How to Prepare Soil for Sod


Sod is grass that is specifically grown in another location and delivered to the site where it will be installed. By adding sod, you do not have to wait for planted grass seed to come in, although you will still have to care for the grass once it is in place. You will also have to prepare the soil before you install the sod in order for it to take root and thrive.

Step 1

Choose the right grass for your lawn. If you have a lot of shade then the best sod will be an Augustine sod or fine fescues that thrive in environments with little sun. If you have a lawn that gets a lot of sun, then a Kentucky Bluegrass sod will work well.

Step 2

Remove all of the weeds from your lawn before installing sod. You can apply an herbicide if you have a large lawn with a lot of weeds, or if possible you can pull the weeds or use a hoe to destroy the weeds and dig them from the ground. If you choose to hand pull the weeds, dispose of them instead of allowing them to lie on the ground; they can still take root and re-grow. Follow the directions on the herbicide as to when it will be safe to plant after the application of the product.

Step 3

Test your soil to make sure you have a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If the pH is too low, add lime to the soil; if it is too high, you should add sulfur to lower the pH. Follow the directions on the containers for proper application. Wait a week and test the soil again. If the pH is still too high or too low, then do another application.

Step 4

Take care of all drainage problems before you lay down the sod. If you have areas on your lawn that collect water, this can cause your sod to rot and die. Install a drainage system to remove the excess water from your yard.

Step 5

Rake over the entire yard once the soil is ready for installation of the sod. Remove all of the large clumps and have a fine layer of soil.

Step 6

Use a roller to pack the soil down to provide the sod roots a place to take hold. Go over the area one time.

Step 7

Water the soil lightly with about a half an inch of water. This will increase your sod's survivability and will help the sod knit together more easily

Step 8

Place the sod down on the prepared soil. Lay the pieces tightly together and stagger them as you would when laying brick.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Lime
  • Sulfur
  • Roller
  • Rake
  • Herbicide


  • Installing a Sod Lawn
Keywords: install sod, prepare soil for sod, lay sod

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree has a master's in business and is working on a master's in journalism from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Society for Porfessional Journalists and has been writing for five years. Works include publications with Hall County Crime Examiner, Player's Press and The Gainesville Times.