How To Install Sod

Grass, or sod, is often an integral part of your landscape design. The process of installing your own sod does require some heavy labor but it will save you a lot of money in the process and will be key to your landscape installation.

To complete this job, you will need enough fresh compost, lime and fertilizer to cover your space, as well as enough sod to match. Additionally, you'll need a few tools, including a wheelbarrow, a rake and a utility knife.

Prep the area If you're installing sod on a fresh area, then it is first necessary to prep that area with a new base and put down a new layer of soil to ensure you are giving your sod a healthy environment to exist on.

Install a one inch layer of compost over the top of your existing surface. The compost not only helps with drainage, but it will provide nutrients for your sod and create a healthy environment for your grass to grow thick, deep roots. After you've installed your layer of compost, use your rake to make the surface area level. Knock down any high points, fill in any low points and smooth out the surface out so it's even.

After your compost is level, simply lay a thin layer of lime to reduce the acidity of the soil, as well as another thin layer of fertilizer above it.

Installing the sod Now that your surface is prepped, you can begin laying your sod. You'll notice that the sod comes in strips, which are often rolled up for easy transport and installation. Do one strip at a time, starting with straight surfaces.

Place the sod down over the soil and wipe away any footprints you may have created. Move onto the next piece ensuring that the edges of each piece of sod are firmly pushed together. If you notice that the corners of your sod all intersect like pieces of tile, simply rearrange them so that you have a long edge meeting a joint -- similar to how hardwood flooring appears. You don't want your sod to be laid out in a grid formation as the continuous seams will encourage the sod to dry out.

Cover your entire surface with sod and use your utility knife to cut away any excess pieces around corners or curves. The most important thing is that all of the seams are firmly pushed together. With time, the individual pieces will grow and connect, forming one area of grass. After your sod is installed, be sure to water it regularly to encourage growth.

To consult with a professional landscape design company, contact an organization such as Glynn Young's Landscaping & Nursery Center.