How To Lay Sod in Four Simple Steps

Grass Pad Bluegrass Sod
In the age of instant gratification, turf grass sod provides the “instant lawn.” Sod is to grass seed what pop tarts are to breakfast. Homeowners who want to have instant green grass by tomorrow should consider bluegrass or fescue sod instead of grass seed.

On established homes, sod is an excellent choice for certain problem areas. Small patches around the driveway or patio that have been damaged over the winter months are easily repaired with sod. Garden patches or flower beds that are being replaced or redesigned will be immediately transformed into lawn. In areas where washouts and erosion are a problem, sod is a natural choice.

Around the house, in front of gutter downspouts or on slopes where grass seed will be washed away, sod is the problem solver. Dog runs, play grounds, tire tracks, gasoline or fertilizer burns, all are common problems for which sod is the answer.

How to Install Sod: GREEN SIDE UP!
  1. Grading: Sod should be installed on smooth, even ground. The ground should be bare, firm and free of rocks. Once the soil is smooth and level, apply gypsum to the bare soil (40 lbs per 1,000 sqft). 
  2. Installing: The rolls should be placed tightly together with the seams staggered. The outermost edges of the sod should not be exposed, cover them with soil or place them at ground level. Anchor with sod staples on steep slopes. 
  3. Fertilizing: Your new sod must be fertilized at installation. In March - June apply PREVENT! crabgrass pre-emergent with fertilizer. Reapply in 4 weeks. This will suppress crabgrass and foxtail in the seams and cracks between the rolls. In July - February apply LOVELAND GOLF COURSE STARTER fertilizer or RENOVATOR. Re-apply 4 weeks later. 
  4. Watering Fresh Sod: The most important step in any successful sod job. Fresh sod must be watered at once and kept wet for two to three weeks. Homeowners should plan to water sod at least twice a day for one hour at a setting during the hottest part of the day. Sod should be sloppy wet after installation and continually when temperatures are above 80° the first two weeks. 
  5. How much water is enough? Use the wet beach towel test. Place a wet beach towel on your driveway and see how fast it dries out. On hot windy days, the beach towel and the sod can dry out in hours. The beach towel will not die, the sod will. 
  6. Mowing: After installation the grass blades will be horizontal. With proper watering, in 10 to 14 days, your sod will begin to stand up. Mow sod as often as needed with a sharp blade and your mower on the highest setting. Water sod immediately after mowing. 

A few more tips:
Sod is guaranteed to die, unless you water for the 1st hour.
In warm spring weather, sod begins to heat up in the roll as soon as it is cut. The better the sod, the sooner it begins to heat up. Sod that cannot be installed promptly should be unrolled in the shade and watered until the project is ready to start.

How big is a roll of sod?
  • 1 roll of Blue Wave bluegrass or Heat Wave fescue sod is apprx. 9 square ft. 
  • 1 roll of sod weighs apprx. 25 lbs. We can usually fit about 10 in an average trunk 
  • 1 pallet of Blue Wave sod or Heat Wave sod has 50-56 rolls 
  • 1 pad of zoysia sod is apprx. 3 square feet 1.5' wide x 2' long 
  • 1 pallet of zoysia sod has aprx 90 pads 
Sod delivery is available, contact your nearest Grass Pad location for more information.
How much sod do I need?