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The Home Depot

Best Techniques for Sod Installation

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > Best Techniques for Sod Installation
Best Techniques for Sod Installation

Sod is defined as lawn which is professionally cultivated and then transported to the place where it is to be laid down in the form of thick squares or rolls. This is how “instant lawns” are created. Sod that has been cut must be installed within 24 hours else it will start to wilt. Sod is commonly a blend of various Kentucky bluegrass varieties or a mixture of other turf grass types like fine fescue, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue. It can take a couple of years for to grow sod and this is why it is quite expensive. There are different varieties of sod and speaking to the experts will help you find the right one for your needs and requirements.

  1. As soon as the sod is laid, it should be watered well. The right amount of water is needed to ensure that the sod thrives.

    1.The Process

    Many of the university websites have guidelines on how sod should be laid down. Some preparation is needed before your new lawn can be laid down. Sod-laying is not easy work and most people prefer to have professionals do it for them. The soil and the site have to be prepped before sod can be put down. The chosen site must be cleared of all large rocks, stones, and other debris. The top soil depth has to be a minimum of four inches and should be loose rather than compact.


    Weeds must be first destroyed and any drainage issue issued before you proceed with sod installation. Soil grading and improvement may also have to be done in some cases. Sod must be installed carefully and with precision. Care needs to be taken after sod installation to ensure that it takes root properly. In the absence of adequate water, the sod may start to wilt and turn yellow.

  2. 2.Timing

    With the exception of regions which witness extreme winters, sod can be laid at any time during the year. The best time is from late summer to early fall, mainly because this period is conducive to growth. Sod installation during peak summers is best avoided due to the considerable watering required to get the new sod established properly.

  3. 3.Installation

    The first thing that should be done is to lay the sod rolls in the longest straight line possible on the site. There should not be any gaps or overlap between the rolls and it should be freshly cut and healthy. It is best to install the sod as soon as it is delivered. If installation is to be done at a later time, the sod pieces must be laid out in a shady spot. When the sod is spread, the pieces should be placed tightly close together without any space in between. Even if there are tiny cracks to be seen, the spaces should be filled with soil.

  4. 4.Keeping the Sod Watered Well

    As soon as the sod is laid, it should be watered well. The right amount of water is needed to ensure that the sod thrives. The amount of water should be such that the soil under the sod also stays wet. In the initial days, the water requirement may be about one inch every couple of days. You can check on the moisture content by lifting up the sod pieces just slightly. Once the sod gets rooted to the soil, less frequent watering will suffice. Watering can then be done once in 4-7 days.

  5. 5.Mowing and Fertilizing

    A new sod lawn will need to be mowed within a week of its installation. The lawn will have to be kept at a height of about two inches. Fertilization will have to be done about 4-6 weeks after installation. The recommended fertilizer ratio is 2-1-1 or 4-1-3 at the rate of one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. After the fertilizer is applied, ideally some water should be sprinkled over it. It is also a good idea to take some precautionary measures to keep insects and pests at bay right from the very start.


    Regular maintenance will help to keep your lawn green and healthy all the time. Dethatching will also have to be done regularly to keep the lawn this way. Just a little bit of preparation and planning can help you turn your new sod lawn into an asset that increases the value of your property and augments the quality of your life.


    You will be showered with compliments from all quarters after this new sod takes root and this shiny green lawn begins to flourish.

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