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How to plant a lawn from sod
Planting sod turns a patch of dirt into a beautiful lawn instantly. Here are the basics steps.

Select the right type of grass for your area (see related tips).

Measure the square footage of your planting area to determine how much sod you’ll need. Purchase fresh sod at a local nursery or garden center, or have it delivered from a local sod farm.

Prepare and level the soil as described in the related tip, How to Plant a Lawn. The final level should be a inch or two lower than grade to accommodate the thickness of the sod.

Arrange to have the sod delivered on the day you are ready to lay it. Inspect the sod carefully to make sure it hasn’t dried out (look for dried, curled or cracked edges; yellowing foliage). Reject it if it has.

Start laying the sod along a straight edge, such as a driveway or walk. If one isn’t available, stretch a string across the center of the lawn.

Position the sod pieces so the end butts-up tightly against an edge or previous laid piece, then unroll the sod. Keep edges are close as possible but don’t overlap.

Stagger pieces as you move row to row so (like you were laying brick) so the ends don’t all line up.

Use and old kitchen knife to cut sod to fit around sprinklers or in odd shaped areas.
Fill-in any large spaces between pieces of sod with soil.

Push a water-filled roller (filled about a third full) over the entire area to make sure sod and soil are in good contact, and to help level the area.

Water the thoroughly so the soil is moist to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.

Keep the seed bed moist (but not soggy) until sod roots knit with soil below. In hot weather you may have to water more than once a day.

Lay the sod on dry soil to avoid a muddy mess.
When laying sod, kneel on a piece of plywood so you don’t disturb soil or damage sod.
Laying sod is hard work. Enlist the help of friends and use wheelbarrow to cart pieces around.

Whether stacked in a pile or already laid, don’t let the sod dry out. Occasionally sprinkle with water from a hand held hose to keep it moist. Store pallets of sod in the shade.
How to plant a lawn from seed
How to choose a lawn grass
Step by step lawn planting
 ©2002 Lance Walheim