How to Lay Sod. A Step by Step Guide to the Perfect Lawn.

Not sure how to lay sod?  In about 2 minutes you’ll be an expert.  Laying sod is really easy.  Follow these steps and you’ll be drinking lemonade and playing croquet in no time. 

Skip right to the instructions on how to lay sod.

7 years ago  I ripped out most of my front yard and started from scratch.   Overgrown bushes?  Gone.  Scraggly bushes?  Gone.  Possibly possessed bushes?  Gone for good.

I performed an exorcism on my front yard.

I got rid of everything and replaced it with with beds of vegetables.  I also ripped out perhaps the scariest thing of all.  The grub grass. Grass decimated by grubs. I replaced it with new sod and my yard suddenly had that new car  feeling. Only, it was a lawn.   This remember, was 6 years ago. My sod now looks sad again.  I’m not sure if it’s grubs  (I have’t been super-diligent about applying nematodes) or general wear and tear or what but my sod now looks less new car and more like a cobbled together junkyard heap.

Therefore, I’m thinking about replacing my sod again. I know. Get rid of the grass. But I like how it looks and feels on my feet. I like cutting it with my push mower.  It isn’t a lot of grass, it acts mainly as a path in between the vegetables.

The first time I did this I was a bit worried about the cost, since I’m cheap and would normally do something like reseed. But reseeding takes a really long time, it can be spotty, you can’t walk on it for months (which was NOT going to work for me) and all of the seed I’ve ever purchased (from cheap to expensive) has come with a few parting gifts in the form of mutant weeds.

So after taking a few measurements and calling around I discovered I could buy all the sod I needed to do my front yard for the whopping sum of … $95.  $45 for the sod, and $50 for delivery.

Laying sod is really easy and I realize I might be in the minority here, but I found I really liked laying sod.  The prep work was kindda gross, but the actual laying and cutting of the sod was fun and the result is INSTANT.  BOOM!  Pretty green grass.  Just like that.

It’s incredibly simple, but to lay sod and have it “stick” you do have to follow a few steps.

First thing you need to do is get drunk.



That’s not right.  Sorry … that’s what you do prior to a job interview.  Silly me.  Here’s how you lay sod …

How to Lay Sod

Step 1. The first thing you need to do (after removing your old sod) is dig up the earth and get it good and broken up.


Step 2. Now rake the soil out so it’s level.


Step 3. Grab some lawn starter fertilizer.


Step 4. Sprinkle the fertilizer over your soil.  (instructions on how much will be on your fertilizer container)


Step 5.  Shovel a 3″ layer of top soil over everything.


Step 6.  Level the top soil with a rake.


Step 7. Lay down your sod in a brickwork pattern. This is your final and most fun step.


Always lay your sod in a brickwork pattern.  In other words, don’t have all your edges of sod lining up with each other.  Stagger them.


For a better chance of your sod “taking” on all the edges,  slightly overlap the sod so it’s a bit too tight, like you see in the picture below.  Then step on the 2 edges where the sod meets.  It’ll squish down together forming a good bond of soil and sod.


To cut straight lines, lay a plank of wood down and run a carpet knife along the sod to cut it.  (carpet knife $8 from hardware store)

Anddd … you’re done. The only part left is to water, water, WATER.  You need to water deeply every single day for about a month to ensure the growth of your grass.  Letting it dry out even once will spell disaster.  It is not allowed to dry out.  Speaking of which …

Now you can fix yourself a drink and get drunk.


Unless you have a couple of these.  In which case, they can fix your drinks for you.


Congratulations on your first lay.


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How to Lay Sod. A Step by Step Guide to the Perfect Lawn.