From Bare to Lush: Transforming Your Outdoor Areas with Sod

Updated May 27th, 2024

Transforming your outdoor space into green oases is a process that can completely change the look and purpose of your yard. Installing sod is one of the most efficient solutions to achieve this goal.

A lawn creates a functional space for recreation and relaxation, improves air quality, and helps preserve the ecosystem.

Understanding Sod

Sod is a pre-grown grass surface that is laid out in rolls on prepared soil. It is a quick and efficient method for creating green areas as it allows for an instant transformation of the yard. The main difference between laying sod and seeding grass is the time and effort required to establish green spaces.

Sod will provide almost immediate results, while seeding takes several months for germination and growth. Additionally, sod has a higher resistance to weeds and erosion, whereas seeding requires more careful maintenance during the growth period.

However, it is important to choose the appropriate type of grass for your specific conditions, climate, and soil.

The right choice of grass ensures a long-lasting, resilient, and aesthetically pleasing lawn that will best meet the needs of your space. Among the most popular varieties of cultivated sod are Bermuda grass, Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Buffalo grass.

Bermuda grass is highly drought—and heat-resistant, grows quickly, and forms a dense, wear-resistant lawn, making it often used for sports fields. It thrives best in warmer regions and sunny locations.

Zoysia grass is adaptable and thrives in various climatic conditions and circumstances. It will do well in areas with drought, rainfall, and shade. Its exceptionally soft texture makes it a perfect choice if you have small children or plan outdoor activities.

St. Augustine grass forms a dense lawn and thrives in heat and humidity. It is often used for yards and commercial spaces and is exceptionally resistant to various diseases.

Buffalo grass is by far one of the most drought-resistant varieties. Although it can be more demanding during the installation process, once fully established, it forms a dense and rich lawn.

Benefits of Using Sod

Installing cultivated sod allows for the immediate transformation of your outdoor space. Unlike seeding, which requires a more extended period for growth, sod provides quick results and instantly creates an attractive and functional environment.

It is also highly effective in stabilizing soil and controlling erosion. The dense root networks secure the soil, preventing it from washing away and shifting during rains or strong winds.

Sod lawns also have a lower likelihood of developing weeds compared to seeding. A thick and compact lawn creates a layer that makes growing weeds difficult. In contrast, lawns grown from seed often leave gaps during germination and growth, allowing weeds to spread more quickly.

Preparing for Sod Installation

Soil Preparation:

Proper soil preparation is a key step before laying the lawn. This involves cleaning, leveling, testing, and improving the soil’s quality.

Soil Testing:

Take soil samples from different parts of the area you plan to cover with the lawn and test their pH value. Testing will provide information about nutrient levels and soil structure.


Based on the testing results, you can take specific steps to improve soil quality and, thus, the appearance of the grass. To enrich the soil, add the appropriate fertilizer or organic matter like compost.

Measuring and Ordering:

Measure the area you want to cover with sod. Find out how many square meters a roll of sod covers. After calculating the required amount, order the sod from a reliable producer.

It’s always a good idea to order a bit more sod than you need to have a reserve in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Sod

  1. Procurement and Preparation of Sod: Obtain the appropriate variety of grass from a reliable producer according to your yard’s conditions.
  2. Ground Preparation: Clear the area of all obstacles, including weeds, stones, and debris. Examine the ground and level it, correcting any irregularities.
  3. Sod Installation: It would be best to have professionals install the sod to ensure it takes root properly.
  4. Watering and Maintenance: Immediately after laying the sod, water it thoroughly to help it settle. Continue to water regularly during the first few weeks to maintain soil moisture. Avoid walking on the newly laid sod until the roots are fully established.
  5. Timing: The best time to install sod is in the spring or early summer when temperatures are mild and the soil is moist. If necessary to install sod during warmer periods, do it in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

The proper watering after sod installation is essential. Freshly installed sod is prone to stress and has limited ability to absorb moisture from the soil.

Proper watering in the early stages of sod installation lays the foundation for long-term growth and grass health. A well-rooted lawn is more resistant to extreme conditions and requires less maintenance in the future.

Post-Installation Care


The watering schedule after sod installation depends on several factors, including weather conditions, soil type, and grass variety.

As mentioned, immediately after laying the sod, water it thoroughly to ensure it settles nicely. In the first days after installation, the sod should be watered frequently, usually 2-3 times a day, to maintain soil moisture. Later, after 1-2 weeks, reduce the watering frequency to once a day or as needed.

The amount of water needed depends on the weather conditions, the soil’s absorption characteristics, and the grass variety. In hot or dry periods, watering the lawn more frequently may be necessary to maintain adequate moisture. In cooler or rainy periods, you can reduce the watering frequency.

Mowing Tips

Wait for the new grass to grow to a height of about 8-10 centimeters before you start mowing. It usually takes 2-3 weeks after installation.

Use a quality lawnmower with sharp blades. Use a lawnmower with a grass catcher to remove the cut grass from the surface if possible. Adjust the mowing height on the lawnmower according to the characteristics of the grass variety you have chosen.

Regular mowing is crucial for maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn. In spring and summer, the lawn should be mowed once a week, while in autumn, the frequency can be reduced. Follow the 1/3 rule, which means not cutting more than a third of the grass’s height.

Avoid mowing if the grass is wet from rain. Mow the lawn when the soil is dry to avoid creating mud or damaging the lawn.

Fertilizing and Ongoing Maintenance

Regular soil testing helps determine the nutrient needs. Based on the test results, choose a fertilizer that will meet the needs of your lawn.

Fertilize at the appropriate times, usually in spring and autumn. Spring fertilization stimulates growth and green color, while autumn fertilization prepares the lawn for winter and encourages root development.

Use fertilizer with a balanced nutrient ratio, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and evenly distribute the fertilizer over the lawn’s surface.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overlapping or leaving gaps on the lawn is a common problem. Overlapping can hinder grass growth and create uneven surfaces that can be dangerous for walking.

Leaving gaps can result in visible differences in lawn height, ruining the aesthetic experience. If not properly maintained and filled, gaps can also be more susceptible to weed penetration and soil erosion.

Insufficient or excessive watering can have various harmful effects on the health and aesthetics of the lawn. Insufficient watering can lead to grass dehydration, manifesting as the lawn’s wilted, shriveled, or brown parts. Dry grass is also more susceptible to diseases and pests like fungi and insects.

However, excessive watering is also a problem as it can damage roots and reduce oxygen availability, leading to root rot. Too much moisture also creates favorable conditions for fungal diseases. Excess water can slow down grass growth and cause poor nutrient absorption.

Neglecting early signs of pests or diseases can have serious consequences. If appropriate control measures are not taken, pests and diseases can quickly spread across the lawn. The longer you wait to react, the harder it will be to resolve and control the problem.

Preventive action and early detection of pests or diseases can save money and time in the long-term maintenance of the lawn. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the condition of your lawn regularly and immediately address any irregularities.


Installing sod will quickly and efficiently transform your yard. You will get a true green oasis ideal for rest, relaxation, and various activities.

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