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What to Do With Removed Sod

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When building a walkway, patio or driveway through a grassy area, the sod first needs to be removed. Instead of wasting the removed sod, you can reuse it in a number of ways that can benefit your yard and landscaping. As long as you don't let the sod dry out completely, the root system won't die right away. Dead or alive, the soil mass can be recycled into other projects.

Grass Repair

Walk around your yard and look for areas where the grass isn't doing so well or where no grass is growing but should be. Measure these patches and trim a piece of sod to go there. Prepare the area by soaking it with water before laying down the new sod. After laying the sod down, give it another good soaking. This will help the roots grow into the new location. Water the new sod two to three times per week during hot conditions until it gets re-established.

Sheet Mulch

Select an area in the yard where you don't want weeds growing. Lay the sod grass side down in these areas. The lack of sunlight will cause the grass to die. As the green grass dies, it will decompose and turn the soil into a nutrient-rich bed of soil. You can use this area to plant desirable plants or just let it be. Landscaper's cloth can be laid over the sod if you're worried about grass or weeds growing.


Cut up the sod into small pieces and add them to a compost pile or bin. Turn the pile with a pitchfork to help speed up the decomposition process. As the sod gets turned into the pile, oxygen permeates the organic matter. Keep the grass side of the sod facing down to keep the grass from growing. Once the sod has decomposed and broken up into fragmented soil, you can use it as an amendment for garden and flower beds.

Creating Berms

Look for any low spot in the yard that you need to fill or a spot where you wouldn't mind creating a berm, or rise in elevation. Use sod to fill this spot. Lay it with the grass side facing down and cover each layer with newspaper. The newspaper will encourage worms to penetrate the sod and feed on the newspaper. This speeds the decomposition process and you'll get a nice area for planting desirable plants.

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