Steps to Laying Sod

Sodding your lawn produces a lush yard in far less time than seeding. Instead of fighting with weeds and unpredictable weather patterns as your grass springs up from tiny seeds, you get to begin with a full lawn of healthy, lush grass. Sod is not invulnerable, however, and must be treated with extra care until it roots into the soil. Prepare your lawn correctly and lay your sod immediately in order to achieve healthy, permanent turf.

Work the Soil

Remove rocks, sticks and leaves from your soil. Till the lawn to a depth of 6 inches to break up the soil and turn over any weeds growing in the area. Mix in a few inches of decomposed compost or other organic matter to enrich the soil. Remember that your new sod will add about 1 inch of height to the surface of your soil.

Prepare the Soil

Prepare your soil by running a rake over your whole lawn to even it out. Spray it with a thick spray of water to see if the water pools. If it does, you have low spots. Rake the ground or add more soil to even up the surface. Pay particular attention to the soil around your house; the ground should slope away from it slightly to prevent drainage problems.

Purchase the Sod

Measure your lawn to determine the area you want to sod. Multiply the length of your yard by the width to get square footage, then divide by 9 to get square yards. Order sod adapted to your climate, rounding up to the nearest yard to ensure you have enough to start your lawn.

Lay the Sod

Wet your yard thoroughly and begin laying your sod. Lay the first row along the edge of your lawn where it abuts a straight surface such as a sidewalk or rectangular flower bed. Push each subsequent layer of sod firmly against the previous one, leaving no space between. Use a carpet knife to cut smaller end pieces or to remove sections of the sod where it doesn't fit neatly around d curved objects. Once you have finished laying the sod, go over the whole lawn once with a lawn roller immediately.

Water Your Lawn

Water your lawn as soon as you finish laying and rolling the sod, and every day for a week thereafter. Keep the grass as wet as possible until the roots have a chance to penetrate the soil beneath. After about a week, switch to watering every two days for another week to encourage the roots to penetrate more deeply into the soil. After that, water your lawn as you normally would in your region.

Keywords: laying sod, starting a lawn, lay sod

About this Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has nearly five years' experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.