Everything You Need to Know About Sod Installation

Sod installation is a great way to quickly and easily create a beautiful, vibrant lawn. It enhances the appearance of your outdoor space and helps conserve water and reduce erosion.

However, sod installation can be tricky, as it requires careful soil preparation and proper laying of the sod. Here is an overview of what you must know about sod installation to create a lush and healthy lawn.


Sod installation is laying freshly harvested grass onto a piece of land. Proper preparation and planning are necessary to get the sod to take root properly. 

Before laying the new sod, plan for at least a few weeks. Weather conditions should also be considered, as rain may delay this project. 

Be sure to select a clear day in the spring or early summer.

pieces of sod piles in front of a home getting ready to install sod on front lawn

Preparing the Soil

Before installing sod, it’s essential to prepare the soil correctly. Begin by clearing away debris or existing grass.

  • Remove weeds
  • Rake up leaves
  • Clear sticks and stones.

When you are done, you will also want to fertilize and test for pH levels before installation. Most turf grasses thrive in well-aerated soil with a pH slightly toward the acidic side (between 6 and 7.5). You can buy a soil test kit from your local extension office. To take a soil test, gather samples from several places where you’ll be sodding. Mix the soil, and place it into a soil testing bag. Expect to pay at least $15 for the test (price varies by region).

New Project

You should also loosen the top 2-3 inches of soil to ensure the roots can penetrate and spread below the surface.

If you have any areas with steep slopes or poor drainage, adding more soil and creating a level area before laying sod is best. This will help prevent water pooling in certain areas and killing grass. Proper soil preparation allows you to apply the sod and create a beautiful, lush lawn.

After the debris is gone, use a shovel to create ridges in the soil and break up clumps of dirt. This will allow the sod to properly connect with the ground to the root. Use a stiff rake to level the soil and make sure there are no large bumps or dips.


Once your lawn is prepped, you must calculate how much sod to buy. To do this, measure the length and width of the area you want to cover in feet. Multiply those numbers together to get an area measurement of square feet. When ordering sod, decide what type of sod will suit your lawn best, then purchase enough to cover the size of the area. Typically sod comes in rolls that measure 2×2 or 3×3 feet – one roll will cover approximately 8-15 square feet, depending on its size. Divide this into your general area for an accurate estimate of how many rolls you need for your project.

Click the SOD CALCULATOR to help you.

a calculator to figure out how much sod you would need to buy depending on the size of your lawn

If you’re unsure if you have enough sod for the area you’d like to cover, add a few extra rolls – sod usually comes with a warranty, so adding extra gives you a little backup in case of miscalculation. You might also want to consider ordering more depending on how much of the lawn will require edging. Edging requires narrower strips of sod, so factor that into your order if needed. Calculating how much sod you need before purchasing it ensures you have enough material for the job. 

Lay Out Your Sod

Once you have your sod rolls, it’s time to lay out your turf. Start at one end and work across the lawn in straight lines – it’s essential to line up the individual pieces as much as possible. When laying out sod, slightly overlap edges and ensure a snug fit between components. Overlapping or not fitting them perfectly together could damage or dry the grass. Use a sharp knife to cut around hard objects or obstacles like sprinkler heads so that the sod works well.

Make sure to keep the sod moist until it has rooted. A layer of mulch can help retain moisture. Avoid walking on your newly-installed turf. Trample down the spaces between rolls with a lawn roller or drive a car over it to settle the grass and ensure all pieces touch each other. The sod should be given about one inch of water daily for up to two weeks, ensuring it grows into an even, lush lawn.

Water and Maintain Your New Sod Lawn

After installation, it’s important to water your new sod lawn regularly. Depending on the type of turf you’ve installed, you may need to water daily or every other day. For best results, aim for an inch of water each time you irrigate and check that it penetrates deep into the soil beneath the grass. Once your grass has taken root and grows, watering is less frequent but still necessary.

Maintaining a healthy sod lawn requires more than just regular watering. You’ll also need to check for weed and pest problems, fertilize regularly, and regularly mow, aerate, and detach your grass. These steps help create a healthy turf that resists disease and withstands dry spells. If you’re unsure how to care for your turf type, it’s best to consult a professional who can recommend tailored care tips.



Sod Installation Costs

Installing sod on your lawn can cost between $0.34 and $1.80 per square foot, depending on the type of grass you choose and whether or not you hire a professional installer. Covering 2,000 square feet of lawn with sod takes an average of between $680 and $3,600.
The average cost of installing sod is around $2,180, ranging from a minimum of $490 to a maximum of $4,200. The average range is usually between $1,436 and $2,712. Check with Buddy’s Services to get a free quote based on your location.

Factors that affect the total cost of installing sod include the variety of grass you choose, whether or not you hire professional installers and their associated labor costs, how much area needs to be covered, and any additional materials that may be required, such as soil preparation, soil additives, and drainage. The quality of the fresh sod also affects its price. Higher-quality sod usually costs more initially but can save you money in the long run because it is more resilient and resistant to pests than lower-grade sod. If you plan on hiring landscaping installation professionals, make sure to shop around and compare quotes before making a decision.

Best Time To Lay Sod

Sod installation is best done during spring or summer, depending on your climate. If summer temperatures in your region are high (the 90s-100s), it is best to install sod in early spring when temps are more moderate. This will provide the best environment for the grass to grow and establish itself. The winter might be too cold for the sod to develop a robust root system properly.
To ensure the longevity of your sod installation, check the weather forecast for the upcoming week. Laying sod in wet or overly saturated soil can impede its growth and interfere with installation. Ensure that your lawn receives optimum conditions using an accurate weather forecast before laying sod for optimal results.                                                  shutterstock

Sod installation is an easy and effective way to create a beautiful lawn. You can have a gorgeous property with the correct soil preparation, proper laying of the sod, and adequate care after installation. In contrast, it may seem daunting at first, but with some patience and effort, you can transform your outdoor space into a lush and vibrant area that you can enjoy for years. So don’t be intimidated—with the proper preparation and care, sod installation is a great way to instantly improve the look of your yard without having to wait months or years for grass to grow from seeds.

Buddy’s Landscaping Services can take care of your sod installation with ease. With affordable and exceptional lawn services, you can’t go wrong with your Buddy.

Buddy's Services, LLC, Junk Removal, Calabash, NC