How to Lay Sod in 7 steps

How to Easily Lay Sod Step-by-step Instructions

How to Lay Sod: You need a great lawn quickly, right? Learn how to lay sod in 7 simple and seamless steps, including the cost, the tools, and the optimal times to roll out the patches.

Sod grass rolls are the fastest and most convenient way to get a lush, green lawn. Discover the answers to frequently asked questions regarding sod and then follow our detailed instructions to lay down a lush, green lawn.

What Should You Do About the Sod’s Direction?

Place the first row up against a straight edge, such as the edge of your yard, fence, or patio.

When it comes to new sod, how long do you have to wait before walking on it?

For the first week after new sod has been laid, try to keep off of it. (More information can be found in Step 5.)

The price of sod installation: what does it entail?

Costing around $400 to cover a 1,000 square foot backyard (double that installed). However, if you adhere to our guidelines for laying sod, you’ll have a thick, well-established lawn that’s resistant to weeds, illnesses, and pest infestations in only a few weeks.

It’s like purchasing time, explains landscaper Roger Cook of This Old House. Someone else’s “lawn” that they’ve cared for for 14–18 months and you’re paying for it.
How to Install Grass Sod

You may learn how to sod your yard by reading the instructions below.

1. Preparing the Ground for New Grass

Utilize a rototiller to break up the top six to eight inches of dirt. Separate finished compost into 2-inch layers (this may be available for free if your town has a municipal compost center). The drainage of clay soil can be improved by adding 2 to 3 inches of sand. Requires further clarification or revisions. You should then use a spreader to apply the recommended amount of starting fertilizer and, if necessary, lime, based on the results of the soil test.

2. Evening Out Your Lawn

Use an iron rake to level the soil so that it is 1 inch below the grade of any paved surface (such as a driveway or path) and to remove any humps or depressions. To just dampen the soil, a small sprinkle of water will do.

3.Laying the Initial Row

The fence line provided the longest straight edge available. Bring out the first roll of sod and unroll it along the edge. If you want to avoid damaging the sod, avoid walking on it at all costs, and rake up your tracks as you go. Remove any bumps or creases and pat the sod down until it is flush with the soil below.

4. Putting Down New Rows

In order to stagger the short seams, like you would when laying bricks, you must cut the following piece in half after placing the first row. Don’t forget to overlap the turf; instead, butt the pieces together tightly. The edges are less prone to dry out and die back, and the seams are less likely to be evident. With the knife, you may make holes for underground sprinkler heads and trim the edges of your garden or driveway.

5. Wetting Down Fresh Grass

Be sure to give the newly laid lawn a good soaking of water to help settle the soil. For at least a week, please avoid walking on the grass. Regular intake of water, ideally first thing in the morning: Evaporation is the primary cause of water loss during the day. Watering at night means the grass is wet when it should be dry, which might promote fungal disease. Reduce the frequency of watering to every other day after the first week, and then to twice weekly after that. Then, water it one inch every week, or more during the hotter months, just like any other lawn.

6. When to Start Mowing New Grass

The grass reaches a height of three inches, it needs to be cut down to two. When first trimming your new grass, do so with a walk-behind mower (rather than the heavier ride-on variety) and collect the cuttings in a bag. Always strive to cut off one-third of the grass’s length whenever you mow, and be sure to use a sharp blade, even if you may want to let it grow higher in the summer to foster a deep root system and to shade out weeds.

7. Subsequently, Number Seven: Fertilizing New Grass

After three to four weeks of growth, apply a starting fertilizer to replenish the nutrients lost during the prolonged watering.

When Does It Make the Most Sense to Lay Sod?

You can lay sod from the spring to the fall (and even in winter in mild climates). Seeding a lawn in the fall prevents the problem of a bumper crop of weeds growing in the spring in regions of the country that prefer cool-season grasses, such as the Northeast. Sod is the greatest way to cover a yard year-round, especially in the south, where warm-season grasses like Bermudagrass, ossia grass, and centipede grass are preferred but cannot be grown from seed.

Roger explains that the negative reputation sod sometimes receives is due to improper installation. If you plant it in fertile soil, it will flourish. Turf prefers a slightly acidic (pH 6–7.5) and nutrient-rich base that is well-aerated. And testing the soil is the only way to determine its quality. You may have a soil sample sent to a lab for analysis by your local extension service for around $15; within a week or two, you’ll get reports back detailing exactly what amendments you should use and in what quantities.

Obtaining Grass Seed and Grass Sod

Then go out and get some turf. It can be ordered from a sod farm or a garden center, depending on where you reside. Usually, your provider will recommend a combination of two or three different types of turf grass, chosen for the best possible color, texture, and hardiness (especially if your yard receives partial or full shade). Sod should be brought and placed on the same day if possible after being cut. Take meticulous measurements of your yard so you can order enough material, plus about 5 percent more for snaking it around tight spaces.

Is Rototilling Necessary Before Laying Sod?

Unless it’s a really tiny place, then yes. The use of some additional equipment is also required. Sod installation typically takes two weekends to complete, one for soil preparation. In the first place, you’ll have to get rid of the patchy grass that’s probably already covering your yard.

You can rent a sod cutter from a hardware store or other hardware store for about $70 per day to chop the grass out from under its roots. You might as well rent a rototiller ($55/day) while you’re at it. Soil additions such as compost, fertilizer, and lime may be required, as may a sod-cutting knife with a 2-inch blade, a spreader, an iron rake, and the results of a soil analysis. If you need to lay more over 1,000 square feet, you should probably obtain some extra help.

Advice from the Turf Growers

When it comes to laying sod, here’s what the experts have to say about doing it yourself.

Due of the rapid dehydration of sod, many farmers choose to harvest their turf at night so that it can be shipped and laid the very next day. It’s a good idea to water the sod after you’ve laid the first huge part, and then to move the sprinkler about the lawn as you finish each succeeding section, so that it stays wet.

Sod farmers and others cannot tell the soil moisture level just by seeing a grass. Check the soil moisture using a soil probe (several are sold in hardware and gardening stores). After a good soaking, the top 3–4 inches of soil should still be moist.

Strong grass requires plenty of sunlight; grass cultivated in the shadow is less robust and more prone to disease since it spends more time damp from dew. Reduce the frequency of watering shaded areas and cut back on fertilizer by a quarter.

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