How to Select Lawn Sod


Seeding or laying sod on your landscape is the only way to achieve lush, green, healthy grass. While seeding is less expensive, laying sod provides you with instant results and a full lawn. The type of sod you choose all depends on your climate, soil quality, region and the type of appearance you want from your lawn.

Step 1

Test your soil. The type of sod you choose will need to be able to flourish in it. Check with your local cooperative extension office to become informed of the common soil in your region. A quick way to find the general elements of your soil is to squeeze a handful. If the soil crumbles upon opening your hand, there is a high sand content. If it stays shaped together, there is a high clay content.

Step 2

Choose sod that grows well in the type of sun exposure your lawn gets. Some lawns are in full sun all day, while others may be mostly in shade from large trees or the angle of your house shadow. Sod varieties can range from shade tolerant to full sun.

Step 3

Discover your plant hardiness zone from the USDA. This details what grass grows best in specific zones, so you can select a sod that will rapidly adapt and flourish on your landscape.

Step 4

Make sure the sod you purchase is healthy and fresh once you decide what type of use. You want the sod you pick out at the local nursery to be very green, lush and at least 2 inches thick.The soil should be moist around the roots, not dried and cracked. There should be little to no dead grass hanging off or thatch.

Things You'll Need

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • Soil-testing kit


  • Yardener: Choosing Sod
  • KSL: What Kind Of Soil Do You Have?
  • USDA: Plant Hardiness Zones

Who Can Help

  • Mayfield Turf: Sod Calculator
  • Backyard Gardener: Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: picking out sod, choosing sod, laying sod

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.