12 Handy Tips for Better Turfgrass Sod Installations

Before your Turfgrass Sod Arrives


1. Make sure everything that goes under ground is already installed like drainage systems, irrigation systems, electrical and other lines.


2. Loosen top 6 inches of soil with a rototiller or similar equipment. Add fertilizer. Add soil amendments if needed.



3. Rake area to remove rocks and debris.


4. For best results, make sure you have at least 6 inches of good soil uniformly over the area. Final grade should be even to 1” below adjoining sidewalks and driveways. (settling will occur if dirt is loose) Roll the entire area with a half-filled lawn roller.


5. A couple of days before turfgrass installation, water to a depth of about 6 inches to firm up the soil and reveal any high or low spots that need  final grading.


6. Determine exactly how much turfgrass sod you need and where you will use it before you order. Allow 10% extra turfgrass for trimming and fitting around irregular areas. Also be sure to have enough helpers on hand to get all the turfgrass installed and watered within 24 hours of delivery (even less in extremely hot or dry weather).


7. Carefully plan and mark where you want the pallets of turfgrass placed on the job. You’ll save time by not carrying sod all around your yard.


After your Turfgrass Sod Arrives

8. Important:  If the weather is hot and soil temperatures are high; give the soil a light sprinkling with water to cool the surface before laying the sod. Soil heated by the bright summer sun can damage or kill the tender roots of freshly cut turfgrass sod.


9. It’s easiest to begin laying turf against a straight line such as a sidewalk. Butt edges and ends so they fit tightly together, without overlapping.  Alternate rows in a “brick” pattern so joints are staggered.  Avoid standing or kneeling directly on the turfgrass, as this can leave indentations in the soft, moist soil underneath.      Use a sharp knife to cut pieces of turfgrass to fit odd shaped areas.  Avoid small pieces, which don’t hold moisture.  When you have laid an area of turfgrass large enough for your sprinkler or irrigation system, begin watering that area immediately.


10. When laying turfgrass on steep slopes, use sod staples to help keep the sod in place.



11. After turfgrass installation is complete, roll the entire area immediately to smooth the seams and ensure the sod is pressed firmly against the soil.  Mound soil along any exposed edges to help prevent dry out.


12. Water turfgrass twice daily for the first 8 days, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. Taper off watering to once per day (preferably in the morning) for the next 7 days and then once every other day until turfgrass is rooted.  Check watering depth to make sure it reaches down at least 3 inches. DON’T WATER at NIGHT!





Learn these 12  handy tips for better turfgrass sod installations

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