Why Do Sod Seams Have To Be Staggered?

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Sod installation gives you a nice, full lawn in less than a day. After some time, the sod is fully integrated with the soil in your yard, turning what was a plain dirt patch into a small green field that your kids and pets can play on. Plus, it becomes a lawn that can really increase your home's curb appeal. Laying sod down can be a DIY process, but it's often easier and better to let a professional company handle the job, especially for larger lawns. Not only does that let you relax as the company handles the labor, but it also ensures that the strips of sod are installed in a staggered pattern.

Aesthetics and Seam Prominence

Staggering, or placing strips of sod so that two adjacent strips don't end at the same point, is done for a number of reasons, one of which is aesthetics. When the sod is first installed and hasn't fully integrated with the soil underneath, the seams between the strips can still be visible. If you have strip edges lined up across the entire lawn, the sod can look kind of obvious -- people can tell those are sod strips even if they didn't know your yard was just dirt a few days ago. Staggering the seams hides them a little better -- and if seams do show, they aren't quite as visually pronounced.

Animal Damage Prevention

Lined-up seams are also a lot easier to lift up, and that's a boon for wild animals that like to dig. Skunks, raccoons, and other small animals want any worms or other insects that are hidden under the turf. If you have four strips of sod positioned so that their corners all meet at the same point, that is really easy to dig up. Staggering the sod won't completely get rid of animals trying to dig, but it will make it harder for them to cause as much damage because they won't be able to dig as big a hole.

Human Damage Prevention

When you install sod, you have to stay off it for a while to let the strips start to integrate with the soil underneath. If someone walks on fresh sod, that can both damage the grass and cause the corners of the strip to lift up (as the weight of the person presses down on the center of the strip). While this damage can occur with staggered strips, if the strips are not staggered, the damage could be more evident as you might have two adjacent strips curling up at the edges, rather than just one. If someone steps on a strip right in the middle, they may be far enough away from the ends to avoid doing much damage -- but if someone steps near an edge, it could cause the end to lift up a bit. Now imagine someone just walked over a bunch of sod strips, all lined up, and all the edges became damaged; that would look terrible.

So, call that sod company and have them install the sod in staggered rows. Follow their instructions for keeping off the sod and for watering it, and soon you should have a nice, lush lawn. To learn more, contact a company like Midwest Turf today. 

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