Laying sod is a great alternative to seeding your lawn, especially if you want an "instant lawn." Although sod is much more expensive than seed, it is much easier to get established. Most lawns are sodded in the warmer parts of the year; however, since Tennessee has mild winters, you can lay sod in the winter months. However, there is a catch: You can lay only cool-season grass sod, like fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, in the winter months. Warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass can't successfully be sodded in the winter months due to the cold.
Amend the soil with 2 to 3 cubic yards of peat per 1000 square feet to open up the soil and allow better water and air movement. Rototill these amendments in and finely grade the area with a grader. If you have a smaller area, you can use a garden rake.
Fill a lawn roller with water and roll the area to firm up the planting area. If the planting area is firm enough, your feet will only sink in about 1/2 inch when walking on it.
Purchase fresh sod. Look for sod that was cut no more than 24 hours before delivery.
Lay the sod on moist soil. Start along a straight edge and work across your lawn. Unroll each piece and push the pieces tight together. Stagger the joints like bricks.
Cut sod sections as needed to make shorter pieces or odd shapes. Use a utility knife for all the cutting.
Fill a lawn roller 1/3 full with water and roll the entire lawn after sodding to ensure good sod-to-soil contact.
Water the sod daily to keep it moist until it roots firmly in the soil. This usually takes a few days. Slowly back down on the watering when you can pull on the sod and it doesn't lift up. Treat your sod like a normal lawn in 2 to 3 months.
Rent a lawn aerator and aerate the lawn in the spring to prevent layering of the soil. The core aerator should be deep enough to pierce through the entire thickness of the sod.