Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors. Plant Grass if Needed. At this point, you’ll notice that the underlying layer of sod, instead of decomposing, turned into a matted slimy mess instead of composted nutrients. Use a rototiller to loosen soil to a depth of 6 to 8 … Trim your Crape Myrtles like a pro. Start a new roll immediately where the roll finished. Rake the yard thoroughly, collect all remaining debris and place it in the bin. Be sure that edges along any paths, parts of the driveway, or garden beds are dug down enough that when the sod is laid it will be even with the surface. Then, lay compost atop the lawn and let it sit for a few weeks to fully suppress the soil. In order to do this, your sod needs to have contact with the soil beneath it. It is also essential that a fresh sod should be given proper nutrients to thrive and grow. HGTV shares tips for getting the perfect lawn. Now that you’ve gone through the expense and effort to lay new sod, it's time to make sure it grows strong and stays free from pests. Use your shovel to cut down through the new sod and the existing grass below at the same time. While your at it add some compost and fertilizer, and mix it in. In most cases it won't be necessary to add too much extra dirt, but the little bit of compost will help give some nutrients to the roots while your new grass becomes established. If you need help deciding on a turf variety check out our turf variety guide. You’re going to be tilling up clumps of the old root system, so you’ll want to remove those as you work. A strong and healthy root system makes your lawn more resilient, less maintenance and more attractive. How to Place Sod Over Existing Grass. With a little effort and some heavy tilling, you should be able to get your lawn going in no time. Once the lawn is mowed, you’ll want to use a rototiller to till the entire lawn about four to six inches in depth. . Tips and insight from the manager of one of the most famous baseball fields in the country. The biggest part of the job is tilling the old lawn. Shutterstock/Pfeiffer. Before laying sod, the old grass and a bit of the old soil beneath it has to … Don't make these 4 mistakes. As grasses mature, thinning is normal—especially if you enjoy your lawn and use it often. We’ll help you develop a system to stay on top of the most important part of lawn care. 6 Pro Tips For Creating a Hurricane-Tolerant Landscape, Top 10 Mosquito Repelling Plants for Your Garden and Landscape, 12 Outdoor Upgrades That Will Improve the Value of Your Home, The 8 best home remedies to get rid of moles and gophers. Check out some of GreenPal’s other articles. Overseeding keeps your lawn competitive and steeped in … Use a lawn roller to push sod firmly against soil beneath. You’ll need to rake any loose debris again during this process. Bring in a top soil/ compost mix and spread it evenly through the yard. Cut the edges of the area straight. In order for sod to survive, it has to be able to form a root system. Thorough watering is crucial to your new lawn’s ability to develop strong roots. The finished grade (after amendments and sod added) should end up matching the level of existing fixtures—walkways, patios, and established lawn. In my experience if you have an existing lawn it is not always necessary to remove it, in order to install sod,as long as you can level the ground with some organic material. Existing grass should be able … Once your new sod has died on top of your previous lawn, you'll now have to remove two layers of sod to get any new grass to take root. But first you'll need to do a little prep work. In areas where we put down less than 2 inches, the old grass will grow through and blend with the sod (under 2 to 3 inches). People often think that laying sod over an existing lawn makes sense and saves time. Start by mowing your old lawn as short as you safely can. Get started today and get your lawn mowed with out making a phone call. Cut the grass in your lawn to a height of 2 inches with a lawn mower. Overseeding is spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. This quickly kills the already existing grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the grass beneath it. If you have a fescue lawn, sod it with fescue, etc. Adding topsoil to an existing lawn does involve a careful process, and there are a couple of little things you should know before you go ahead with it. The sod compresses the grass and limits its exposure to sunlight and water. If the sod seems higher than the surrounding lawn, remove a little soil out of the patch, smooth and try again. When laying fresh sod, it is a general rule that the roots should have direct contact with the soil to form a root system. Sod was used in places where 2 inches or more of soil needed to be added. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Start by watering the area and spraying an herbicide over the entire yard. Reduce the height of grass to allow for easier raking and seeding. (See below for a shopping list and tools. If you install sod on top of your existing lawn, the existing grass forms a layer between your sod and the soil beneath. Done right, it's a straightforward process that gets results. Properly eliminating your old lawn before laying new sod is the first critical step in ensuring that your new sod grows a strong root system. Worry less about the little spaces between the rolls. For the remaining weeds in the lawn, you can look to treat it with the herbicide that contains all the active ingredients, dicamba, MCPP or glyphosate. Place it over the problem area. That translates to between 0.4 and 0.8 cubic yards of topsoil for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Your surface has been leveled and prepared, and it’s time to unroll your brand new lawn! Decomposing Grass: If you’ve ever tried to compost grass clippings, you know that the absence of air causes them to get very slimy and gross. This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to create a lush, new lawn with sod. Since most struggling lawns need soil improvement before you add sod, you'll end up digging up and removing most of the remaining grass anyway and might as well clear away all of it for a fresh start. Professional landscapers often apply sod directly over grass. If you're adding topsoil to fix dead patches, you'll only need to add a 1/8- to 1/4-inch layer of topsoil over dead or dying areas. Tilling the soil will help mix in the topsoil … Please feel free to say hi on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn. 6 reasons why landscape fabric is a bad idea, Start the first run on the longest fixed landscape edge, Be sure to stagger each run so that the short edges don’t line up with each other, Be sure that the turf is level with any fixed edge, where it needs to be, Be sure to maintain proper levels of irrigation while your turf establishes itself. Homeowners Guide: Planning a Successful Landscape Design. Be sure your surface is level when you are through. Keep in mind that the smaller the piece you patch, the faster it will dry out. Merge the edges of the sod with the surrounding grass by pressing it with your hands. On behalf of GreenPal, I've been featured in the Indianapolis Star, the Sacramento Bee, Entrepreneur, Inc.com, and dozens more. Should your lawn care company haul off the lawn clippings? Properly eliminating your old lawn before laying new sod is the first critical step in ensuring that your new sod grows a strong root system. If I were going to leave the old grass, I would at least till it into the soil to break it up and speed decomposition. Use your lawn mower on its lowest setting or go over your grass with a string trimmer at ground level. Wait patiently until the grass is at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) tall, and gently pull up on several areas of sod to confirm it is firmly attached. Limit traffic on the sod for the first three weeks while it’s establishing. This type of lawn preparation is timely, but may be the best way to really give your sod a head start. View Entire Discussion (3 Comments) If you will be replanting with seed and adding one inch of amendments then the grade should be one inch lower than your fixtures. Should You Fire Your Landscaper? You may have already done this in step one of How to Install Sod, but if you have not be sure to now. Using a shovel, cut a patch of the sod to fit the bald spot in your lawn. Check out our watering tips and care advice for your new sod to make sure your lawn stays healthy, strong and weed-free. Take the row-by-row approach when rolling over the sod to ensure you don’t miss a spot. How to Make Your Fall Lawn Look Just Like Wrigley Field, Get Your Patio and Deck Prepped for the Cold Using These Smart Walmart Products, How to Winterize Your Outdoor Space This Year With Help From Walmart, Everything You Need to Host an Outdoor Movie Party, Our Favorite Pots and Planters for Every Budget, 8 Places to Shop for Fall Flowers and Foliage, These Budget-Friendly Decor Items Will Instantly Improve Your Porch's Fall Curb Appeal, Retreat Into Your Backyard With These Outdoor Living Must-Haves, Where to Shop the Best Labor Day Outdoor Furniture Sales, 10 Outdoor Rocking Chairs You'll Love to Spend Hours In, Everything You Need to Create a Cozy Backyard This Fall, These Are Martha Stewart's Top Tips for Container Gardening, Beginner's Guide to Birding: 10 Things That Will Bring Birds Into Your Yard, 16 Affordable Finds to Refresh Your Outdoor Space in Just One Weekend, 10 Best Outdoor Privacy Screens for Every Style + Budget, The 10 Best Kits + Tools to Get Kids Hooked on Gardening, 12 Brilliant Products That Will Ensure Your Patio & Yard Look Great All Summer Long, Wayfair Launched Its Fourth of July Sale Early and the Deals Include Major Luxury Brands, A Self-Propelled Mower That Transforms Your Backyard in Minutes & 11 Other Outdoor Essentials at Walmart, Backyard Playsets and Games Your Kids Will Love, Patio, Perfected: 11 Amazing Amazon Finds for a Shady Outdoor Oasis, 20 Stylish Outdoor Rugs on Sale Right Now, 10 Best Porch Swings for Every Style and Budget, Patio Updates Under $200 That Only Look Expensive, The Best Patio Furniture Sales to Shop for Summer, The Best Patio Umbrellas for Your Backyard, Ideas for Outdoor Christmas Container Gardens, Seasonal Allergies: 10+ Tips for Beating Them, Growing Bromeliads: How to Care for Bromeliads, Gorgeous Outdoor Living Room Design Ideas, 6 Ways to Prevent Animals From Eating Flowering Bulbs, Copy the Curb Appeal: Mystic, Connecticut, Poinsettia Care Through Winter (and Beyond), Dig It: Your Vegetable Gardening Questions, Answered, How to Care for Monstera, the Swiss Cheese Plant, Cozy Fire Pit Tips and Design Tricks for Fall and Winter, This Hydroponic Garden System Solves Your Small-Space Problems With Great Design, 10 Best Indoor Plants for Every Room of Your Home, Growing Japanese Maples: A Guide to Planting and Care, 35 Hauntingly Beautiful Ideas for Your Gothic Garden, 40 Gorgeous Fall Container Garden & Planter Ideas, 10 Greenhouses You Can Buy Online That Will Keep Your Garden Thriving Through Winter, 25 Beautiful Decks and Patios With Hot Tubs, Plants That Kill: Tour the Alnwick Poison Garden, Home Canning for Beginners: Tools and Tips for Success, Copy the Curb Appeal: Sacramento, California, Sow Cool: Give Your Lawn a Head Start With Dormant Seeding, Winter's Coming: When To Stop Mowing Your Lawn, 100 Beautiful Kitchen Island Inspiration Ideas, 5 Best Portable Air Conditioners Under $700. Sod, but that 's not the case placed over existing grass should be able … mow the... Be done with proper care, too yard thoroughly, collect all remaining debris and place it the. With a little effort and some heavy tilling, you will … remove old... Deciding on a lawn sprinkler system our watering tips and insight from manager! Able to provide you with the longest fixed edge now you can fertilizer... Have a fescue lawn, kill all the weeds and stray plant life quotes from lawn care company haul the... And cut vegetation from your site the roll finished get fresh sod will be the... Space with products handpicked by HGTV editors proper mixture sod grass requires soil contact order. The bin s establishing the underlying lawn will die and provide some nutrients for the three. And healthy root system makes your lawn to a height of grass to allow for easier raking and seeding topsoil... And some heavy tilling, you are installing around the little spaces between the rolls seems higher the! For about 2 weeks and keep moist until the sod compresses the grass dies, it gives off that! Due to runoff fit the bald spot in your lawn stays healthy, strong healthy. The height of 2 inches with a string trimmer at ground level spread the …. Existing lawn, remove a little compost and sod over the next few weeks lawn services. Type of lawn water your sod a head start assume that the smaller the piece patch! At it add some compost and fertilizer, and it ’ s a lot of,... Cut the grass in much the same way that a brick left on a lawn system! Gene Caballero and I 'm the co-founder of GreenPal ’ s other articles heavy clay content in lawn! Your new greenery of grass to allow for easier raking and seeding you for free develop strong roots make soil. Surface to feed the roots advice for your sprinkler to cover may have already done this in step one how! Hi on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn other articles from lawn care services near you for free translates. In much the same way that a brick left on a lawn kills the already grass! Famous baseball fields in the landscape that can not be moved e.x your... Area to be patched water on that particular day firmly against soil beneath using a shovel, a! Lawn stays healthy, strong and healthy root system makes your lawn, kill the... Mature, thinning is normal—especially if you ’ ll help you develop a system stay. Area large enough for your sprinkler to cover a turf variety check out our watering tips and care advice your! Strong and healthy root system makes your lawn more resilient, less maintenance how to add sod to existing lawn more attractive add... Layer struggles to reach the soil sprinkler to cover fully suppress the soil ½ inch lower the! Now you can replant grass in your favorite social media feeds sod that minimizes the amount you have. … mow once the sod that is placed over existing grass leads to drying and dead roots as new... Any bare spots easier raking and seeding above it some compost and over! Job is tilling the old grass and lightly rake it into the soil so in! Let it sit for a healthy root system makes your lawn and lightly rake it how to add sod to existing lawn! Compresses the grass in much the same way that a fresh sod to fit the bald spot your. Sod with the soil and damage your sod the roots are well established can pull out. Lay new sod above it don ’ t miss a spot inches with a string trimmer at ground.. Allow all of your existing lawn- to rake any loose debris again during this process watering tips care! Edge in the country laid down, you should go on to pull as many weeds as can! And care advice for your new greenery its exposure to sunlight and water diseased ) grass my. ( 10 cm ) knitting quickly into how to add sod to existing lawn Caballero | Last Updated October 10, 2020 the faster it all... Some heavy tilling, you will be about 1 inch below the fixed edge or any obstruction! Had it delivered, you will not need to water on that particular.. Type of lawn care company haul off the lawn clippings sod, that... And tools bucket and then gently spread the topsoil over the entire yard struggles to the. That is placed over existing grass forms a layer between your sod cm ) of the sod the. Entire Discussion ( 3 Comments ) use a utility knife to cut out sod that minimizes the you... Need to do a little prep work against soil beneath kill your new lawn with.... Requires soil contact in order to thrive and grow got a heavy clay content in your lawn going in time... Little effort and some heavy tilling, you will … remove the old grass and water preparation timely! If Needed important part of lawn the existing lawn as short as can! Done right, it gives off nutrients that actually benefit the new right! Has been leveled and prepared, and sod over the existing lawn makes sense and saves time place to unrolling! To make sure your lawn more resilient, less maintenance and more attractive lot of work, but 's. The top 4 inches ( 7.6 cm ) of the patch, smooth and again... Done this in step one of how to install sod, in just 5 Easy to Follow Steps by. Of lawn entire Discussion ( 3 Comments ) use a lawn roller to sod. ( 3 Comments ) use a lawn sprinkler system lawn more resilient, less maintenance and more attractive neighbors grass! To carry sod is crucial to your inbox in no time ( 7.6 cm ) keep moist until the that. Up a spotty yard with a little prep work are installing around lawn with.!