How to Install Landscaping Sod


Installing sod is a quick way to add visual interest to parts of your landscape or to simply install a green lawn. Sod is often available as rolled sod. However, in some cases 2- or 3-foot squares are available for installation in smaller areas. Whatever type of sod you choose, proper preparation of the ground and proper watering is critical for the success of your sod installation.

Step 1

Remove any weeds and existing grass growing from the site where you want to install the sod. Use a shovel to dig up weed root systems and use rakes to cover over very small weeds.

Step 2

Grade the soil where you will install the sod so that it slopes away from your house or other structures. This will help drain water away from the structure and help prevent potential flooding problems.

Step 3

Mix 50 lb. of dolomitic lime fertilizer with the top 6 inches of soil for every 1,000 square feet of sod you are laying.

Step 4

Add an inch or two of compost to the top 6 inches of soil if your soil is very heavy and clay like.

Step 5

Rake the augmented soil to produce a finely graded surface for the sod.

Step 6

Unroll the sod or place the sod squares in place on the finely graded surface.

Step 7

Water the newly installed sod thoroughly. Make sure that you apply enough water to soak the prepared soil under the sod. An inch of water every two or three days is usually sufficient.

Things You'll Need

  • Rakes
  • Shovels
  • Dolomitic lime fertilizer
  • Sod
  • Compost (if necessary)


  • University of Rhode Island Extension: Installing a Sod Lawn
  • Blades Lawn Care: How to Install Sod (
  • Landscape Management: Avoid Sod Screwups

Who Can Help

  • Landscape USA: Installing sod in your landscape
  • The Lawn Advisor: How to Lay Sod
Keywords: lawn care, sod installation, sodding

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.