How to Lay Sod
Patchy dry grass or burn spots from our beloved pets can ruin the overall look and feel of your yard. Some times our lawns may be beyond repair and grass seed and fertilizer won’t cut it. Laying new sod may be the only way to get plush, green grass. Or if you’ve recently purchased a new home from a home builder, you likely don’t have any grass and need to lay sod over your entire property.
Fall is one of the best times to install sod as the temperatures are cooler with damp dewy mornings and occasional rain which helps sod take root. While hiring a landscape company to install sod is ideal, you may not have the budget for landscaping supplies as well as contractor fees.
With that in mind, we're breaking down how to lay sod in this step-by-step guide for DIY sod installation:
- When laying sod, consider the size of area.
- Measure the space and calculate the square footage of the area by multiplying your lawn width by the lawn length.
- Do an estimate of how much sod is required based on the length and width of the sod rolls and add an extra 5-10% for waste due to cutting.
- Our knowledgeable staff at Rockland can help you determine how much sod you need to buy.
- When choosing your sod, look for colour, texture and heartiness.
- Keep in mind that once sod is delivered, it should be installed within 1-2 days to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
- Remove old grass by using a tiller or sod cutter and square head spade.
- Roll up the old grass and use a wheelbarrow to haul away debris.
- Use a rake or the tiller to loosen the ground and remove the top layer of old soil.
- Dig approximately 1-2 inches deeper around cement curbs or the edges of your driveway or walkway to ensure sod will be flush to the surface. (Sod that is raised may curl up, get damaged or dry out.)
- Mix in compost with top soil or add fertilizer to the ground as sod needs to nutrients to grow.
- Ensure the base is level using top soil where needed to fill any low spots, holes or gaps.
- Water soil 1 -2 days before sod arrives and allow time for proper drainage.
- Take care not to walk on the leveled surface and consider using a piece of plywood to kneel on when laying sod.
- Begin laying your sod next to the straightest cement edge of your yard which is usually the sidewalk or driveway. Fit sod as tight to the edge as possible.
- If your yard has an irregular shape, use a measuring tape and stakes to run a string down the centre line of your yard. Lay your first row in the middle ensuring that it’s straight.
- Lay the rest of the sod one roll at a time staggering the seams in a brick-like pattern.
- Take care that the sod is smooth and flat with no gaps.
- Fit the sod as close together as possible and don’t overlap the edges.
- Trim sod to fit the area using sod cutters were needed.
- If you are installing your new lawn on a slope, use stakes to hold sod in place.
- To install sod around a gradual curve, lay the sod tight to the edge allowing it to overlap. Cut out the overlapping portion in a pie shape to fit edges closely together.
- Use top soil to fill small gaps where needed.
SOD INSTALLATION COMPLETION:
- Once sod has been installed, use a sod roller to flatten the lawn, remove air pockets and help sod come into better contact with the soil. Using a sod roller helps your new lawn to take root.
- Roll perpendicular to the length of the sod.
- Water sod with a sprinkler everyday until sod is properly soaked for proper rooting.
- During hot Summer weather, water frequently throughout the day for the first 3 weeks.
- Avoid walking on grass and mowing for as long as possible.
- Sod installation is complete. A new, plush lawn awaits!
Please contact us if you have any questions and join our Facebook Group to get advice from our knowledgeable staff and landscaping experts! Ask questions, share your experiences and your garden photos with us!
Landscaping Materials Required
Spade and shovel
Sod Roller (Rental Available at Rockland)