How to Lay Sod in Florida

Overview

Laying sod is the fastest way to establish a lawn. It is more expensive than plugging or seeding but gives complete coverage immediately. The keys to success with laying sod are to have the ground ready when the sod arrives so that the sod can be put in place as soon as possible and to keep it moist until the roots are established. Check watering regulations in your area before laying sod. Exceptions are often included for the establishment of a lawn, but those may be limited to certain times of the year.

Step 1

Prepare the soil before the sod arrives. Remove weeds and existing grass. Rake out large rocks and loosen the top 2 to 3 inches of soil.

Step 2

Spread one pound of lawn fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Rake again to mix the fertilizer into the top inch of soil.

Step 3

Firm the soil with a roller. Apply 1/2 inch of water to moisten the soil the day before the sod arrives.

Step 4

Check the soil moisture again before sodding and water it lightly, if needed, to moisten the surface. Moist but not muddy soil is best.

Step 5

Lay the sod as soon as it arrives, because hot Florida weather will dry the sod out quickly. Place the sod along a straight line such as the driveway or property edge to begin. Seat each piece tightly against the previous piece, keeping the seams close together. Alternate the next row, as in laying bricks, so that the seams do not line up.

Step 6

Trim pieces as needed, fitting each piece as close as possible around trees or landscaping elements.

Step 7

Lightly roll the sod to smooth it out and make sure the roots contact the ground.

Step 8

Water the sod as soon as it is in place. When sodding large areas, water each section as you go. Avoid walking or kneeling on the new sod.

Step 9

Keep the sod moist for the first two weeks. Water twice a day and more often if the weather is hot and dry. Then slowly increase the time between watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Roller
  • Lawn fertilizer

References

  • "The Southern Living Garden Book," Steve Bender, 2004
  • Master Gardener Program: Lawn Planting
  • UA Extension Service: Establishing a Lawn from Sod
Keywords: laying sod, lay Florida sod, sod care tips

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.