How To Lay a Grass Lawn


The best way to lay a grass lawn is to put down sod. It gives you an instant lawn that is lush and vibrant looking. Seeding is cheaper but takes much longer for results. Sod, however, is already rooted and healthy. All you have to do is devote a day to lay it out and cover the planting area. You will notice lines at first, but they will quickly fade as the sod pieces grow into each other.

Step 1

Measure the area you are sodding. You will need the measurement to determine how much sod to buy. Each pallet will cover 50 square yards or 450 square feet.

Step 2

Get rid of debris that would prevent the sod from touching soil directly. Rocks, sticks and weeds can cause problems for the grass to root.

Step 3

Loosen the ground with a rototiller. Dig it into the top 4 to 6 inches because compacted dirt is not conducive to growing a lawn.

Step 4

Lay down a starter fertilizer to promote germination and root spread. Use one that has a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 2-1-1. Follow the instructions to determine how much to spread.

Step 5

Water the planting area until it is moist. This will help the fertilizer get into the ground.

Step 6

Lay down the sod as soon as you receive it from the landscaping company. It needs to be planted immediately. If it isn't possible, put it in a shaded place and water it to maintain moisture.

Step 7

Put a piece of sod down along the border of the lawn. Handle it gently. Use as many long strips as possible because small pieces are more likely to die.

Step 8

Place strips of sod up against each other as closely as possible. The pieces will shrink slightly as they grow, and you don't want gaps or lines between the sections. Cover the entire lawn with as many large pieces as possible.

Step 9

Cut sod with a blade to fit irregular spots. Overlap the grass in corners and trim off the extra.

Step 10

Push a half-full roller over the grass lawn. Run a hose or sprinkler over the sod within 30 minutes. Keep watering until the grass is soaking wet.

Step 11

Water the new lawn once daily over the following two weeks. Once the sod is established, water it deeply once a week.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not walk on the grass until it has time to grow and get stronger.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Rototiller
  • Starter fertilizer
  • Water
  • Sod
  • Knife or blade
  • Half roller


  • Building a Lawn
  • Texas A&M University: Turfgrass Establishment
  • How To Measure and Install Sod
Keywords: lay grass lawn, plant grass, lay sod

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.