Installation & Care
However, you may choose to install your sod yourself as well. The following steps are a guide to properly preparing your area and laying your sod.
- Remove any existing grass, weeds, and large rocks.
- Fill in low spots, cut down high spots, and lower the grade near all existing features, such as sidewalks, about 1″.
- Fine grade the area smooth with a dirt rake.
- Spread starter fertilizer on the prepared soil, then scratch it into the soil with a rake.
- Lay the sod in a straight line. Use the longest straight line such as a sidewalk or driveway if possible to get started.
- Stagger the joints like brick.
- If the area is greater than a 3 to 1 slope, start at the bottom and work across the grade. Use sod pins, usually 2 per piece, to help stabilize sod until it has rooted.
- Trim edges using a spade, utility knife, or hatchet.
- When an area is completed that is about the size that your sprinkler will cover, roll the sod with a lawn roller (if you have one) and then water thoroughly.
- Continue laying and repeat the rolling and watering process as you cover additional areas. Do not wait until all the sod is laid until you start watering!
- Rototiller (optional)
- Dirt Rake
- Wheel barrow
- Topsoil and/or soil amendments (optional and sold at our farm)
- Sod pins for slopes (optional and sold at our farm)
- Starter fertilizer (available at our farm)
- Lawn roller (optional)
- Hose and sprinkler
Still have questions about sod installation? Contact us here.
Your new sod requires a great deal of water in the first couple of days and could die if not properly watered.
New sod should be flooded with water as soon as you have a large enough area for the sprinkler to cover. Do not wait until all the sod is laid! This may take to long and the roots could begin to dry out. The sod should be thoroughly soaked at all times so the soil underneath is wet for the first 10 days. This allows the roots to penetrate and grow in soft soil. After 14 days, watering every couple of days should be sufficient. Of course, this all depends on Mother nature, so use good judgment, especially in extreme heat conditions.
After the lawn is established, Bluegrass sod requires 1/2″ of water twice per week, and Fescue sod requires 3/4″ of water once per week. (You can measure this by placing a container of any size – a cooking pan, coffee can, pot, or bucket – within the area the sprinkler is watering. Once the depth of water in the pan or bucket reaches the desired depth, move the sprinkler to the next area.)
The best time to water is during the morning hours between 5:00 am and 10:00 am. The worst time is during the night. You should water infrequently and deeply after the sod is established. This encourages the roots to chase down deep into the soil for the water and nutrients.
After the sod is installed, wait until the sod has knit to the soil or no more than 2 weeks after installation to do the first mowing. Let the lawn dry so you don’t make ruts with the mower or grass clumps. Set the mower to the highest setting so you don’t scalp the grass. When completed, remove any grass clumps and rake up any grass that is matted down. Gradually lower the mower height each week to the recommended height.
Bluegrass should be mowed at about 2” in the spring and fall and at 2.5″ in the summer. Learn more about Kentucky Bluegrass here.
Tall Fescue should be mowed at about 2.5″ in the spring and fall and at 3″ in the summer. Learn more about Tall Fescue here.
For ongoing feeding and lawn maintenance, see our Natural-Based Lawn Care Program. We offer the lawn treatments recommended in addition to many other lawn care products, which are detailed on our Products page.