Lawn Installation

One Month Before the
Sod Arrives

Step 1

Killing the Old Lawn
For the best results, first water and fertilize your lawn so that it is in a vigorous growth mode. Then spray entire lawn with Roundup. Carefully follow the directions on the packaging. Roundup is a highly effective herbicide that enters the plant through its foliage and is translocated all the way down to its root system. Two cycles of watering and spraying three weeks apart will usually completely kill your old lawn and weeds.


Step 2

Removing the Dead Lawn
Using a sod cutter, strip away the dead turf. Roll or section dead turf and discard it. Sod cutters can usually be found at a local rental yard or nursery.

Step 3

Rototill Soil & Install Sprinklers
First remove all rocks and debris and then rototill soil to a depth of 4" - 6". Consult local nurseryman for soil amendment and irrigation system recommendations.

Step 4

Rake and Fine Grade
Rake to break up large clods of soil and remove any remaining debris. Fine grade by scraping across the surface to smooth uneven areas.

Step 5

Install and Calibrate Sprinkler System
Be sure to properly install and test your new sprinkler system. It is much easier to do that before the lawn is established. Heads should be spaced to have full head to head overlap to avoid having dry patches and to promote even growth. Correct sprinkler layout can make or break a successful lawn installation. Follow these tips:

  1. Use the same sprinkler head model throughout the lawn.
  2. Space sprinklers so that they have 100% overlap.
  3. Place a sprinkler head in each geometric corner.
  4. Group sprinklers in areas of sun and shade on separate valves.

For more information on how to best water your lawn, refer to our Irrigation Guide.

Step 6

Finish Grade
After installing irrigation, finish grade to 1/2″ below walkways. Please note sod is uniformly machine cut and will conform to any irregularities.

Step 7

Applying Fertilizer
Distribute fertilizer evenly over prepared area either by hand or by using a “whirlybird” style applicator. Avoid applying under windy conditions. For best results, follow directions on the bag.

Step 8

Roll the Soil
Roll soil to settle and firm the surface. Fine grade again if necessary. Soil should be dry to avoid compaction.

Once The Sod Arrives

Step 1

Immediately Lay the Sod
Begin laying sod adjacent to the longest boundary of the area to be covered. Stagger each new row of sod so that seams are offset, as in a brick wall. Butt ends and edges tightly together. Cut sod with heavy knife to conform to curved boundaries or planters. After the installation of approximately every 200 square feet, lightly water the sod to prevent wilting.

Step 2

Roll the Sod
When all the sod is installed, use a roller over the entire lawn to ensure a good contact between the sod and native soil.

Step 3

Water the Lawn
After all the sod is down and rolled, turn on your sprinklers and let them run until the sod is soaked. Check Lawn Watering Schedules for more details.

Step 4

Mowing the Lawn
Mowing should begin one week after installation. Check out our Mowing Guide for more details.

Congratulations on Your New Lawn!