How to Lay Sod Over a Yard


Sod is turf grass that is grown in another location from where it is installed. It is grown under intensive care to ensure its success. The sod is removed with a small amount of soil and transported to the installation site where it immediately gives the site a lush, grassy cover. Sod has a higher success rate than seeding because the grass has already been established. Proper care can ensure that your lawn will remain green and healthy.

Installing the Sod

Step 1

Survey the area in which you will install the sod. Kentucky bluegrass blends are most successful in areas that receive full sunlight for most of the day. Choose a type of grass that is suited to your site. Areas that receive less sunlight will require sod that is specific to shade, such as fine leaf fescues.

Step 2

Kill any existing lawn before you begin to lay your sod. Water your lawn and then apply a herbicide over the entire area. Follow the instructions on the label. This is best done from April to mid-October.

Step 3

Wait two weeks and apply a second coating of herbicide to destroy any grass that has been left behind from the first application.

Step 4

Use a sod cutter to remove the old lawn once it is dry, brown and dead. Cut the sod in thin strips to make it easier to remove.Try to take only a small amount of soil with the grass.

Step 5

Rake over the soil to remove any rocks and other debris, then water the soil for several days. Any remaining grass will start to grow. Apply the herbicide again and remove the old grass once it has dried.

Step 6

Install a drainage system in problem areas so that water does not sit. Standing water will result in a poor root system and your sod will grow in weak. The drainage system will move excess water away from your lawn.

Step 7

Apply a layer of starter fertilizer. Use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus, such as a good 10-20-10 mix. Apply 1 lb. of fertilizer for every 1,000 feet of soil. The fertilizer will work best if it is tilled at least 6 inches into the soil.

Step 8

Install your new sod in late summer to early fall. Avoid installing your new lawn in the middle of summer. The frequent watering of sod during the hottest part of summer can result in blight and other diseases, which can destroy your lawn.

Step 9

Unroll a roll of sod and start laying it on the outside edges. Work your way to the other side of the lawn by laying subsequent strips until the entire yard has grass. Press the ends of the sod together while laying them next to one another but do not overlap the edges. Stagger the ends of the sod so that the rows resemble laid brick.

Step 10

Use a roller to roll over the sod once you have it completely installed. A roller will remove all air pockets and push the roots down into the soil.

Step 11

Water your new sod every day with approximately 1 to 2 inches of water. Use a sprinkler on a timer to ensure that the lawn gets the appropriate amount of moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Sod
  • Sprinkler
  • Fertilizer
  • Shovel
  • Roller
  • Herbicide
  • Sod cutter


  • University of Rhode Island: Laying Sod
  • Ontario Government: Sod Production
  • Southern Mulch: Installing Sod
Keywords: laying sod, installing sod, sod lawns

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.