How to Lay Centipede Sod


Native to China and Southeast Asia, centipede grass was first introduced in the United States in 1916. It is a warm-season, crawling grass that grows in a variety of soils, including sandy and clay. Grow centipede sod for a quick, albeit costly, cover as opposed to planting by seed and waiting for it to germinate and grow. Make sure that the sun-loving grass will grow in your area as it suffers from winter damage even in the mildest climates.

Step 1

Clear the site of rocks, stones and debris. Remove weeds by hand, or use a commercial herbicide if they are widely distributed, two weeks before laying sod.

Step 2

Till the soil to a depth of 5 or 6 inches, using a tiller, to break compacted soil and aerate it. Add 50 lbs. of lime and 10 lbs. of fertilizer for every 1,000-square-foot area. Cover with 1 inch of compost. Till the area again to ensure the conditioners go deep in the soil.

Step 3

Add water to a lawn roller and go over the site to reveal low spots. Fill them with good-quality topsoil so they are in line with the surrounding soil.

Step 4

Water the site with water the night before you lay sod until the soil is evenly moist, so the sod adheres to it better.

Step 5

Lay sod first on the longest and straightest side of your lawn. Place it over a corner and unroll it completely. Spread the adjacent roll flush against the first roll's edges. Make sure the seams are tight with no visible gaps.

Step 6

Stagger adjacent rows to break up seams in the lawn. Cut sod strips to size with a hatchet or shovel to fit irregular areas.

Step 7

Run a lawn roller filled with water over the newly laid sod to ensure the roots make good contact with the soil. Water the sod down to an inch immediately, using a garden hose, and continue watering it once every morning for two weeks, until the sod establishes itself.

Tips and Warnings

  • Spread a tarp over any plants you do not want to kill with herbicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Commercial herbicide
  • Tiller
  • Lime
  • Fertilizer
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Lawn roller
  • Garden hose
  • Hatchet or shovel


  • English Gardening: How to Lay Sod
  • Walter Reeves: Centipede-Planting Sod
Keywords: lay sod, lay centipede sod, laying centipede sod

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.