How to Install Grass Sod


If you want to revamp your lawn but don't want to wait for the grass to sprout from seeds, laying grass sod is your best option. Laying sod is not as difficult as it seems and you can usually finish the project in less than one day, depending on the size of area you want to sod. Installing grass sod requires few special tools and supplies. The most important part of installing grass sod is preparing the area where you want to lay the sod.

Step 1

Measure the area where you want to lay the sod so you know how much sod to purchase. Grass sod usually comes in rolls or slabs and is measured in square feet. Measure the length and width of the area, and then multiply the two measurements to get the square footage.

Step 2

Prepare the soil in the area by tilling it to a depth of 4 to 6 inches using a rototiller or pitchfork. Spread a 1-inch layer of organic compost onto the tilled area and mix the compost into the soil with your pitchfork or rototiller.

Step 3

Rake away all roots, weeds and other debris. Spread a starter fertilizer, such as a 10-20-10, over the area and rake it into the soil, smoothing the area where you'll lay your sod. Water the soil thoroughly to moisten it.

Step 4

Lay the first row of sod along a straight edge, such as your driveway, the side of your house or a sidewalk. Lay each row of sod, staggering the slabs and fitting them snugly against one another to avoid any gaps between the rows of sod. Cut the sod pieces with a knife to fit into curved areas in your lawn.

Step 5

Tamp down the sod using a roller to get rid of air pockets between the sod and soil beneath it. Water the newly laid sod when you're finished. Water deeply so you're moistening not only the sod, but also the soil beneath it.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't walk on the new lawn for about two weeks. Pull on the grass gently to determine whether it has rooted into the soil. If the sod doesn't come up when you pull on it, the grass has rooted and you can begin walking on it.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Rototiller or pitchfork
  • Organic compost
  • 10-20-10 fertilizer
  • Garden rake
  • Garden hose
  • Grass sod (rolls or slabs)
  • Knife
  • Roller
  • Stakes or sod staples (optional)


  • Easton Sod Farms: Sod Installation Guide

Who Can Help

  • Blades Lawn Care: How to Install Sod (
Keywords: install grass sod, sod lawn, lay sod

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.