How to Cut Sod by Hand

Sods are those grassy patches that are sold in the nursery for you to plant in your backyard or garden. They are a type of grass that is sold by the piece and can be planted in areas where there is exposed soil or an area where you want to cover up bare spots in your lawn.

It is popular amongst homeowners who want an instant lawn because these pieces of sod are already grown, so all you need to do is plant them, then water and care for them.

Reasons for cutting sod might be that you want to reduce the size of a piece or two, or maybe you want to create a new shape for your lawn. Hand-cutting sod is not as difficult as it may sound.

What do you need?

Cutting sod by hand requires physical effort and a bit of patience. You will need a flat shovel with a straight edge, a sharp knife, and, depending on how large your yard is, some help from another person.

The best time to cut sod by hand is during the cooler part of the day, such as the early morning when the sun isn’t at its hottest point yet.

How to cut sod by hand?


Step 1: Prepare the area

Prepare the area where you intend to place the sod by removing any weeds, rocks, or debris found on the soil’s surface. If it has been raining heavily in your area recently, make sure that the soil isn’t too muddy as this will cause problems when you try to place or lay down the sod pieces.

Step 2: Mark out the area

Use measuring tape or a garden hose to mark out the area where you will be cutting the sod. If you’re using a garden hose, make sure to turn it off after you’ve marked out the perimeter of your cutting area.

Step three: Start cutting

Cut along the lines that you have created using either a spade or a sharp knife. Try to create clean, straight cuts as this will give you neater edges when you place the sod pieces down.

If you are working with larger pieces of sod, it might be necessary to score the surface of the sod first before making your cuts. This can be done by running your shovel or knife along the ground at an an angle and then following up with your cuts.

Step four: Remove the sod

Once you have cut along the lines, carefully remove the sod from the ground. If the pieces are too heavy or large for you to lift by yourself, ask someone else to help you.

What to do after removing sod by hand

After you have removed the sod by hand, it is time to take a few extra steps to make sure your lawn looks its best. These steps include removing any remaining roots, raking up debris, and levelling the ground.

Removing roots can be done with a spade or shovel. Be sure to remove as many of the roots as possible so they do not regrow. Raking up debris helps to keep your lawn looking neat and tidy. It also helps prevent disease and pests from taking over your lawn. Leveling the ground ensures that new sod will have a level surface to grow on.

Using hand vs sod cutter

When it comes to removing sod, you have two main options: doing it by hand or using a sod cutter. If you have a small area to remove sod from, doing it by hand may be the best option. However, if you have a large area or your lawn is particularly difficult to remove sod from, using a sod cutter may be the better option.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to follow the steps above to ensure your lawn looks its best.

Benefits of using your hand to remove sod

  • It is a lot cheaper than renting or buying a machine.
  • It is better for the environment since there is no gas or oil used.
  • Hand removal gives you more control over where the sod goes and how deep you cut it.



So there you have it. With these simple tips, you should be able to cut sod by hand like a pro. Just remember to take your time, use a sharp blade, and make sure to get rid of any roots. And most importantly, have fun.