How Is Sod Made?

Select Grass Seed & Prepare Bed

A specific grass seed or blend of grass seeds is chosen to be grown as sod. As with seeding a permanently located lawn, the seed is sown over a well-tilled and moist soil surface that is amended with nutrients and lawn starter fertilizer. Sod harvesting operations are established in indoor greenhouses as well as outdoor fields. The choice of grass seed and the growing location is determined largely by the climate.

Sow & Care for Seed

Sow the seed heavily and evenly over the entire prepared soil surface. Apply the seed at the coverage rate proscribed in the label directions for your specific varietal of grass seed. The seed is typically scattered by machine or walking spreaders in large scale sod production facilities but can be cast by hand. The seed and soil are kept very moist consistently through germination and as the root systems develop. The grass matures over a period of weeks or months, knitting in and creating a thick carpet of green.

Harvest Mature Sod

As the grass matures it is mowed to the desired height for delivery. Mechanical sod harvesters are then used to cut large swaths of grass top, roots and soil that are 2 to 3 inches deep from the planting bed. The lengths of sod are rolled with the greens facing inward and stacked onto pallets to await delivery to their destination. Sod is best harvested within just a few days of delivery to its ultimate installation site to ensure that the roots do not dry out and the plant tops do not yellow or brown. Sod is misted or watered lightly and stored out of direct sunlight to preserve in its cut state before transplant.

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Keywords: sod farming, making sod, lawn grass

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.