How-To Guide

How to Install Your Sod

Don Schlup

Certainly there are differences of opinion on the degree of soil preparation prior to the installation of sod. Although these steps may cost you more initially, they will pay dividends in the future. Most authorities do advise:

  • Remove all weeds and debris.
  • Establish a rough grade eliminating low spots.
  • Add soil amendments and rototill 4-6 inches in depth.
  • Smooth, level, and establish the final grade.
  • Sub-grade areas surrounding sidewalks, drives, etc. approximately 1 1/2 inches.

The actual laying of the sod is the easiest portion of establishing your lawn. Just follow these basic suggestions:

  • When the sod is delivered, arrange the rolls so that there is a minimum of traffic on the prepared soil and the newly installed grass.
  • Lay the sod in a manner to laying bricks, only horizontally.
  • Butt tightly the ends and sides of the sod strips making certain there is no overlapping.
  • * To fit the soil around obstacles or in smaller places, merely cut with a linoleum knife (preferably on the underneath side).


Immediately after the sod is laid, begin watering all sodded areas. Schedule watering to assure the sod is constantly wet and water penetrates the soil 4 to 6 inches. This should continue for 10 - 12 days until the roots knit the sod to the soil.


Your first mowing should be after the sod has had time to knit with the soil. During rapid growing times, it may be necessary to let the sod dry enough to permit mowing during the 10 to 12 day period. The first few mowings should be done with a rotary mower diagonal to the way the sod is laid.