How to Prepare Your Yard for Sod

Man installing sod on a lawn

The hardest part of laying sod actually happens before you even receive your order. Preparing your land is by far the most labor-intensive part of the process… and there’s nothing worse than doing it the wrong way. You want to make sure that you’re doing it properly so you don’t have to redo it, or worse, have your sod die off.

There are two choices you have when it comes to preparing your ground for sod. You can either hire lawn care professionals or do it yourself. If you choose to go the do-it-yourself route, then this post can help! Below we’ve got the three primary steps you need to take to get your ground ready to lay sod.

Preparing Your Lawn

Step 1: Kill ALL the Weeds

This needs to be done several weeks before your sod is going down. Pick up a broad-spectrum weed killer from your local big box store. Follow the instructions carefully! Apply weed control several weeks in advance so it has plenty of time to take effect.

Step 2: Till the Ground

Till the soil once everything, and we do mean everything, is dead. You need to loosen up any hard-packed clay dirt so that your sod can take root. If you don’t own a tiller, you can rent one for relatively cheap. DO NOT skip out on this step. While your sod may still root in hard-packed soil, it will be difficult and put undue stress on your sod.  It can also make it much more susceptible to drying out, being taken over by weeds, or just outright dying,

Step 3: Level the Land

Think of your land as a blank canvas. You want it to be flat and smooth before you start applying your sod! A leveling rake can help you get a nice consistent surface before your sod goes down. Use soil to fill in any depressions or divots. Be sure to flatten out any hills or bumps! The last thing you want is to scalp spots in your brand new lawn during your first mow.

You’re Ready to Lay Sod

With these simple steps completed, you have prepared your lawn for sod and you’re ready to lay sod! Just remember — lay it down dirt to dirt. View our full guide on Installing Sod like a Pro for more tips.

Looking for More Information on Caring for New Sod?

Check out this post on How to Keep New Sod Hydrated or learn How to Protect Your Sod from Frost.