Skip to Content

Make Sod at Home: a Step-by-Step Guide (2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

how to make sodWith the promise of a lush, green lawn, growing your own sod can be an empowering and rewarding DIY project. Whether you’re patching up a bare spot or starting from scratch with fresh soil, there are many benefits to creating your own carpet of grass at home – not least cost savings compared to purchasing ready-made rolls.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to make sod in just six easy steps.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right grass seed for your climate and soil type.
  • Properly prepare the soil by killing weeds, adding compost, and testing pH levels.
  • Ensure proper drainage and level out any bare areas before laying down the sod.
  • Water the newly laid sod immediately after installation and daily during the first week for establishment.

Materials Needed

how to make sod 1
To lay sod successfully, you’ll need to gather the correct materials beforehand. These may include a rototiller or lawn roller for convenience and tools from Home Depot that can be delivered. You’ll also need grass types of your choosing – either strips or slabs – as well as cubic feet and square feet measurements of the area to determine how much is needed.

Additionally, purchasing your own sod seeds could help supplement any patching needs down the road.

Start prepping for laying in late winter by killing weeds, adding compost, and tilling soil before testing pH levels and mineral content if necessary. Once ready, level out bare lawns while ensuring proper drainage with patches filled in later on if needed before dampening soil.

Then unroll rows following patios or fence lines with no wrinkles remaining afterwards when pressing into the ground firmly until good contact has been made with the soil below.

The watering process must not be neglected either; give newly laid sod an immediate drink right after installation followed by daily waterings during the first week. Then adjust the irrigation schedule accordingly thereafter too! Trimming once reaching three inches tall should follow soon enough while fertilizing post-mowing yields great nutrient gains overall, especially organic ones at that time indeed.

Thus, completing a successful project altogether without question here today. Now don’t forget everything required prior; otherwise, you might have some serious consequences from the lack thereof later on this year still left unchecked yet.

Steps to Grow Sod

Steps to Grow Sod
If you’re looking to grow your own sod, it’s important to choose the right type of grass seed. Setting up a greenhouse can help with germination and growth, while filling trays with soil is essential for planting the seeds.

Make sure to water regularly, and then all that’s left is waiting for them to sprout! With these steps in mind, you’ll have fresh sod ready shortly.

Choose Grass Seed

Choose the best grass seed for your lawn, imagining lush green blades that stretch as far as the eye can see – you’ll be glad you did! Consider warm- and cool-season types with sun exposure, soil mix, and water requirements in mind.

  • Warm-season grass needs regular watering and more sun.
  • Cool-season grass prefers less water and shade.
  • Fresh sod lawns require frequent watering plus special care.

Set Up Greenhouse

Set up a greenhouse to provide the perfect environment for your sod! For the northern half of the U.S., use mulching and trays or shelving space. Ensure soil type, watering patterns, fertilizing, and weed control suit existing sod and avoid compaction.

Fill Trays With Soil

Fill trays with soil to create an inviting atmosphere for your sod. Consider the type of soil, tray choice, fertilizer use, seed selection, and watering methods for new sod. Use a sod knife to cut it into pieces if needed and add liquid plant food to help promote healthy grass growth.

Plant Grass Seed

Sprinkle grass seed over the soil in your trays to start growing sod for a lush lawn.

  1. Germination rate and sunlight requirements;
  2. Fertilization strategies and weed control;
  3. Soil moisture level; and
  4. Transition zone needs of homegrown sod per square foot of tray space needed for desired area size in square feet of sod. For assistance with local climate-specific advice, check with your local cooperative extension office! Planting grass seeds is an invigorating process that yields rewarding results when done correctly!

Water and Wait

Water your sod daily for the first week to get it established. 95% of the water used during this time is absorbed by the grass. Beforehand, soil preparation and cutting/patching gaps are key. To ensure success, understand the watering frequency based on the type of sod; use a spray bottle in dry areas and moisten the area before fertilizing tips after installation.

How to Care for Fresh Sod

How to Care for Fresh Sod
Once your fresh sod is installed, you’ll want to ensure it’s properly cared for so that it can thrive. Proper care includes watering the lawn regularly and fertilizing when needed. It also involves mowing and trimming the grass on a regular basis, as well as patching any large bare spots in order to keep a lush green look throughout the entire yard.

If you live in an area with hot summers, consider investing in sprinklers or irrigation systems that will help save precious weekend hours spent manually watering your lawn every day! For those living in the southern half of the U.

For anyone looking for how to make their own sod from scratch – whether they’re experienced gardeners or newbie orchid enthusiasts – there are some key steps involved: measure out your space accurately; prepare the soil by killing weeds, adding compost, and tilling; decide which type of seed works best for you; sow seeds at the appropriate depth; water regularly and adjust accordingly based on weather conditions, etc.

Finally, don’t forget about proper maintenance such as mowing and applying fertilizer once established.

When Can I Grow Sod?

When Can I Grow Sod?
You can grow sod anytime of year, but it’s best to start in the spring when temperatures are mild and rainfall is plentiful. This ensures that your sod will have a healthy base from which to thrive throughout the growing season.

Consider installing nearly 6-foot long shelves of grass on any bare patch of lawn or irregular patches of different grass types for an instant boost in property value.

When planting sod, make sure you water it regularly – especially during dry spells – fertilize and trim every few weeks for optimal growth results! Doing so will help ensure that you end up with a lush green lawn all summer long while also helping preserve its beauty over time.

Additionally, don’t forget about proper maintenance such as mowing and applying fertilizer once established; this will go a long way towards maintaining healthy turf year-round!

With some preparation ahead of time and regular care after installation, your new sodded yard should be ready just in time for summer barbecues or backyard parties!

Cost of Growing Vs Buying Sod

Cost of Growing Vs Buying Sod
When it comes to installing a new lawn, you have the option of either growing your own sod or purchasing pre-grown turf. Homegrown sod can provide an economical solution and allows you to customize the type of grass used in your yard, while purchased sod offers fast results with minimal effort.

Homegrown Sod

Growing your own sod can be a rewarding experience, giving you lush and vibrant grass that will make your yard the envy of the neighborhood! Start by getting ready for nearly spring: water regularly, fill the soil with grass seed, and patch up any bare patches.

Then, lay trays side-by-side in an area with at least six inches of space between them, using duct tape to secure them together.

Once it’s time for installation, cut into individual pieces before laying them out on topsoil – use additional soil as needed to fill in any gaps or low spots. Finally, give it lots of water over its first few weeks so that roots have enough moisture while establishing themselves properly.

With consistent care and maintenance – mowing regularly as well – you’ll soon reap the rewards of having grown your very own sodded lawn!

Purchased Sod

Purchasing sod is an efficient way to get a lush lawn quickly; it’s like instant gratification in grass form! While much financial sense can be made by doing the job yourself, buying pre-grown turf comes with its own advantages.

You won’t have to worry about mowing, fertilizing, and weeding until your new turf has settled in – just give it lots of water during that time for optimal results.

Tasks DIY Pre-Grown Sod
Seeding & Preparation No need for this step when purchasing sod – all the work is done for you! Hours saved: 6+ Cost savings: $25+ Time savings: 1 day + Payoff time frame : Immediate Quality assurance : High Risk level : Low Difficulty factor : Easy Satisfaction rate Highest

Patching Up With Sod

Patching Up With Sod
Smoothing out any thin patches in your lawn with extra sod pieces can help to create an even, lush landscape. To do this properly, first dampen the soil using a hose or sprinkler system. Then, unroll the new sod over the thin area.

Next, use cut pieces of turf to fill in any gaps between each strip of grass and trim around edges for a neat finish.

Testing pH levels is important before installation, so make sure that you adjust accordingly if necessary.

Finally, be sure to fertilize your newly laid sod regularly for optimal growth and health benefits.

Measure and Purchase Sod

Measure and Purchase Sod
Measuring the area of your lawn and purchasing the correct amount of sod is key for achieving a pristine landscape – so don’t be stingy on those precious blades!

Preparing the soil before laying down turf is essential. This includes killing weeds, adding compost to enrich nutrients, tilling for aeration, and testing pH levels.

When deciding what type of sod you need – strips or slabs – consider ordering online from Home Depot with delivery services if necessary.

Tools rental can also come in handy when tackling larger projects. Think rototillers or lawn rollers.

For optimal results, it’s best to store newly purchased sod in shade until installation day arrives.

Once ready to lay down that fresh new grass, make sure everything is level and there are no drainage issues first.

Unroll strips/slabs following lines such as patios or fences smoothly. Press firmly against the ground using a roller/plywood, avoiding air pockets at all costs. Fill any gaps with extra pieces cut off accordingly around obstructions such as trees, etc.

Water immediately after installation, then daily during the first week. Adjust irrigation schedules afterwards while trimming once it reaches three inches in height.

Prep Soil and Lay Sod

Prep Soil and Lay Sod
Prepare the soil by killing weeds, adding compost, tilling, and testing pH and mineral levels to ensure a successful sod installation – you’ll be amazed at the instant results! A rototiller or lawn roller can come in handy for larger projects.

Before laying down turf, consider what type of sod is needed: strips or slabs? Dampen up your soil before unrolling neatly following lines such as patios or fences. Smooth out any wrinkles with extra pieces cut off around obstructions like trees when filling gaps.

Press firmly against the ground using a roller/plywood, avoiding air pockets, then water immediately afterwards; daily during the first week, adjusting watering needs accordingly.

Sod Types Laying Tools Watering Needs
Strips Rototiller Daily First Wk :heavy_check_mark:
Slabs Lawn Roller :heavy_check_mark: Adjust Afterwards :heavy_check_mark:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of soil is best for growing sod?

Sod needs soil that is rich, loamy, and well-draining. Add a bit of compost for added nutrients and prevent weeds by ensuring it is weed-free.

How often should I mow my sod?

Mow your sod when it reaches 3 inches high. Cut no more than one-third of the grass blade at a time and fertilize afterward to ensure healthy growth. Regular mowing will help keep weeds away and maintain an attractive lawn throughout the year.

What tools should I use to install sod?

Installing sod is an easy DIY project that can be made even easier with the right tools.

How long does it take for sod to establish itself?

With diligent care and timely watering, sod can establish itself in 4-6 weeks. However, proper fertilization will help ensure a lush lawn more expeditiously.

Is it possible to reseed existing sod?

Yes, it’s possible to reseed existing sod! However, you must be careful when doing so as the new seeds may not establish themselves as quickly or easily. To ensure success, use a high-quality seed mix and plenty of fertilizer for faster germination and quicker establishment.


As you can see, installing and growing your own sod is a feasible project. It requires some planning and effort, but with the correct materials and knowledge, you can have a stunning lawn in no time.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.