Lawn + Garden Projects
How to Lay Sod in Your Yard
BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 125 Projects
Ensuring the success of a lawn created from sod begins before the delivery of the sod. Sod doesn't age well, so you want to install it as quickly as possible. Have all your tools and equipment prepared, have any helpers you’re going to need on hand, and be ready to get to work as soon as the sod arrives.
When it is delivered, check to see you’ve received all the sod you ordered. Have the sod stacked in a shady area. Inspect the sod closely. Fresh sod will be moist and cool to the touch. If the sod is hot, it means the process of decomposing has begun. You should also check for uneven top growth, yellowing blades, and curling edges—all unwelcome signs that the sod has been sitting around for too long.
Once you’re satisfied that the sod is in good condition, spray it down well using a hose equipped with a nozzle attachment set to mist. When you start work, it’s a good idea to moisten both the roll of sod you’re preparing to lay, and the strip of soil the sod’s going on top of.
Although sod is essentially an instant lawn to the eye, newly laid sod is still vulnerable. In addition to the post-installation watering you’ll have to do until the grass is fully established and actively growing, you’ll want to keep all traffic off the lawn for several weeks if possible. It’s especially important to keep pets off the lawn, because animal urine is fairly toxic to new sod. With some basic protection and follow-up care, your sodded lawn will, in month’s time, look like it’s always been there. Note: Soil should be properly graded, amended, and raked out prior to laying sod.
Laying sod is the quickest and most satisfying (and also the most expensive) way to create an instant lawn.