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Tips for DIY Sod Installation

Updated on April 12, 2016
Position sod pieces as close together as possible to avoid dry patches and holes in your lawn.
Position sod pieces as close together as possible to avoid dry patches and holes in your lawn. | Source

Although laying sod yourself can take many man-hours, even if you have help from friends, doing it yourself can save you a lot of money on installation. Laying the sod isn’t necessarily difficult, but you will need to make sure you set the pieces next to each other correctly in order for the new sod to grow in quickly.

How to Start

Start laying sod near your high-traffic areas with straight lines, such as next to the driveway or sidewalk. Position the sod piece as close to the edge as possible, and then step or kneel on a piece of plywood or cardboard as you go to install the next piece. (Avoid walking directly on the grass for a few weeks until the roots have had a chance to grow deeply into the soil line.)

Snuggle the next piece as close to the original as possible, avoiding gaps between the pieces as possible, as gaps take longer to fill in with grass growth, and may cause brown patches in the lawn. Avoid overlapping the sod pieces, and cut-off pieces that are dried out and dead. Use a sharp trowel or utility knife to get the exact shape you’ll need to fit the sod pieces as close together as possible. Continue laying sod across the yard until you end up in the farthest corner of the yard.


If possible, try to lay sod in the fall and early spring when there is less environmental stress on the grass. Extreme heat may be taxing on the grass, and will likely require more frequent watering. Winter sod installation may not work at all, since the soil may not be warm enough, and it isn’t the typical growing cycle for grasses.

Watch the short video below for even more lawncare tips.

What's best for you though, seeding or sodding? Check out this video from the Sears Blue Crew for more information.


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