How to Install Sod

Sod is easy to work with and install. Unlike working with wood or flooring, sod is very forgiving. Sod is easy to cut and can be stretched or compressed to fit together. And it grows together in a few weeks. Other than the physical work, installing sod in your yard can be a snap. Drop it to the ground, pull it into place, make your cuts, and you now have a new green space to enjoy.

Step 1 – Fertilize before sodding.

Before sodding, apply Green Valley Turf Co. Quick Feed 20-20-10 starter fertilizer to the soil at the rate of 8-10 lbs per 1,000 square feet. The fertilizer does not need to be worked into the soil or watered. Just let it sit on top of the ground so it will make contact with the sod.

Step 2 – Establish a starting point.

Establish a starting point by following a sidewalk, fence, or edging to keep sod rows straight and minimize cutting. If you are installing sod on a hill, start at the bottom. It is easier to pull sod into place downhill and keeps the seams tight. If the slope is steep, anchor the sod in place with wooden sod stakes. If the area only has one way in, start at the furthest point and work your way out. Foot traffic will not damage new sod, but it can move it out of place.

Step 3 – Install sod slabs like brickwork

Install the first line of sod following your starting point and keep the row straight to minimize cutting. On the next row, cut a slab in half and place it next to a full piece. This will offset the seams of the second row so they do not line up with the first. Repeat this pattern throughout the yard.

Step 4 – Pull the sod tightly together.

As you place each piece of sod, pull it tightly together to eliminate any space between the seams. Butt the ends and sides together tightly. Open or loose seams will accelerate the edges’ drying out and promote wilting and a bumpy lawn. Do not overlap sod. Use a knife to cut the sod around obstacles such as beds, sidewalks, and sprinkler heads. Fill in any small voids with pieces of sod cut to fit the area.

Step 5 – Water the new sod

After installing sod, water immediately. When working in hot weather, finish an area, set up a sprinkler or zone, and let it run while you are installing the next area. Our Colorado climate can dry sod out quickly in the summer. Watering sod immediately after installation is key to having a successful start to your new lawn. If the sod looks dry, water it.
New Sod Care and Watering

Step 6 – Rolling new sod.

Rolling newly installed sod is optional. Rolling sod will help press the sod into the soil and remove air pockets. Roll with the seams working across the area, back and forth. If sod pieces move around when rolling or turning, put them back into place.