Can You Lay Sod Over Mulch? The Answer Surprises Even the EXPERTS

Published Categorized as Sod & Seed

MULCHING boosts the growth of a thicker, stronger, and healthier lawn. It doesn’t promote weeds’ growth and preserves moisture beneficial to your grass. With all these benefits, many homeowners tend to lay sod over mulch. But is it a good idea? Can you lay sod over mulch?

It is not a good idea to lay sod over mulch because it will not grow as healthy as when over the topsoil. Although it would grow on top of mulch, you must fertilize and water regularly. Even after this practice, the sod will not develop in as good a shape as it does when it is laid over the topsoil.

What Is Mulch?

Mulch refers to any organic material you can use to cover the soil’s surface. There are two main types of mulch namely organic and inorganic.

Organic mulch comes from former living materials such as hay, chopped tree leaves, buckwheat hulls, rice stalks, grass clippings, pine needles, straws, compost, shredded bark, wood shavings, sawdust, and crop residues.

Inorganic mulch examples include geotextiles such as landscape fabrics and black plastic.

Benefits Of Mulch

  • It helps improve the garden’s drainage by retaining moisture, which benefits plants even during drought.
  • Mulch improves the appearance of your landscape, flower garden, and the entire home.
  • Wood mulches improve the soil as it adds nutrient-rich organic matter to it.
  • Regulating soil temperature is another vital benefit of mulch to your garden.
  • Adding it to your soil helps block and prevent weeds from accessing sunlight and sprouting.

Can You Lay Sod Over Mulch?

Can you lay sod over mulch

Although mulch has numerous benefits for sod, laying sod over mulch is a bad idea. Mulch is not the same as soil, which is a requirement for the sod to root. Therefore, your sod may strain to reach nutrients and moisture in the ground through the mulch. For this reason, your sod will have uneven heights, as some parts will grow while others will die. Your lawn will therefore have a choppy and unappealing appearance.

Additionally, you’ll have to keep watering and adding organic material and fertilizer to your lawn. This practice is tiring and time-consuming. No matter the hard work, the sod will not be healthy when laid over mulch.

Also read: Can You Lay Sod Over Dead Grass?

What To Do Instead

Instead of laying sod over mulch, remove as much of it from the garden as possible, then install your sod. However, the best thing is to add topsoil over the mulch, then lay your sod. If you decide the latter is the way to go, here is the catch; You must strike a balance between the mulch and the topsoil. An imbalance between the two will affect lawn conditions and damage your sod.

Here are the reasons to add topsoil over mulch before laying sod;

  • The practice increases essential nutrients and moisture in your garden. The reason is that both soil and mulch are rich in these contents. The technique, therefore, results in a healthier lawn and improves soil structure.
  • Both soil and mulch make a perfect combo for retaining water. The practice helps improve the drainage system of the garden.
  • Mulching helps keep your yard free from weeds. Therefore, when you add soil over mulch, you enhance its efficiency in fighting weeds.

Related: Can You Lay Sod Over Existing Grass?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can you put soil on top of mulch?

A:  Adding topsoil over mulch before planting is beneficial to plants. This soil provides crops with nutrients and improves drainage and soil structure. However, the mulch and the topsoil must have equal consistency.

Q: Is mulch better than grass?

A: The answer is yes. Mulch is not prone to pests and diseases, making it safer for your crops than grass. Also, with mulch, there is no need for regular irrigation as it conserves soil moisture.

Q: What is the disadvantage of mulching?

A: Mulching has several advantages. However, adding too much mulch may suffocate your grass by blocking oxygen and water.

Read: How Do You Tamp New Sod?

Final Thoughts

Mulching on grass has several advantages. However, it’s a terrible idea to lay sod over mulch, as it will not grow as healthy as when spread over the topsoil. You’ll also need to regularly add water, organic matter, and fertilizer. Therefore, remove the mulch before laying your new sod. Another solution is to add topsoil over mulch before laying your sod for better results.

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By Wycliffe Magara

Hi, my name’s Wycliffe Magara, a professional landscaper, journalist, published author, photographer, and lawn attendant. Apart from this site, I also own LawnAffection, Grasstology, and TheScholarshipTipster. I specialize in creating informational content to help you grow a Lifelong Lush Lawn and find the ideal scholarship opportunities no one ever talks about.