Tips on Laying Sod

Now in the dead of summer in South Florida, you may find your grass suffering. Does your yard need some rejuvenation? Overseeding can take a long time to take hold – the plants need to sprout, take root, and grow into a lush lawn. Sod, on the other hand, is fully-matured and beautifully green and thick when you purchase and install your lawn. If you are well-versed in yard work, you may be able to take on laying sod yourself by following these steps.

laying sod

Plan the Area for Laying Sod

  • Begin by measuring the area you plan to cover. Most sod and other landscaping projects are measured in square feet, so stake out the area and multiply the length by the width of the area in feet. This will tell you how much sod your area will require in total. Round up if there are odd angles or curves to ensure you will have enough.
  • Choose the type of sod you want. There are a few different options of grass that will grow here in South Florida. These include Bahia, St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia as the most common turf grass species, and there are many different varieties of each. The conditions of your lawn will determine which species is best.
  • Zoysia is great if you have kids, as it is wear-resistant and can handle the rambunctious games of kids. It is also drought tolerant once it has rooted and is established. St. Augustine grass has a lovely blue-green shade and is excellent for the Florida coast–it’s more salt-tolerant than other species and handles heat and humidity well. Bahia is a warm-season grass that grows best in full sun and goes dormant in the winter. It requires little watering and nutrients to thrive. Finally, Bermuda grass has an excellent tolerance for foot traffic, heat and drought, but tends to be more high-maintenance than other grass species.
  • Order and schedule your sod. Here at Big Earth Landscape Supply, we are proud to offer pallets and individual pieces of all the best sod varieties. Our pallets are sold with 400 square feet per pallet, and individual pieces cover approximately 2.66 square feet. You should pick up your sod or have it delivered on the day you plan to lay it–don’t wait a couple days after receiving it before laying the sod, because the grass will not be as healthy.
  • Clear the area by spraying an herbicide to kill all the current grass and weeds, as sod cannot be laid over vegetation. Spreading compost or mulch over the area for a period of a couple weeks will aid in ridding all vegetation. Once the area is cleared, rototill the soil and remove all large rocks and debris. Rake the soil to even any ridges.
  • Use a pH kit to test the soil. Most lawn grasses grow best at a pH of 6.5; if your soil requires treatment, perform this before the sod arrives and test again to ensure the pH has reached a proper level.
  • Lay the sod once it is delivered. Use a straight edge like a driveway or patio to begin laying the first rolls. Smooth out any bumps with your hands (do not step on the newly-laid sod!). Trim the sod it to fit and fill corners and curves seamlessly. Remember to cut holes for sprinkler heads.

If you need more information regarding laying sod, stop by one of Big Earth Landscape Supply‘s 4 area locations. We are happy to help.