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How to Put Down Sod Grass

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017
Healthy sod

When moving into a new home, the last thing you want to think about is starting your lawn, too. Newly seeded lawns need a lot of work to bring them up to standard. Also, with a newly seeded lawn, you cannot use it immediately, which means you might be unable to use your yard for the first few months. The alternative is to lay down sod instead of seeding your lawn. Sod will provide you with an instant, enjoyable lawn without the worries of germinating lawn seed. You still need to make sure the yard is prepared properly for the sod to take hold and stay healthy. With a few easy steps, it's fairly easy to put down sod.

Prepare your soil by cleaning all weeds and stones away. Rake the soil bed so it is smooth and level. It should be an inch lower than what you would prepare a seeded lawn because sod comes with soil attached to it.

Apply a starter fertilizer. Pour it into your broadcast spreader and set the dial according to the instructions on the fertilizer bag. Spread it over the entire soil bed.

Measure your yard and purchase the required amount of sod. Sod comes on 1- to 2-foot-wide strips with lengths of 4 to 10 feet per strip.

Unroll the sod onto your soil bed. Lay the first row along an established straight line like a sidewalk or driveway. Stagger the end seams so they don't all line up. Keep unrolling until the entire lawn is sodded.

Fill your lawn roller with water and roll it across your newly sodded lawn. This will increase sod-to-soil contact, which is crucial to root establishment.

Water your lawn every day for the first three weeks. Keep the soil moist at all times to prevent the sod from drying out. After three weeks, water every other day for three weeks. Move into regular irrigation methods after the second set of three weeks.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Garden rake
  • Starter fertilizer
  • Broadcast spreader
  • Tape measure
  • Sod
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Garden hose
  • Water source

Tip

  • Lay the sod perpendicular to a sloped hill. This will prevent the sod from sliding down the hill when irrigated. Use stakes on steep hills to keep the sod from sliding.

Warning

  • Don't let the sod dry out. If the sod dries out before it establishes itself, portions or all of it can die.