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How to Install Bermuda Sod

By Anna Aronson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Laying sod can give you a new lawn quickly without the hassle of waiting for grass seed to sprout.

Laying sod in your yard is like giving yourself an instant lawn. Once it's laid, your lawn looks green and inviting. Although it takes several weeks for sod to root itself to the soil, it's still a much quicker alternative than planting grass seed. Bermuda grass is commonly used as sod, especially in the southern United States and other subtropical regions. It's a warm-season grass that will do best in areas with mild winters. Winter temperatures that drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit can damage or kill the grass.

Apply weed killer to the area where the sod with be laid about two weeks before you plan to lay the sod to give it a chance to kill all the plants in the area.

Till the soil with a rototiller to loosen the top level of dirt, then rake the area to remove rocks, sticks and other debris. Remove as much debris as possible so the area is clear and ready for planting.

Roll the area with a lawn roller to make the soil as firm and flat as possible. This will also make it easy to identify any low spots in the area.

Fill in low spots with soil and go over them again with the lawn roller. Add as much soil as necessary to level off the area.

Water the soil the night before you will be laying the sod. The soil should be damp when you start laying the soil, but do not apply so much water that the ground is saturated.

Roll out the first piece of sod along a straight edge. It's easiest to start laying sod along a sidewalk, building or other straight edge to give you a guide.

Lay the other pieces of sod end to end, abutting the ends and sides as closely as possible. The rows should be laid in a staggered pattern. The end of one piece of sod should fall in the middle of the pieces of either side.

Fill in gaps and holes between pieces of sod with potting soil so they are level with the sod. Roll the newly laid sod with a lawn roller so it is flat against the soil underneath. This will allow it to make good contact with the soil to help it take root.

Water the sod immediately after it is laid so it can begin to take root. New sod has to be watered regularly for as long as six weeks so it can become established. It will need to be watered daily for the first two to three weeks and then three to four times a week for the next three to four weeks.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Weed killer
  • Rototiller
  • Rake
  • Water
  • Lawn roller half filled with water
  • Soil

Tips

  • When buying Bermuda sod, look for pieces that have a consistent green color throughout. The roots should be visible underneath, and the soil should be moist and dark.
  • Lay the sod immediately after you purchase it. If you have to wait to lay it, store it in a shady area to prevent it from drying out.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut pieces of sod that are too long to fit a spot or to fit in irregular spaces.
  • Newly laid Bermuda sod should not be cut until it has become firmly rooted, which can take six to eight weeks. To check to see if your sod is well established, try to pull it up in a corner. If it is easy to pull it up from the soil, it is not yet firmly rooted and should not be cut.

About the Author

 

Anna Aronson began working as a journalist in 2000 and spent six years at suburban Chicago newspapers before pursuing freelance work. She enjoys writing about health care topics, in particular obstetrics, pediatrics and nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and is now studying for a Master of Science in medicine degree to become a physician's assistant.