How To Guide

Your lawn won’t take care of itself. Like any plant, turfgrass requires stable conditions in order to thrive. With just a little attention, you and your family can enjoy a lush and beautiful lawn – we’re here to help you do it!

Installing Your Lawn

Soil preparation prior to installation is essential in promoting a healthy and beautiful lawn. Avoid future headaches by taking the extra time to ensure that your soil is in the optimal condition for sod-laying.

  1. Rototill your soil to a depth of 3-6″ (8-10 cm) – for best results first rototill in one direction and then crosswise
  2. Remove all debris from the area – sticks, rocks and other forms of debris will crowd your grass’ root-zone and cause your lawn to be uneven
  3. Ensure a soil depth of 3-6″ (8-10 cm) – use Manderley Local Garden Mix™ to improve soil composition and depth
  4. Grade and shape the area to the desired contours – grading your soil thoroughly before laying sod will assist the grass in taking root
  5. Add starter fertilizer (available from your local garden centre) – incorporate fertilizer by lightly rototilling or raking
  6. Rake the surface smooth and even – roll lightly and smooth again as required to remove rough areas and depressions
  7. Irrigate lightly to identify any areas where water may puddle, and to settle the final surface. Allow to dry before laying sod.


With the soil prepared you are now ready to begin installing your sod. Remember turfgrass is a living and perishable product – lay it immediately upon receiving it.

  1. To lay the first row, start from a straight line, such as a curb or driveway – for areas lacking a straight bordering area you may also run a taut string up the middle of the area and begin the first row along that line
  2. Ensure that the area is smooth – it never hurts to give the area another raking
  3. Lay sod in a brickwork pattern as pictured – stake sod on steep slopes to prevent slippage)                                                                                                 sod-brickwork-pattern
  4. Butt all joints together without overlapping – cut the sod with a sharp knife or edger to fit odd shapes and small areas
  5. Roll over your sod – it is recommended that you go over the area with a 1/3 filled roller to press the roots to the soil
  6. Water the area so that your soil is wet to a depth of 1″ (2.5 cm) beneath the sod – one litre of water in the first hour does more than six litres three hours later – you may want to lift pieces of sod to ensure that the moisture has reached the recommended depth
  7. Follow the watering and mowing guidelines from the calendar below:


* Laying sod is heavy work! Pace yourself accordingly – if necessary, get help from family, friends or a landscape professional!


Maintaining Your Lawn

Regular lawn maintenance is important – healthy grass resists disease and insects, and recovers faster than neglected turfgrass. Proper management will keep your lawn healthy and looking great!

  1. Water – Your lawn needs an inch (2.5 cm) of water per week (including rain) when it is actively growing in the summer. Avoid frequent light watering, which results in shallow rooting, and overwatering – saturated soil prevents air from reaching the root zone where it’s required. Water evenly and slowly enough so that the water penetrates the soil without running off. For newly installed sod, please follow the watering schedule detailed in the installation section.
  2. Mow – Proper mowing keeps turfgrass healthy and beautiful. Bluegrass should be mowed at a height of between 2-3″ (5-8 cm). Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf height at once. Don’t let grass grow so tall that it falls over. The taller the grass, the less dense the lawn and the higher the chance of weed infestation. Always keep the mower blades sharp.
  3. Fertilize – How much fertilizer your lawn needs depends on soil fertility and how much growth you want. We recommend using a starter fertilizer with newly installed grass. Continue to fertilize using a 4-Step Program, which can be purchased at any local garden centre. Always water-in the fertilizer to prevent burning. Never apply fertilizer to wet grass leaves, especially during extreme heat.
  4. Maintain – Compacted soil prevents water, air and nutrients from reaching turfgrass roots. Heavy soils such as clay and wet soils are prone to compaction, especially in high traffic areas. Annual lawn aeration and topdressing using Manderley Local Garden Mix™ will help to refresh and rejuvenate your lawn for the growing season. A healthy, well-maintained lawn should have minimal thatch (accumulation of old leaves, clippings, stems, roots and other organic material that has failed to decay). Thatch can prevent water and fertilizer from reaching the root zone as well as habour plant diseases and pests. Raking thoroughly is usually enough to remove thatch, however, in severe cases use either a vertical mower or contact a local landscape professional.
  5. Monitor – It is important to keep an eye on your grass throughout the summer. By monitoring your grass regularly you 1) reduce the risk of undesirable conditions, such as pests or weeds taking over your lawn, 2) you will spot problems early, making them much easier to deal with. Below you can find guidelines for a number of lawn related problems you may encounter.


Grass is resilient. If you are unable to water your lawn, it is good to know that Bluegrass goes dormant during dry weather.. Even though it looks brown, it will green up again with watering or rain.

The first signs of drought stress are « foot-printing », where the leaves do not rebound from walking over the lawn. The next sign of drought is rolling of the leaves and a colour change to blue-grey


The best weed control is proper maintenance. When your lawn is thick and vigorous, weeds can’t get a foothold. Small numbers of weeds can be manually removed. For extensive areas, we recommend consulting your local garden centre or a landscape professional.


The sooner you detect and identify pests, the better your chance of success in removing them. Lawns excessively damaged by pests may require replacement. Some common pests include:

  • White Grubs
    Live in the root zone and feast on your lawn. If you notice browning patches of grass or increased bird and/or wildlife feeding activity, you may have White Grubs. Remove a small patch of grass and check underneath. More than 5 grubs per square foot will require treatment

  White grubs White Grub image005


  • Sod Webworm
    Much like White Grubs, these worms live in the root zone and feed off your grass. They will cause your grass to turn brown. Sod Webworms are most commonly found in lawns with excessive thatch. Treatments for these pests can be found at your local garden centre.


image006 Sod Web Worms Insect pests now appearing in turf

  • Chinch Bugs
    These small Black/Brown insects (about 0.5 cm long) will suck the juices from grass leaves. Damage can be seen as large irregular yellowish-brown patches that usually appear along the edge of the sidewalk, curb or foundation. Chinch Bug problems can often be solved through watering. In extreme cases consult your local garden centre or landscape professional.


  chinch-bug-control1 Ryan_Davis_Figure1

Turfgrass makes a difference

Healthy turfgrass makes cities and suburbs better places to live. It is a beneficial part of the landscape, helping to reduce noise and glare, cooling the air and providing a beautiful foil for trees and flowers. Turfgrass isn’t only working to provide a safe and beautiful surface for both rest and play – it’s also working to give our communities a healthier living environment.

Purifying the air

 Grass plants absorb sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide pollutants associated with acid rain and global warming.

Controlling Erosion

Grass controls erosion by trapping and holding water and slowing run-off. Grass roots hold soil in place better than any other plant!

Protecting Ground Water

Dense turfgrass roots act as filters to capture and break down many types of pollutants, including pesticides

Living and working ‘Green’ is important to us. Manderley is proud to be ‘Green Certified’ by the NSGA. We are dedicated to continuing to offer environmentally friendly products and services across Canada.

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