Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Sod

Installing sod can be a great way to improve the look of your yard, but there are a few mistakes that you want to avoid if you want the process to go as smoothly as possible. In this guide, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes people make when installing sod, and how to avoid them. Read on for tips and advice that will help make your sod installation go smoothly.

What are the common mistakes people make when installing sod?


Mistake 1: Not properly preparing your soil.

One of the most common mistakes people make when installing sod is not preparing the ground properly. The ground needs to be level and free of debris before you can lay down the sod. If there are any bumps or uneven areas, the sod will not lay flat and will eventually die. You should buy a lawn leveling rake.

Before you install your sod grass, it is important that you have a plan for where it is going, how you will remove all dead grass and plant material from the area, what kind of irrigation system you want to use, and how much sunlight it gets throughout the day. Sod needs a lot of care to become established, so these are important things to think about before the sod arrives at your doorstep.

Mistake 2: Not installing it at the right time of year.

This one is pretty simple: If you live in an area with harsh winters, do not install sod in late fall or early winter. Conversely, if your summers are very hot and dry, do not install sod in late summer or early fall. These times will only stress out your new grass as it tries to get established, which makes it much more likely to die or become patchy.

The best time to install sod is in the spring or early summer, when the weather is mild and there is plenty of rain. This will give your new grass the best chance to take root and become established before it has to face extreme temperatures.

Mistake 3: Not watering properly.

Sod needs a lot of water to survive, especially when it is first installed. The roots need time to grow down into the ground, and if they do not have enough water they will not be able to do this. When you are first watering your new sod, you want to make sure that you are giving it an inch of water per week. This can be done with a garden hose or a sprinkler system. Once the roots are established, you can reduce the amount of water to about half an inch per week.

Mistake 4: Not fertilizing properly.

Another mistake people make is not fertilizing their new sod correctly. Sod needs fertilizer to help it grow, but too much fertilizer can actually be harmful. You want to apply a slow-release fertilizer at the time of installation, and then once every six weeks after that. Be sure to read the directions on your fertilizer carefully so that you do not apply too much.

Mistake 5: Leaving the edges of the sod exposed.

This allows them to dry out and die. As a result, there will be noticeable patches in your lawn. Be sure to properly edge your sod so that there is no exposed soil. This will help it retain moisture and stay healthy. You can use a garden hose or a piece of string to create a straight line, and then use a shovel or spade to cut through the sod along the line.

Mistake 6: Not testing soil first.

This is particularly important if you are installing sod on a new lawn. The soil needs to be tested for pH levels, nutrients, and other factors that will affect the health of your new grass.

Testing will help you determine what kind of amendments need to be made to the soil before you install the sod. A professional lawn care company can test your soil for you and make recommendations for amendments, or you can purchase a testing kit from a garden center or hardware store.

Mistake 7: Not using good quality sod.

When buying Sod, be sure to get it from a reputable source. If possible, try to find someone who grows their own sod rather than purchasing it from a big box store.

The quality of sod can vary greatly, and you want to make sure that you are getting a good quality product. Be sure to ask about the warranty and return policy before making your purchase.


Avoid these seven mistakes when installing sod, and you will be well on your way to having a beautiful, healthy lawn. Sod can be a great addition to any home, but it is important to do it right in order to avoid problems down the road. Hopefully you used our sod cost calculator before buying. That could have saved you a lot of money. 

With a little planning and care, you can have the perfect lawn in no time. Thanks for reading.