How to Install Sod Rolls

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Installing sod rolls establishes lawn very quickly.
Installing sod rolls establishes lawn very quickly. (Image: sod-cut pieces image by Jeffrey Zalesny from Fotolia.com)

Gardeners who want to enjoy a lawn without waiting weeks for grass seed growth prefer installing sod rolls. Choosing the right type of turf for your climate and needs is one of the most important steps to ensure a successful lawn. Those in the southern regions of the United States generally pick warm season grass, while people in the north have shorter growing seasons an use cool season varieties. Conduct a soil pH test on your lawn three months prior to installing sod. It takes at least three months to adjust the pH range to fit the grass you select.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Tiller
  • Garden hose
  • Utility knife
  • Lawn roller
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer

Remove any existing grass from the lawn. Spray a broad-spectrum herbicide on the lawn area to kill off the grass. Reapply in a few days according to the directions. Use a shovel to pick up the dead grass and either throw away or burn.

Till the soil with a tiller to break up any clumps. Use a tiller that has blades set in the front for breaking up the soil. You can rent from your local gardening supply store one that is large enough to till large areas.

Water the lawn three days prior to the delivery of the sod rolls. Plan to install the sod on the day of delivery, to prevent it from drying out. Water the lawn in the morning with a fine mist. The soil should be moist but not saturated with water.

Work from the perimeters of the yard such as by the driveway, sidewalk or outskirts of the property when laying sod. Unroll each roll and examine the roll to make sure that the grass is healthy. Spray the top of the sod roll with a mist of water from the garden hose before laying down.

Stagger the rolls of sod horizontally much like you would if you were laying bricks for a pathway. Lay the sod, so that the edges butt together. Cut corners or areas too large of the sod roll with a utility knife.

Roll a lawn roller over the sod. Water the soil thoroughly. Fill in any gabs in the sod with potting soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • Order 10 to 20 percent more sod rolls than you need to ensure you have enough to use for irregularly shaped areas.
  • Avoid burning your new lawn by postponing the use of fertilizers high in nitrogen at installation. Wait five to seven weeks before using nitrogen.

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