Turf Grass Sod Installation Tips

Here are sod installation tips to make your next project a great success.  Please download our tip sheet for newly installed grass for more information.  Careful preparation is the key to successful installation.  If you cut corners here, you risk wasting the money you’re spending for your new turf grass lawn.  If you have any questions about installing your Houston Grass sod, please give us a call at 281-431-7441.

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Grass Sod Installation Tips

Houston Grass made all the difference in my project. This spring my next door neighbor and I decided to replace our SOD with San Augustine. We followed the same procedure and used the same tools to kill and prepare our lawns. The only difference was that my neighbor used our landscapers to purchase his grass and I got mine form Houston Grass. Long story short my lawn looks perfect I get almost daily comments from my neighbors about how the project turned out. My next door neighbor’s grass looks sparse, has dead thatch under the green grass and the sod cut is much thicker than mine (i.e. too much dirt under the grass). His lawn will get there but it will be a lot of work this summer nursing it along. Oh one last thing I paid $800 less to purchase and install my grass than he did.

Houston BBB Review


Houston BBB Review

Preparation for Sod Installation

Remove all debris from the installation project area. This includes sticks, bricks, old lumber, tree stumps and anything else that might impede root growth.

After Professional Sod Installation from Houston Grass
After Professional Sod Installation from Houston Grass

Spray all existing weeds and grasses with Round-Up. Allow approximately a week to 10 days for the weeds to die.

If you see any green after 7 to 10 days, you need to spray those areas again. If you lay your grass on top of live weeds, they could contaminate your new grass.

After the existing weeds and vegetation are dead, you need to remove the material. Ideally you’d use a sod cutter, but many times you can get away with using a weed eater to do that.

If you have uneven areas you need to fill them in with topsoil. You want to fix any drainage issues now because it will be too late after your grass sod installation. Adding top soil all over your project area is a great idea, but sometimes the expense of removing existing soil and bringing in top soil is too high for homeowners.

Do not apply any pre-plant fertilizer or pre-emergent herbicide prior to planting. These two inputs can cause severe damage to the root system you are trying to establish.

Just before installing your grass, you should cut away dirt next to your concrete maybe a half to three quarters of an inch below the level of the sidewalk. This ensures that where your pieces of grass lay alongside the sidewalks so you won’t see the dirt layer under the grass. A flat shovel, usually works best for this. This will allow your grass pieces to lay flush with the concrete, and it will give your installation a much neater look. 

Installing Your New Sod

Be sure you are ready to start sod installation as soon as the turf is delivered. If the sod is not laid promptly you run the risk of your grass dying before it is ever planted. Begin installing sod along a driveway or sidewalk, pushing edges together tightly without stretching. Use a sharp knife, spade or machete to trim edges of sod to fit the landscape. Be sure to stagger joints of the sod in a brick-like (running bond) pattern to avoid continuous seams. Always place sod across steep slopes and stake in place if needed. In hot weather, you should place unused grass in the shade and keep it moist until it is laid.

Once your grass has been installed it should be watered immediately. Be sure you have adequate irrigation equipment to water your grass to a point of complete saturation, that is, where water begins to run off within a few hours. This watering to saturation should be done only once.

The purpose of the first day watering is to give the grass a “jumpstart” after it has been transplanted and to “seal” the grass to the ground and make sure that there are no air pockets between the bottom of the new blocks of grass and the ground.

The watering schedule after installation day depends on the season of the year. Our Houston Grass tip sheet for newly installed grass gives detailed guidance on how often you should water and how much to water your new grass.

This procedure should continue until the sod firmly attaches itself with the new root system. It’s especially critical that you follow our watering recommendations during the hotter months of the year.

houston grass south watering field of Texturf 10 Bermudagrass
Watering new Texturf 10 Bermudagrass

Get Professional Installation Help if You Need It

Call us at 281-431-7441 to arrange for professional grass sod installation. Properly cared for, your new grass will enhance the beauty of your home for many years. Why not give your grass a great start with professional installation?