How to Prepare Your Lawn for Sod Installation

Soil Preparation

If you are replacing your damaged lawn, there are 2 methods we recommend:


Method #1

  • Rototill the soil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, rototilling first one way and then the other.
  • Compact the soil by rolling the area to reveal any highs and lows in the grade.
  • Final grade should be 1 inch below patios, sidewalks and driveways.
  • If the grade is low, add a good quality, screened topsoil to bring it up to the desired height.
  • Always make sure the soil slopes away from buildings so water will run towards ditches.
  • Rake and level the soil making sure the top 1 to 2 inches are loose – this will allow the new sod to root easily.

Method #2

  • Use a walk-behind sod cutter to strip the existing lawn.
  • Roll up the old sod and remove it from the site.
  • Rake the compacted soil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches, filling in any depressions as you go.
  • Final grade should be 1 inch below patios, sidewalks and driveways.
  • If the grade is low, add a good quality, screened topsoil to bring it up to the desired height.
  • Always make sure the soil slopes away from buildings so water will run towards ditches.
  • Rake and level the soil making sure the top 1 to 2 inches are loose – this will allow the new sod to root easily.

Sod Installation

  • Have the ground completely prepared before you order your sod as outlined previously.
  • People who are not accustomed to physical labour should pace themselves accordingly and, if necessary, get help from friends.
  • Locate a straight line, such as a curb or driveway or run a taunt string up the middle of the area to be sodded.
  • Work along this line to establish the first row.
  • With a rake, smooth the area immediately ahead of sodding.
  • Lay in a brickwork fashion.
  • Make sure all joints are butted tightly together without overlapping.
  • Staking is advisable on extreme slopes.
  • To fit non-rectangular edges and small areas, cut the sod with a knife.
  • If your sod has not been installed the day of delivery, we recommend placing it in the shade and breaking the skid down into smaller piles (all sod must be installed within 24 hours of delivery).
  • Go over the sodded area with a roller to press the roots to the soil.
  • Saturate the area with water immediately – sod should be watered until the soil beneath is moist. This should be repeated daily for two weeks or until the sod has rooted.
  • Begin mowing 10 to 14 days after installation. Mow at the highest setting for the first two to three cuts and then gradually lower the mower to the desired height over the next three to four cuts.
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