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How to Install Sod in Washington

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017
Your lawn can look like this when properly sodded.

A new lawn can be achieved in two ways: You can either seed a lawn or you can sod it. Seeding a lawn is less expensive, but the lawn will take weeks to fill in and be usable. Sodding a lawn, although pricey, will provide you with an almost "instant" lawn. While lawns should be seeded only in certain months of the year, lawns can be sodded any month of the year in the state of Washington. Laying sod generally requires the same soil preparations as seeding a lawn.

Rototill the soil down to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Work the soil repeatedly until it is finely broken up and devoid of chunks.

Rake the soil with your garden rake to smooth out the high and low areas. Raking will also remove any debris that surfaced when tilling.

Roll the lawn with a water-filled lawn roller to firm the sod bed up. The soil should be firm enough that you sink in no more than 1/2 inch when walking across it.

Lay the sod by starting along a straight surface like a driveway or sidewalk. Lay the sod along this entire length, and then work your way across the yard. Stagger the seams so they look like a brick wall.

Cut the sod to fit around objects and in other irregular spaces. Use a sharp knife or a utility knife to make a clean cut through the sod.

Roll the sod again with the lawn roller. Roll in two different directions to push the sod tight to the soil. Rolling also reduces the chance that your sod will dry out.

Water the sod three to four times per day for 10 to 14 days. Avoid watering at night, and do not soak the sod.

Reduce watering to once per day when you can no longer lift the sod from the soil surface. After another few weeks, irrigate every 2 or 3 days. About a month after laying the sod, you may move into your regular irrigation schedule.


Things You Will Need

  • Rototiller
  • Garden rake
  • Lawn roller
  • Sod
  • Utility knife
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Garden hose


  • Although sod can be laid anytime of the year in Washington State, aim to lay the sod during the rainier season. Early fall is a great time to lay the sod due to the cooler temperatures and ample rainfall.
  • When laying sod on a hill, always lay the lengths of sod across the face of the hill. This prevents the sod from sliding down the hill.