how to choose the right kind of sod. 

  • Timeline: For a lawn that establishes quickly, sod is a better option than seed because it grows faster than seed.
  • Intended use: Consider how you plan to use your yard when choosing sod. Active families who spend lots of time outdoors need durable grass, while minimal use allows for less hardy varieties.
  • Water: Ensure that your chosen sod’s water requirements align with your irrigation capabilities. Sod needs more water initially, but seeded lawns require more long-term.
  • Sunlight: The amount of sun vs. shade in your yard determines which sod will thrive. Our experts can recommend varieties suited to your conditions.
  • Maintenance: Consider your desired maintenance level when selecting sod. Some grasses require less care than others. Either way, we offer maintenance plans to keep your lawn flawless year-round.

Hire Ware Landscaping for your Chicago Sod Installation

Ware Landscaping is proud to serve Chicago and the surrounding areas. By creating beautiful greenspaces and yards in Chicago, we help to beautify a city that we love! 

You may have a lot of options for landscaping in Chicago, but we are confident that we will land at the top of your list! That’s because we work with integrity, excellence, and enthusiasm! 

Here are some of the benefits of choosing Ware Landscaping:

  • Your consultation is completely free, with no obligation. We’ll learn about your yard, vision, and goals and give you an overview of what we can do to make them a reality! 
  • We prioritize our clients’ dreams for their yards, not some one-size-fits-all solution. 
  • We are happy to share our extensive expertise in which hardy, native grasses thrive in Chicago’s yards. 
  • We’ll work to schedule something that meets your needs.
  • Our optional maintenance plans are available to anyone who wants a worry-free lawn. 
  • Our techniques are eco-friendly and sustainable! 

Schedule a free consultation with Ware Landscaping today

We’re here whether you need to repair a problem area in your yard, improve your drainage, plant new seed, or sod a beautiful new lawn in Chicago. 

Reach out to our sod installation team here at Ware Landscaping to schedule a free consultation. Contact us today at (312) 529-4633 to learn more.