Laying grass from trays, or from sod, can vastly improve the look of a lawn without the need to wait for grass to grow from see. Grass from trays can be used to cover an entire lawn or can be used to fix small spots that have died or gone yellow. Laying grass from trays has the benefit of being able to be planted during most seasons of the year and will cover old weeds so that they will not germinate in the new lawn.
Planting the Grass
Use your shovel to lower the area you are planting the grass to account for the new material being added to the lawn. Measure the depth of the grass from your trays and dig this much out of your planting area. Grass from trays adds a small amount of soil to the lawn, usually 1-3 inches. Till the area to kill old weeds and break up the soil so that the new grass will take. This can be done with a motorized tiller for a large area and a hand tiller for small patches.
Add fertilizer to the area where you will add the grass from your tray. Use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorous and low in nitrogen with a rating of 1-2-1 or 3-4-1 nutrient balance. Apply 1 lbs. of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of yard. The amount of nitrogen in your fertilizer can be found on the packaging. Use a lawn roller or the back of a flat shovel to flatten the are for the new grass. Make sure the area is even.
Place the grass from your trays into the area you have dug out starting at the longest straight edge. Put the pieces of grass together end on end until the first row is finished. Start your second row by using a stretch of grass that is half the size of the other pieces, so that the end of the piece, when placed next to the first row, stops at the middle of the first piece placed. Place full pieces after until the row is finished. This will create a brick wall effect. If any of the pieces of grass are too large for the area you are trying to fill cut them down using the knife. Fill any small gaps with potting soil.
Roll over the sod with the lawn roller until the grass is flattened and any gaps have been pressed together. This will likely take several passes but depends on the quality of soil underneath the new grass. Water the grass twice a day for the first week to promote root growth so that the grass takes.