How to Prepare the Ground for New SOD?

by Carter Toni

Nature adds an exquisite taste to our everyday life. Picture this- waking up to the warmth of the morning sunlight in a green and well-kept lawn- sounds inviting. Right?

SOD comes as the ideal choice when you want to transform your old lawn or when you want to do away with the dry unkempt grass in your compound. Like a drip of milk transforms a glass of water, SOD grass can entirely change your compound into a fresh new look.

To successfully install SOD grass on your lawn, you must follow the most appropriate steps to achieve the most satisfactory outcome.

  • Soil testing

Soil testing should be the first aspect you consider when preparing your ground for new SOD and want a classy outcome.

It’s advisable that you collect soil samples from 10 different spots and fill several buckets with at least 4-6 inches of soil. The samples should be sent to your local extension for testing a month before laying your SOD. This gives you ample time to receive the results and prepare the appropriate ground for the SOD.

  • Weed and debris clearing on the soil

After collecting soil samples and sending them to your local extension, the next crucial step is to clear all weeds and debris on your preferred land portion.

All branches, rocks, and logs should be cleared off the ground. Note that laying your SOD on big solid objects can result in an uneven and lumpy lawn.

Weed clearing MUST be done before your lawn is laid- this can be achieved by using glyphosate herbicides that kill a variety of weeds. The herbicides should be applied at least 2-4 weeks before to ensure your ground is weeds-free by the time you lay your lawn.

  • Soil Grading

Soil smoothing and tilling are crucial to help achieve a smooth and refined ground for your lawn. This is achieved by using a rake or a shovel to break large soil lumps and make the ground level and even.

When the soil samples are out, topsoil and manure should be added to the smooth surface, and fertilizer applied as directed by the sample results. Using a rototiller, till the ground up to 4 inches to integrate all the components you just added to the soil.

  • Fine grading the soil

After adding topsoil, manure, and fertilizer, the last step should be soil grading. Using a lawn roller and a heavy mat, smoothen the ground while still packing the soil. This gives a smooth surface ready for your SOD laying.

  • Soil watering

Soil watering should be the last step before laying your SOD. Watering should be done moderately to achieve a sticky texture. Note that a soggy ground can damage the young roots before they are appropriately attached to the ground.


After preparing the ground, the best thing to do is contact a professional installer to lay the SOD lawn for you. Once your lawn is professionally installed, continue watering it with moderate amounts of water until it is well and firmly grounded to the soil. After a few weeks, you can rest assured that you’ll have a beautiful and flourishing SOD lawn!

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