The Sod Installation Guide

The Sod Installation Guide

Sod is the quickest and easiest way for you to go from a dull brown lawn to that green lush lawn you always dreamed of. You simply go through the process to lay it down and within a few weeks you are rewarded with a better looking lawn than you ever imagined possible. While sod is the easiest way to get that exceptional looking lawn it is also much more expensive than planting grass. This extra expense makes knowing the proper sod installation process even more important. Learn how to install sod with this comprehensive guide, and you can be sure to achieve a working lawn that looks like a picture out of a magazine.

What You’ll Need:


  • Sod
  • Phosphorus Rich Fertilizer
  • A Large Board


  • A Rake
  • Half Moon Edger
  • A Garden Hose (for a yard with a curve)
  • String (for a yard that has a straight edge that is not square)

Sod installation Instructions

Step 1:
The first step to getting down your new layer of sod is preparing the soil. Sod comes with it’s own soil attached to it so you have to lower your yard 1 ½” below any surfaces that might be around it such as sidewalks or patios. After you have your soil at the right height you need to apply a phosphorus rich fertilizer to get your lawn ready for the sod installation. It is vitally important that you properly apply the fertilizer and that means raking it in to the soil as you go. You want the fertilizer to be worked in to the soil a little bit and a rake does a wonderful job.

Step 2:
The first row of sod installation is the most important. It is going to define what the rest of the yard looks like. If it’s crooked your yard will be crooked. It is important to lay the first row along a straight edge. A sidewalk or driveway are both very good for starting sod. A fence would also probably work pretty well for your first row. Make sure to mush each of the new pieces of sod in to the end of the one before it. You don’t want any gaps in your yard and pushing the edges together will prevent that.

It is important to note that if your yard is sloped you want to lay the sod across the slope instead of following it. If you go across the slope you will have a stronger yard that is more resistant to moving along that gradient. You should also put stakes through the sod on the actual slope.

Step 3:
You should spread your large board out over any section of sod you will have to walk on. The board will help spread your weight around so that you don’t damage the sod. It is also important to stagger all of the rows after the original row of sod. Use the half-moon edger or small hatchet to cut a chunk of sod in half. Start the next row of sod with half of a brick and you will get a nice stagger along the run. Just make sure to alternate between a whole piece and half a piece the entire time and you will have a very strong yard that you will be able to enjoy for years to come.

Step 4:
Most yards out there aren’t perfectly square like the bricks of sod you will be installing. When you get to an edge of your yard that either curves or goes at a straight angle you will need to cut the sod. A large straight edge or string will work well to guide you on straight cuts. A section of garden hose is much better for the curved cuts. With a little bit of practice you will be able to cut perfect fitting pieces of sod for your yard. If all else fails make the piece a little large and you can trim it after you lay it down.

Step 5:
Now that you have all of your sod down on your yard it is important to go back through and lightly tap all of the sod with the back of your rake. This is going to release the air pockets that are under your yard, creating a nice solid surface. After you finish releasing the air you simply have to wait a few weeks before enjoying your brand new lawn.

Just remember that you don’t have a solid lawn until after a month of it sitting there, and congratulations on your successful sod installation.