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Video:How to Lay Sod for Your Lawn

with Eric King

A quality sod installation should look like beautiful, freshly laid carpet. This video will give you instructions for properly laying sod on your lawn.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Lay Sod for Your Lawn

Hi, I'm Eric King, landscape architect with About.com, and I'm here to talk to you today about how to choose and lay beautiful sod for your yard. To lay sod, it's important to remember several key steps.

Test and Prepare Soil for Laying Sod

First, always get a soil test. You can usually do that at your local cooperative extension service. Next is make sure you kill the area with an herbicide before you begin. Follow directions to determine how long you wait before you proceed with the tilling. But before you till, you want to make sure you water it. Your neighbors might think you're crazy because you're going to be watering a dead yard, but it's important to get the soil moist so it's easier to till and is better when you lay your sod so it's not so dry.

Put Down Organic Matter and Remove Rocks

The next step is to put organic matter down and begin to till. And you want to incorporate the organic matter really well into the soil, but you have to be careful if you're tilling under a tree to not damage the roots. The next step is to rake it nice and smooth, removing rocks or debris that may be out there. But try to get it as level as you can. You want a little bit of a fall so it drains, a little drop across it, but generally pretty flat and smooth.

Roll Yard to Prepare for Laying Sod

Now, here's a step that's really important. After you've raked it and gotten the debris out, take a roller, they're called sod rollers, and they're big drums and you fill them with water and you pull them behind you. And you do that before you lay the sod to show where there are any big dips in the yard. So then rake it again, roll it one more time to get it nice and smooth. Then you have to water it again to make sure the soil moisture level is up. If you're going to lay irrigation, that's a good time to go ahead and put that in.

Begin Laying Sod

Now you're ready to begin to lay it. You want to take the sod and lay a band all the way around the outside perimeter, with the pieces touching each other, kind of like a picture frame. Then, you pick a long straight edge could be a sidewalk or a driveway, or you just pull a string. Get a nice straight edge, then you lay your pieces off of that. Make sure to alternate so they don't line up the seams alternate each other.

Finish Laying Sod on Lawn

Last, make your cuts around the outer edge where you made that picture frame you laid earlier. Roll it again, water it well and keep it watered until its established. A quality installation should look like beautiful, freshly laid carpet. The joints of the sod should be touching with no space between them. There should be very few small pieces; there should be mostly the large pieces. The smaller trim is waste and should be discarded. So think of nice fresh beautiful carpet and that's what you'll have.

Thanks for watching. This is Eric King with About.com on how to choose and lay beautiful sod for your yard.

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