How to Install a Sod Lawn


Sod installation is a popular way to grow a new lawn quickly. It does take some planning and preparation before laying down sod. Look for a grass mixture that is suitable for your yard. For example, if you are sodding a shady area, you will need a grass that is shade tolerant. Your yard should be properly graded so it drains well and, if you are in an area that has high temperatures and long periods without rain, you may want to invest in an irrigation system.

Step 1

Cover the yard with 4 to 6 inches of top soil. Rake the soil so that it is smooth and even. Lightly water the soil; do not soak it.

Step 2

Unroll the strips of sod over the yard. Lay the strips close together, in a staggered pattern, with the edges firmly against each other. The strips should look like staggered bricks where the joints do not all line up.

Step 3

Water the sod immediately, thoroughly soaking it. Once the sod has dried enough to walk on, push the lawn roller lightly over the sod. This forces out air pockets and forces the roots to make contact with the soil below.

Step 4

Place sprinklers across the lawn. Measure 1 inch from the bottom of coffee cans and mark the inside of the can. Place the coffee cans in range of sprinklers.

Step 5

Water sod every two to three days with approximately 1 inch of water. Do not let the sod become soggy. After the roots have established themselves in the soil (one to three weeks), water 1 inch of water once every four to seven days.

Step 6

Mow the yard after seven days. Cut the blades to 2 inches tall. Leave the grass clippings; this will not create thatch.

Step 7

Apply fertilizer four to six weeks after the sod has established its root system. Use a complete lawn fertilizer. Water after fertilizing.

Things You'll Need

  • Top soil
  • Rake
  • Sod
  • Lawn roller
  • Sprinklers
  • Coffee cans
  • Small ruler
  • Permanent black marker
  • Lawn mower
  • Fertilizer


  • University of Rhode Island: Installing Sod
Keywords: install sod, sod lawn, plant grass

About this Author

Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.