rolling out sod

Sod Installation: How to Find Sod Near Me and Grow Grass

By: Tara Sebolt

The House Method team researches, reviews, and recommends a number of services, including lawn care providers. Affiliate disclosure.

Growing a lawn from scratch takes a lot of work. Just waiting for the grass to grow may take several weeks. After the grass begins to sprout, you’ve got to carefully monitor it to make sure it grows uniformly.

Sod offers an alternative to traditionally grown lawns. Our guide to finding sod near you will help you determine if sod is the right choice for your lawn. We’ll give you a step-by-step plan of the sod installation process and how to care for it once installed.

Although sod can offer a quick solution to your lawn woes, there are other options available, too. If your lawn looks patchy or lackluster, you might consider a professional lawn care service company. At House Method, we recommend TruGreen for your overseeding and lawn treatment needs. Get a free quote today by calling TruGreen at 888.535.3193 or providing your zip code online.

What is sod?

Sod is grass with a small layer of soil attached that’s held together by a large root system or a biodegradable material. By being harvested as grass that already has roots developed, sod is often found in areas where landscaping needs to be completed quickly. It’s commonly found at golf courses, sports stadiums, schools, and businesses.

Most of these places don’t want to waste valuable time planting grass and waiting for it to grow. Sod allows them to install an instant lawn with established roots attached. Homeowners often choose to install sod for similar reasons. After all, a beautiful green lawn increases the curb appeal of a home while also giving a family an outdoor area to enjoy.

Benefits of sod

While the look of a nice lawn is important to most homeowners, sod also provides an array of other benefits as well. With sod, you get a lawn in no time. Seeding a lawn may take several months to grow to maturity. During this time, any water or wind that hits the lawn can potentially cause large amounts of erosion, especially on hills.

Similarly, mud and dust that come with seeding a new lawn are almost completely eliminated with sod. With already established roots and leaf stems, the sod doesn’t have to have exposed dirt after being installed. This means as you water it or it rains, your lawn doesn’t become a swampy, muddy mess.

freshly layed turf at housing estate garden

Why choose sod over grass seed?

There are pros and cons to both sod installation and using grass seed to grow a lawn. Generally, sod is seen as a good alternative to seeding a lawn because it’s not nearly as time-intensive. Below we’ve outlined a few of the main advantages and disadvantages between sod and seed.

Grass type Advantages Disadvantages
Sod
  • Gives you an instant lawn
  • Can handle traffic soon after installation
  • Cuts down on mud and erosion
  • Can be installed almost anytime during the growing season if water is available
  • Less likely to have weeds
  • Expensive to buy and install
  • Grass types are limited
  • Grown in sun/not as tolerant to shady areas
  • Large amounts of water needed for rooting
Seed
  • Many different varieties available, including mixes
  • Can choose seed that is tolerant of shade
  • Less expensive than sod
  • Roots establish in the soil where they will be staying
  • Timing is critical to avoid weeds and patchy areas
  • Takes longer to grow a full, dense lawn
  • May requiring reseeding or overseeding to fill patches
  • Weeds can take advantage of young grass

Where can I buy sod near me?

The easiest way to find high-quality sod near you is to look for a local sod farm using an online search. There are many sod companies across the country, and they sometimes provide delivery services when you buy sod from them. Different regions may have different varieties of grass available, so be sure to ask your sod supplier what is available in your region.

Who can install sod near me?

After your sod supplier delivers your new lawn, you will want to get started installing it right away. Some sod farms provide installation services as part of their sod services. While you can install sod yourself, you can also hire a professional landscaping or lawn care company to install the sod for you. Hiring a professional can help you save time as well as ensuring your new lawn is installed properly.

Rolled Sod Grass on a Pallet

Cost of sod

Sod prices are highly dependent on the type of grass you choose, as well as your location. Certain types of grasses will cost less than others. Sod is often priced per square foot, though sometimes you can purchase it in large rolls or pallets, depending on the size of your lawn. Below is a breakdown of some of the most popular types of grass for sod and the national average price per square foot.

Type of grass Warm-season or Cool-season Average cost range
Bluegrass Cool-season $0.30 per square foot
Ryegrass Cool-season $0.20–$0.50 per square foot
Fescue varieties Cool-season $0.25–$0.65 per square foot
St. Augustine Warm-season $0.30–$0.70 per square foot
Bermuda Warm-season $0.40–$0.80 per square foot
Zoysia Warm-season $0.40–$0.70 per square foot

You may be able to save some money by purchasing your sod for larger lawns in pallets. For example, Bermuda grass is one of the most expensive sods. If purchased in a pallet, the price is about $150 per pallet. Pallets generally hold 450 square feet of sod, so your price per square foot would be about $0.33, or $0.07 less than the lower end of the price range when bought per square foot.

Cost of sod installation

The cost per square foot of your sod doesn’t normally include delivery or installation. Delivery costs for sod usually range from $50–$100, but some sod companies will waive this fee for larger projects. Once the sod is delivered, you’ll need to install it. If you hire a professional landscaping company for the sod installation, you may be looking at an average of $30 an hour for labor costs. For a yard that’s 500 square feet, your sod installation cost per square foot will likely be at least $500, if not more.

How to install sod

By choosing to install your new sod lawn yourself, you can save yourself a lot of money on the cost. Installing sod isn’t necessarily difficult in theory, but it is hard labor. It also requires some planning before you order your sod. Our how-to guide will give you the essential steps how to prepare soil for sod.

Before you begin installing sod

After you’ve decided on sod installation for your lawn, the first step is prepping your soil for the sod. Before you begin making changes to the soil, it’s recommended that you perform a soil test. A soil test is a relatively simple process where you collect a small soil sample and send it into a lab for testing.

This easy test can give you important information about your lawn’s soil, including pH level and levels of vital nutrients. Your results allow you to mix fertilizers or other additives into your topsoil to meet the needs of your new sod lawn. Professional lawn care companies like TruGreen often provide soil tests as part of their initial lawn analysis.

Sod, being a living plant, should be installed within the first 24 hours of being harvested, if possible. Several days before your sod is delivered, you should prepare your soil for the installation. You can follow these steps to prep your soil for sod installation:

  1. Till the soil—Use a rototiller or spade to till your soil about 6 inches deep.
  2. Remove debris—Pick up any existing weeds, large rocks, or sticks from the freshly tilled soil.
  3. Level the soil—Using a rake, gently level the soil so it’s one even layer. A lawn roller can be used to further level the soil and pack it firmly.
  4. Eliminate weeds and fertilize—You can use a pre-emergent weed killer and fertilizers to treat the soil before laying sod.

How to lay sod

Once your soil is tested and prepped for sod, your sod supplier will deliver your new lawn, usually in rolls. Professional lawn services install sod year-round, provided that the ground is not frozen or too wet to install. For existing yards that have bare patches, sod can be installed in the patchy areas.

For large yards, you will want to lay out pallets or piles of the sod around the yard to make it easier to install. The tools you’ll need to install your new sod lawn include a rake, tiller, lawn roller, and irrigation systems like a hose or sprinkler.

You’re now ready to install your new lawn. We’ve put together instructions for a smooth step-by-step sod installation:

  1. Loosen the soil with a rake by about half an inch to help with rooting.
  2. Moisten the soil and install your first piece in a corner or along an edge.
  3. Stagger your sod pieces so the seams are offset on each new row, much like laying bricks.
  4. On hills or curves, be sure to lay the sod across the hill and fill in gaps with soil to maintain even contact.
  5. Use a lawn roller to pack down the sod, removing air pockets and establishing contact between the soil and the roots.

What to do after sod installation

Once you’ve laid your sod in place and rolled it to establish root contact, you can begin the aftercare for sod installation.

  • Watering—Water your new sod right after rolling the sod down. You want to moisten the sod and soil underneath without saturating it for the first few days while the roots establish themselves in the soil. Once the sod is done rooting, you can gradually reduce watering to a normal watering schedule.
  • Mowing—It will take about two weeks for the sod to establish strong roots. After this time, you can begin regular mowing, taking care to not cut more than one third off the top of the blades of grass.
  • Traffic—Keep pets, kids, and other foot traffic off your newly sodded lawn for three weeks or more to allow the roots to establish. Minimizing traffic will help avoid losing patches of sod because roots were torn out of the ground.
 
Rolled Sod Grass on a Pallet

Sod installation: DIY or hire?

Professional sod installation or lawn care services like overseeding can cost a bit more up front but will save you a lot of time and back-breaking labor. We recommend hiring a professional for sod installation.

DIY

  • No labor costs. You’ll still be paying for the cost of delivery and installation, but not paying for a professional to install sod can potentially save you money.
  • Expensive equipment. Lawn rollers and tillers can be rented, but after the price of hauling your rented equipment and the rental fees, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional.
  • Hard labor. Sod installation is hard labor that requires lifting heavy dirt and mud for several hours.

Hire

  • Equipment. A professional sod installer will have the proper equipment for the job.
  • Time. Hiring a professional gives you back the time it would take to roll out and pack your sod. Additionally, a professional likely has a team that can complete the project faster.
  • Knowledge. Expert professionals, like the team at TruGreen or other lawn care services, know exactly how to care for your lawn. This means your sod installation likely won’t run into hiccups because you missed an important step.

Our recommendation: TruGreen lawn care services

Though sod has its advantages, grass grown from seed can have the same thick, luscious look as a sodded yard. We recommend looking into a lawn care service that includes overseeding to take care of patchy areas or new sections of your lawn.

While TruGreen does not provide sod installation services, they do provide expert overseeding and other many other important lawn care services. Their highly trained specialists help you achieve the lawn you want without the hassle and expense of trying to locate sod nearby.

The lawn treatment services offered by TruGreen allow you to enjoy a beautiful lawn without the hard labor of installing sod. Their main packages include:

TruHealthSM Lawn Plan
  • Lime
  • Pre-emergent and targeted weed control
  • Fertilization
  • Healthy Lawn Guarantee®◆
  • Healthy Lawn Analysis®✦
TruCompleteSM Lawn Plan
TruSignatureSM Lawn Plan
  • TruCompleteSM Lawn Plan plus Tree & Shrub Plan

Why we chose TruGreen

In addition to a variety of lawn care packages, TruGreen provides homeowners with expert knowledge back by bonded technicians. Their Healthy Lawn Analysis includes soil testing to determine what your lawn is missing and come up with a plan to remedy those issues.

Contact TruGreen to learn more about their overseeding and grass seeding programs that can transform your lawn without the expense of sod installation. Get a free quote by giving them a call at 888.535.3193 or filling out their online form.

freshly layed turf at housing estate garden

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*America’s #1 lawn care company based on U.S. market share of professional lawn care companies. 2017 NorthStar Partners U.S. Share Tracker. ✦Purchase of full lawn plan required for Healthy Lawn Analysis, which is performed at the first visit. ◆Guarantee applies to full plan customers only.

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