Cut down on lawn maintenance work by selecting the easiest type of grass for your climate and location. Choose hardy varieties like Kentucky bluegrass that withstands heavy traffic, or select tall fescue, which tolerates droughts and controls erosion. Although most types of grass require large amounts of sunshine, if your area contains shady patches, consider using zoysiagrass or centipedegrass--these can withstand slightly shady conditions.
Remove weeds, vegetation, debris and rocks from your planting site prior to the delivery of your sod. Loosen the top few inches of your soil with a tiller to encourage the growth of new roots. Add a layer of compost if your soil is poor or heavily compacted. Use your tiller to work the compost into your upper layer of topsoil.
Install your sod in towards the end of the summer. Lay your new sod over your prepared surface as soon as it arrives. Press your pieces of sod closely together, so that no gap remains between the pieces. Press the sod down with a sod tamper. Check your local rental center of sod tampers that press the pieces of sod against the underlying soil. Operate this piece of garden machinery according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Water your new sod lawn immediately after you complete the installation. Thoroughly soak the lawn so the water appears on the soil beneath the layers of sod. Pull back the corner of a piece of sod to determine the correct amount of water to apply. Encourage healthy growth by watering a couple of times a week for the first two weeks. Once the sod begins to attach to the underlying soil, reduce the watering to once each week, applying about an inch of water each time.
Reduce your workload while maintaining your lawn by mowing it at the tallest recommended height for your variety of grass. Allowing your grass to grow slightly long will reduce the amount of time you spend cutting and watering your lawn.
Keep your grass healthy and avoid continual weeding by applying a fertilizer that contains plant food every spring. Select a fertilizer that lists your variety of grass and apply it according to the package instructions. Do not apply more than the recommended amount of fertilizer to your lawn. Too much fertilizer may create toxic levels of nutrients.