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Can You Plant Sod Over Existing Grass?

By Jennifer Loucks
Avoid installing sod over existing grass.

Sod grows best when installed in a prepared soil bed. Installing sod over existing grass will block the new sod roots from penetrating the soil bed underneath, making it fragile, easy to pull up and prone to drying out.


Sod is a carpet of established grass that is cut below the main root mass so you can install it in your yard. The benefit of sod that it allows you that have an instant lawn, instead of waiting for seed to grow. The downside is that newly laid sod requires extra water applications to keep the soil most during root establishment.

Site Preparation

The best way to prepare a lawn for sod installation is the same way you would for applying seed. You want to remove existing grass and debris from the area so the sod makes direct contact with the soil. Working the bare soil with a tiller will loosen the surface and speed root establishment.


Remove dead grass from a lawn area by tilling the soil to break it apart and raking the area to remove all vegetation. A thick grass surface requires more labor to dig and remove the existing sod. Your sod will be more successful and have few problems if you remove as much vegetation from the soil as possible.


About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.