Sod is a good choice for homeowners who want or need a lawn quickly. Grass seed can take weeks to grow in fully, but sod looks full and green as soon as it is laid. It's important to remember, though, that it can take several weeks to become established, and should be treated with care during that time. Laying sod can be tedious and time consuming, but the payoff will be worth it when you are enjoying your new lawn.
Pull weeds from the area where the sod will be laid and remove any rocks, sticks and other debris. A rake can be helpful for removing small rocks or pebbles from the dirt. Clear the area as much as possible so the sod can take root.
Rototill the earth where the sod will be laid to loosen just the top level of soil.
Lay the first roll of sod out in a straight line. It's best to lay the first roll along a building, sidewalk or something with a straight edge to provide a guide. Lay the second roll starting at the end of the first. Abut the ends as closely as possible to prevent large gaps.
Lay out the remaining rows of sod, making the gaps between pieces and rows as small as possible and staggering the rows. For example, the ends of the second roll should fall in the middle of the pieces in the first and third rolls.
Fill in any gaps and seams with loose soil, then roll the entire area with a lawn roller so the sod is pushed firmly into the earth.
Water the sod immediately after you are finished rolling it. Proper watering is critical for new sod to succeed. For the first week, it should be watered daily. In extremely hot weather, it may have to be watered more than once a day. After the first week, scale back the waterings to every two or three days for the next two to three weeks.
Allow your sod to become established for a few weeks before cutting it for the first time. A good guideline is to wait three to four weeks and then cut no more than one-third of the height in the first mowing.