Category:803 Sodding

From Engineering_Policy_Guide
Jump to navigation Jump to search

803.1 Construction Inspection Guidance for Sec 803

Description (Sec 803.1)

Sod on slopes and in ditches is preferred over seeding when it is necessary to quickly establish vegetative growth. In urban areas, it is generally necessary to use sod on all slopes and other areas disturbed during construction to prevent erosion and to provide a pleasing appearance that will blend with the surrounding improvements. Where appearance or the need to quickly establish vegetative growth are not critical, other erosion control measures are considered.

Material (Sec 803.2)

All persons in Missouri who grow sod for sale are required under Regulation Two, Missouri Insect, Pest, and Plant Disease Law, to obtain annually an Inspection Certificate. This certificate is issued following inspection during the regular season when nursery inspections are normally made.

The contractor shall provide a certificate from the state of origin prior to placing any sod.

The inspector should ensure sod being placed conforms to specification requirements. The inspector should record results of such checks.

Construction Requirements (Sec 803.3)

Specifications require the sod and sod bed to be moist and firm. A quick test for a reasonably moist sod bed is to pick up soil from the top two inches and attempt to crumble it by hand. Soil should not be so dry that it produces dust or so wet that it cannot be crumbled. The sod bed should be prepared in much the some manner as a seedbed.

Firming of newly placed sod, immediately after placement, and re-firming after initial watering, is performed either by tamping or by rolling with a lawn roller. If the tamper face is not broad enough to prevent bruising the sod a board can be laid over the sod, with tamper blows applied to the board to spread the impact.


Specifications require all sod placed on 3 to 1 or steeper slopes to be pegged with wooden pegs. Metal clips are allowed.


No seasonal limitations exist for placement of sod. Acceptance is made when the sod is fully rooted and thriving. It may be necessary for the contractor to water the sod to encourage growth. Sod must be alive at time of acceptance. It is difficult to describe drying before sod is too far gone to survive. Dry grass may be of a grayer or lighter cast of green, but not necessarily tinged with yellow or tan. It may also show curling of blade tips. Usually one week without rain during hot weather is too long without watering new sod. If proper maintenance is not performed, it is suggested documentation be issued to warn the contractor that unacceptable sod may result.

Top Dressing

Topsoil filled between sod joints is recommended to prevent the edges from drying out and dying.


Maintenance is normally required to maintain growth. Normal maintenance includes watering, refirming, and replacement of top dressing as necessary. The inspector should note whether the contractor fails to maintain the sod.

Acceptance (Sec 803.4)

Sod must be fully rooted and living in the location direct by the plans or by the engineer at the time of acceptance. Sod is not to be accepted while it is in a dormant state.

Method of Measurement (Sec 803.5)

Area to be allowed for payment is obtained by surface measurements of length and width. Field measurements should be recorded directly into a bound field book to become part of the permanent record. Notes should develop the following information:

  • Station Limits
  • Location (Lt., Rt., Median)
  • Length
  • Width
  • Date Measured
  • Party

The person in charge of measuring the sod signs the entries.

Basis of Payment (Sec 803.6)

No direct payment is made for sod bed preparation or replacement of sod rejected by the engineer.