How to Harvest Grass to Use for Sod

Overview

Sod is grass grown by someone else for the purpose of resale. It is cut into rolls after it establishes itself, and is then sold. Laying a lawn by sod, albeit expensive as compared to grass seeds, provides a homeowner an instant lush green lawn. It is decorative and functional as it adds beauty and color outside your house while protecting topsoil from erosion. Grow grass and harvest it for sod instead of paying so much to purchase it from a nursery.

Step 1

Prepare the grass prior to harvesting it to reduce environmental pressures that could affect it adversely. The best way to do this is to allocate a patch of grass and grow it specifically so you can harvest it for sod when it is ready. Check the grass to make sure it is disease free. Avoid feeding this patch an excessive amount of nitrogen-rich fertilizers, and avoid mowing it too short (which could make it susceptible to disease).

Step 2

Check the root system to make sure it is properly established, so you can easily handle the sod without tearing it. Harvested sod exposes roots that may dry out if delicate and premature. A fully developed root system ensures the sod will establish itself in its new environment.

Step 3

Water the sod appropriately as harvest approaches. Use your judgment when doing this, based on the weather conditions, and keep it evenly moist at all times. Dry weather requires deeper watering to keep the roots moist, while you should refrain from watering during rains. Also keep in mind that over-watering the sod increases its weight, thus increasing transportation costs for the buyer and seller.

Step 4

Rent a mechanical sod cutter from your local rental agency. It is a gas-powered machine that resembles a lawn mower and has many knives for cutting sod. These have different sod roll widths such as 30, 45 or 60 cm. Set the desired width of your sod. You can use a spade to harvest small patches of sod.

Step 5

Set the sod cutter depth according to the grass species, weather conditions and root development. Although thin-cut sod is easier to handle and establishes in its new environment quickly, thick-cut sod is more drought resistant, thus making it more suitable for dry weather conditions.

Step 6

Turn the power on and start cutting sod from one side of the lawn, working in a straight line until you have one roll of sod. Collect the harvested sod rolls on a pallet. Position the sod cutter next to the cut line and start cutting. Repeat this process until you harvest the entire lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Well-established grass plot
  • Garden hose
  • Sod cutter
  • Moist canvas

References

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs: Sod Production
  • All Experts: Lawns

Who Can Help

  • Fulton Grass Co.: How to Measure & Installation Tips
Keywords: harvest grass, laying sod, sod cutter

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.