How to Install Sod in the Winter


Sodding the lawn is the quickest way to establish grass. It is possible to sod a lawn during the winter using a special variety of sod called overseeded sod, says David M. Kopec of the Arizona Cooperative Extension service. Overseeded sod is made of a mixture of warm weather turf grass, such as Bermuda grass, as well as a cool weather grass such as rye grass or fescue. You install overseeded sod in the same way as normal sod.

Step 1

Test the soil of your lawn to determine its acidity, recommends the University of Arkansas. Collect soil samples from the upper 4 to 6 inches of the lawn in several locations and place the samples into a bucket. Send the samples to your local extension service for testing or use a store-bought pH test to determine which amendments you need to add to get the right pH.

Step 2

Apply 10 to 15 lbs. of a complete fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, per 1,000 square feet as well as 50 to 75 lbs. of ground fertilizer per 1,000 square feet to your lawn when no pH test is available, advises the University of Delaware.

Step 3

Remove trash from the area and till the soil amendments into the first 4 to 6 inches of the soil. Smooth out the surface using a rake. Raking will also loosen the top 1/2 inch of soil to help establish the sod roots.

Step 4

Irrigate the soil so that it is moist two to three days before installation.

Step 5

Lay the sod over the lawn as soon as it is delivered, laying the first strip of sod along a straight edge, such as a driveway or pavement. Lay the next piece of sod tightly next to the first piece without overlapping pieces. Stagger the joints on the next row, as if laying brickwork. Continue this until the yard is covered.

Step 6

Smooth the sod surface using a lawn roller. Fill any small cracks between the sod with soil to prevent drying out.

Step 7

Water the sod with one 1/2 inch of water, says Kopec, and water the lawn every three to five days when the weather is cold. This prevents frost damage. Rooting will occur within 10 days.

Things You'll Need

  • Sod
  • Knife
  • Tiller
  • Fertilizer
  • Soil test
  • Rake
  • Lawn roller


  • University of Arkansas: Establishing a Lawn From Sod
  • Arizona Cooperative Extension: Winter Sod - What, When, Why and How
  • University of Delaware Cooperative Extension: Buying and Installing Certified Sod
Keywords: installing sod, winter sodding technique, installing winter sod

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.