How to Lay St. Augustine Sod on an Established Lawn


St. Augustine grass is a warm season grass that is commonly grown along the coastline. It handles salty and shady conditions well, even though it prefers sun. The grass species goes dormant in the cold weather, but regenerates quickly. St. Augustine sod is a good choice because it can handle traffic. When planting the sod over an established lawn, you need to rip up the current lawn so you can start with a clean slate. Plant St. Augustine sod in the early spring for the best results.

Step 1

Run a rototiller over the established lawn. Dig it up, killing it. There's no need to use a weed killer because the sod will kill any lawn that tries to grow back.

Step 2

Rake the soil to get rid of weeds and dead grass. Pull debris up with the garden rake because debris will prevent the St. Augustine grass from rooting properly.

Step 3

Spread a starter fertilizer with a 2-1-1 ratio of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium. Moisten the area with water to help the food get into the soil to where the sod roots will grow.

Step 4

Grade the planting area with the landscape rake to level it.

Step 5

Rent a water roller from a hardware store. Run it over the soil to firm the area. If you cannot get one, water the soil to make it moist 3 inches deep. Leave it be for one week so it can settle.

Step 6

Place a piece of St. Augustine sod down on the outside of the planting area. Put a second strip of sod down next to the first one, pushing them as closely together as possible. Use all full strips.

Step 7

Cut the first piece of St. Augustine sod that will go in the second row. It needs to be half its original size because you want to stagger the sod to make it stronger. Start the third row with a full strip, then cut the first one of the fourth row in half, and so on.

Step 8

Cut pieces to fill irregular spaces. Use small pieces in the middle of the lawn only. If you put them around the borders, they will likely die.

Step 9

Run a half-roller over the established St. Augustine grass. Water the new sod until it's moist 6 to 8 inches deep.

Tips and Warnings

  • Handle sod with care so you don't rip it.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Garden rake
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Fertilizer
  • Sod
  • Landscape rake
  • Water roller
  • Water
  • Hose
  • Knife
  • Half-roller


  • St. Augustine Grass
  • Seedland: St. Augustine Grass
  • Texas A&M University: Turfgrass Establishment
  • Building a Lawn
Keywords: lay St. Augustine, St. Augustine grass, St. Augustine 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.