How to Lay Lawn Sod


Laying sod is a way to have a green lawn right away without waiting for seed grass to grow. The ground must be prepared before laying the sod or it will not have a healthy start for rooting. The sod comes in sections about 1 to 2 feet wide and 4 to 10 feet long. The sod should be 1 inch thick with green grass and good root systems.

Step 1

Clean the soil of any debris. Make the soil level and smooth for the new sod. Break up any clumps of dirt. Make sure the soil is 1 inch lower than the seeded lawn and any sidewalks. The sod will be 1 inch thick when you buy it. Add starter fertilizer to the soil.

Step 2

Buy the soil when the ground is ready to plant. You do not want to buy the sod and leave it rolled up on the pallet while you prepare the soil. This could cause the sod to start dying. Make sure that the sod has a good root system if you are picking it out yourself.

Step 3

Water the soil to moisten if it has dried out. Lay the first piece of sod out against a sidewalk or an existing grass line. To make longer rows, add another piece of sod, making sure to get the ends tight together so there are no small gaps in the seams. Start the next row, staggering the seams. If there are any small gaps in the side seams, use fresh topsoil to fill the gaps between the seams. Note: If the sod is on a slope, lay the sod out perpendicular and use small stakes to hold the sod pieces in place if the slope is steep.

Step 4

Use a small hatchet to cut any ends or irregular shapes. One nice firm cut will not damage the roots. Lay the pieces into place, making sure the seams are tight together.

Step 5

Use a sod roller to pack down the sod after all of it is planted. The roller is a big drum that you fill with water. You use the handle to guide the roller over the sod.

Step 6

Water the sod right away and do not walk on it for at least two weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Sod
  • Starter fertilizer
  • Small hatchet
  • Sod roller


  • University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program
  • University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
Keywords: lay sod, put down new sod, cutting new sod

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Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. Gardapee studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.