Blog / 3 Steps to Preparing Your Soil for Sod Installation

Installing sod is a great way to have a lush, green lawn immediately and not having to endure the time and effort needed to grow grass from seed. But sod installation involves more than just tossing down rolls of grass. 

You still need to prepare your soil so that the sod can develop a healthy root system and allow the grass to thrive in its new home. Follow the steps below to prepare your soil for a fresh layer of sod. 

Sod Installation: How to Prepare Your Yard

Step 1: Rip out what’s there

First, you’ll need to remove any grass or weeds that are currently on the ground. This can be done by renting a sod cutter from your local hardware store and using it to slice off the roots of your existing lawn. It’s important to cut off the roots so the grass (and especially weeds) don’t come creeping back in. 

Step 2: Prep the soil

When you return the sod cutter, rent a rototiller and loosen up the top 6-8 inches of soil. Have a soil test conducted to learn what kind of nutrients or other amendments your soil needs to achieve the proper level of acidity for the type of grass you’ll be installing. Finally, use a spreader to put down some starter fertilizer. 

Step 3: Level the surface

Use a rake to level out the surface and tamp it down to about an inch lower than any adjoining driveways or paved walkways. If you have claylike soil, you may want to add a couple inches of sand to the top to improve drainage. Water lightly to dampen the soil. 

Call on Redwood Land Design

After preparing your soil, you’ll be ready to lay down your sod. But that’s where things can get tricky. Installing sod requires precise cutting and laying the sod down in a way that eliminates air pockets, wrinkles, loose areas, and footprints. Not to mention rolls of sod can be extremely heavy to handle. 

Luckily for you, the professionals at Redwood Land Design make it look easy. We’ll start by having company owner Matt Timmerman visit your property to perform a free consultation and discuss your soil needs and other preparations along with the best type of grass for your environment.

We’re ready to help at any stage of the process, be it soil preparation, sod installation or a variety of other landscaping and hardscaping services. 

Give us a call today to see how we can help with your project.