Having a beautiful lawn requires the correct installation techniques.  Prompt installation on the day sod is delivered is crucial to a strong beginning for your lawn.  Protect un-laid sod during hot or windy weather by placing stacks in a shaded area, covering with moist burlap sacking and/or sprinkling with water.  Soil should be cooled by sprinkling with water in extreme heat to avoid shock to sod.

The estimated time to lay 500 sq feet (1 pallet) of sod per person is 30 minutes.  Laying time may vary due to obstacles and accessibility to the work area.

  • Begin installing sod along the longest straight line, such as a driveway or sidewalk.
  • Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching.
  • Avoid gaps and overlaps.
  • Stagger the joints in each row in a brick-like fashion, using a sharp knife to trim corners, etc.
  • Avoid leaving small strips at outer edges as they will not retain moisture.
  • On slopes, place the sod pieces across the slope.  Steeper slopes may require sod pins to help hold sod in place during the rooting process.  We have pins available at the office.
  • Avoid causing indentation or air pockets by avoiding kneeling or repeated walking on sod while it is being installed or just after watering.
  • Roll entire area to improve sod-soil contact and remove air pockets.
  • Be sure to water area within 1/2 hour of installing.


1)  Clear the site.  All building materials, as well as any buried stumps, rocks, or other debris that is larger than 2-3 inches in diameter.

2)  Rough grade the entire area.  This will help eliminate any drainage problems on the property.  Slope the grade away from building foundations, fill in low-lying areas, and reduce or eliminate severe slopes.  Rough grading will usually uncover more debris that should be removed, not buried.

3)  Initial tilling.  Till to a depth of at least 2 inches before any topsoil is added.  This helps control more annual weeds, alleviate subsoil compaction, improves root penetration as well as air exchange and water movement.

4)  Add topsoil.  A topsoil suitable for the area should be 4-6 inches in depth after firming.

5)  Apply "starter fertilizer".  Use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus ( the "P" or middle number on the bag of fertilizer) and apply at the rate recommended by the manufacturer.  Fertilizer should be raked into the top 3-4 inches of soil to prevent root injury to newly installed sod.  We have a recommended starter fertilizer available at the office.

6)  Finish grade.  The entire site should be graded again, maintaining the rough grading contours and slopes.

7)  Roll the area.  Use a lawn roller 1/3 full of water to firm and settle.  Low spots revealed by doing this should be filled to match the surrounding grade surface.  It is best to allow the area to settle further with rainfall or by applying irrigation water.

The site is now ready for sod.  With careful preparation the results will be successful.  Less maintenance, smaller quantities of water, fertilizer and pesticides are required to maintain a beautiful lawn.

Proper site preparation and soil improvement will help grass roots penetrate deeply and evenly.  Deep root systems make a more drought resistant, dense lawn that crowds out weeks and resists insects and disease.

Northern Hills Sod Farm, LLC


Soil Preparation


Preparing For Your Lawn

*Any unwanted grasses must be sprayed with a grass killer that has 2% glyphosate in the label, for example Round-Up, at least two weeks or as directed according to product label before the initial tilling.  DO NOT USE ANY PRODUCT THAT HAS GROUND/VEGETATION KILLER OR EXTENDED CONTROL ON THE LABEL!  Doing so will prevent anything from growing for at least one year.  If you have any questions please contact your local extension office (phone numbers are listed in links).

Northern Hills Sod Farm, LLC guarantees our product to be alive and healthy at time of pick up or delivery.  Unfortunately, many variables restrict us from warranting our product (ex. poor soil conditions, product not being installed in a timely manner, lack of or too much water, etc.)  Due to the characteristics of our product, we cannot refund any unused product. 

We consider customer service important, if at any time you have questions or concerns we will gladly help you find information or a professional lawn care business to assist you.

Taking good care of your lawn requires no more work overall than taking poor care of it.  A lawn that is properly mowed, fertilized and watered has far fewer problems with weeds, diseases and insects.  A well kept lawn also remains dense and attractive, providing you much more enjoyment and environmental benefits.

New sod needs to be watered 1 inch within a 1/2 hour of being laid.  The soil should be moist 3-4 inches below the surface.

Watering Tips:

  • Pull back a corner of the sod and push a screwdriver or other sharp tool into the soil.  It should push in easily and have moisture in the first 3-4 inches below the surface.
  • Make absolutely certain that water is getting to all areas of your new lawn, regardless of the type of sprinkler system you use.  Corners, edges, and areas next to buildings are easily missed by many sprinklers and are particularly vulnerable to drying out faster that the enter portion of your lawn.
  • Runoff may occur on some soils and sloped ares before the soil is adequately moist.  To conserve water and ensure adequate soak-in, turn off the water when runoff begins, wait 30 minutes to one hour and restart the watering on the same area, repeating this process until the correct soil moisture is achieved.
  • As the sod starts to knit its new roots, it will be difficult, impossible and/or harmful to pull back a corner to check beneath the sod, but you can push through it with a screwdriver or other sharp tool to check for soil moisture.