How to Plant a Sod Lawn


Sod is a quick way to achieve a lush, green lawn. Unlike grass seed, you get an immediate result and do not have to wait for the grass to grow. Sod is available at nurseries in "yards." Each yard is 9 square feet. Many nurseries sell it by the pallet--which contains 50 yards of sod. Each strip contains fully-grown grass, rooted into soil. You simply lay down each strip until you fill the planting area. However, it is essential to prepare the soil under the sod. This will ensure the sod will root completely and continue to grow in a healthy manner.

Step 1

Measure the area you will be planting. Figure out the square footage by multiplying the length by the width. Divide the square feet by 9 because there are 9 square feet in a "yard" of sod. This will tell you how many yards to order.

Step 2

Store the sod in a cool, moist place as soon as it arrives. It's best to plant it immediately, but if you can't, water it frequently to keep the sod healthy.

Step 3

Prepare the planting area. Get rid of weeds and debris. If there are low-lying spots, fill them in with soil and rake to level off the area. Loosen the top few inches with a garden tiller.

Step 4

Spread a starter fertilizer over the planting area. Use one with a 2-1-1 ratio. Water it, as per the manufacturer's instructions, to get it into the soil.

Step 5

Load the sod into a wheelbarrow and transport it to the outer edge of lawn.

Step 6

Gently lift the sod out, one strip at a time. Lay each strip down in a straight row along the outer edge. Use full strips around all borders.

Step 7

Put the sod down as tight as possible to lessen lines and reduce gaps. Work your way to the other side of the lawn, using as many full-length strips as possible.

Step 8

Shape the sod to fit irregular spaces. Cut it with a sharp blade and tightly insert the pieces. Small pieces have a much better chance at surviving in the center of the lawn, as opposed to around the edges.

Step 9

Roll over the sod with a 1/3 full roller. Water the area to moisten the top 6 to 8 inches. Keep the sod moist until the grass starts to grow together.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Sod
  • Soil
  • Rake
  • Garden tiller
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Fertilizer
  • Blade
  • Roller


  • Texas A&M University: Turfgrass Establishment
  • Building a Lawn
Keywords: plant sod, plant sod lawn, grow grass

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.