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How to Install Marathon Sod

By Tracy Morris ; Updated September 21, 2017
Sod should be placed in staggered rows across your lawn.
sod-cut pieces image by Jeffrey Zalesny from Fotolia.com

Marathon Sod is a popular brand of sod that is sold in southern California. According to the company’s website, the sod has roots that grow up to five times deeper than varieties not grown by the Marathon Company. The company sells cool-season varieties of sod that include fescue, bluegrass and ryegrass, as well as warm season varieties such as zoysia and St. Augustine. Installing sod made by Marathon is similar to installing sod made by other companies.

Have your soil tested in advance of laying sod. The USDA maintains soil testing laboratories in most states in conjunction with the state’s land grant college. By submitting a soil test through your local college’s county extension service, you will receive recommendations as to what soil amendments you should use on your soil to improve your lawn. Your county extension agent will tell you how to take core samples and package them for testing.

Purchase soil amendments for your lawn based on the test in step 1. Common soil amendments for lawns include compost and a nitrogen rich (10-5-5) fertilizer.

Remove any old sod in strips using a sod cutter.

Break up your soil to a depth of 8 inches with a rototiller. Rake the soil to the point where it is even. Fill in any holes in the soil and slope the soil into a gradual grade away from your home to improve drainage. Remove any debris such as rocks and sticks from your lawn and break up any soil clods. Cover your soil with soil amendments to a depth of 4 inches thick. Mix the amendments into your soil with the rototiller. Smooth out the soil’s surface with the rake.

Water your soil with a sprinkler 24 hours before laying sod. Soil should be only as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Lay your sod in staggered rows across your lawn to prevent a seam from forming. Start at a straight line such as a sidewalk, and work outward.

Roll over sod with a sod roller to force the roots of your sod into contact with the soil. Water sod with ¼ inch of water twice daily for 14 days. Then gradually reduce the watering until you use only 1 inch of water every 10 days. Measure your water amount with a rain gauge.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Sod cutter
  • Rototiller
  • Rake
  • Garden hose
  • Sprinkler
  • Sod roller
  • Rain gauge


About the Author


Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.