When looking to upgrade your home and deciding on how to improve your property value, having a glance out across your lawn may be a good place to start.  Your lawn is a place where a little investment can really pay off well in increasing your property value and improving the overall aesthetics of your home and property.

In order to improve your lawn you’ll first need to decide on whether to seed or sod.  Looking at the advantages and disadvantages of both can help you to decide which you feel is best for you but if you are in a hurry or don’t have the patience to wait for seed to grow sod is definitely the way to go.

Here are some tips on how to lay sod yourself the right way.

First Prepare the Soil

  • Clean all weeds and stones from the area.
  • Loosen the soil and mix in some additional organic matter.
  • Apply a starter fertilizer.
  • Rake soil bed smooth and level and positioned an inch lower than it would be for a seeded lawn.
  • Since sod comes with its own soil, this increased depth will ensure that the new lawn will be even with walkways.

Next Buy the Sod

  • The sod will be delivered on pallets in rolled strips with the soil side exposed.  Smaller quantities can be purchased individually for patching a lawn.
  • The strips are usually 2 feet wide and 5 feet long.
  • The grass should be at least 2 inches long and the same green color.
  • The underlying soil should be dark and moist, 1 inch thick, and show dense healthy roots.

Lay sod as soon as possible after harvest

  • Store the rolls out of the sun in the shade to keep them cool.
  • Keep it rolled and moist until ready to use it.
  • If left in stacks for more than 24 hours in warm weather the sod may die.

How to Lay the Sod

  • When laying the sod you’ll want to make sure the first row is straight.  A good way to do this is to start along a driveway or side walk.  If there is no straight line to measure off you’ll want to put in two stakes and run a string between to give you a guide line.
  • Lay subsequent rows in a staggered pattern. The end seams on one row should fall in the center of the previous row. Fill in gaps with loose soil.
  • On slopes, lay sod perpendicular to slope. This prevents it from sliding when watering. If slope is very steep, use stakes to keep sod in place. Use 2 to 4 stakes per roll.
  • Pat down the sod (or use a roller) to establish good root contact with the soil. Air pockets can cause the sod to dry out and die. Do not stand on newly planted sod. If necessary, stand on a board to help distribute your weight.


  • For best results water 1 inch in the first 15 minutes
  • Deeply water the lawn often.
  • Pay attention to the seams between the sod and edges along walkways/driveways because they dry out quickly.
  • Water every day for the first week. Then every other day for the next three weeks.

Mowing New Sod

  • Mow you newly laid sod 7 days after it is installed
  • Mow in a direction perpendicular to the way it was rolled during installation

Follow this procedure and you’ll have a healthy green law from day 1.  I can’t stress enough though how important watering the newly laid sod is immediately after installing it.  If you take one thing from this let it be that.