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How to Grow Grass Sod

Growing sod can be a lucrative business, but it is not easy to accomplish. Between rocks, weeds and sloped or bumpy ground, getting sod to grow thick and even is a challenge. Growing sod requires dedication to the task for anywhere from six months to two years. Fortunately, with the right preparation, planning, tools, care and practice, a novice can grow his own grass sod.

Things You'll Need

  • Land leveler
  • Herbicide
  • Loam
  • Tiller
  • Soil tester
  • Lime
  • Nitrogen fertilizer
  • Plow
  • Corrugated roller
  • Turf seeder
  • Grass seed
  • Water
  • Oscillating sprinkler
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    • 1

      Choose where you want to grow your sod. The best place for a seedbed is a flat, level space without any depressions so it is easier to harvest and water does not collect in some places and not others. If you choose land that slopes, you may have problems with seeds washing to the bottom of the slope. You can smooth the area out with a land leveler.

    • 2

      Weed the area where you want the sod to grow. You do not want any other grasses or plants contaminating your sod. If you use an herbicide, keep in mind that some grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue, do not sprout well within a year of herbicide application. Follow the herbicide's guidelines for crop rotation in any areas where you use it.

    • 3

      Prepare the soil and remove any rocks from the area you want to grow your sod. The best type of soil to grow sod is loam, which combines a roughly equal amount of sand, silt and clay. If the soil where you live has a higher concentration of one of these, consider spreading a layer of top soil or tilling the other two soil types into the earth.

    • 4

      Make sure the right soil acidity and nutrients are available for the sod. Perform a soil test to check the acidity, then apply enough lime to get a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. Fertilize the area for your sod with 50 to 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre and till it into the top soil 4 to 6 inches deep.

    • 5

      Get the area ready. Plow it thoroughly and firm the soil down with a corrugated roller.

    • 6

      Use a turf seeder to seed half of your seeds, uniformly, running north and south. Once you have covered the entire seedbed, use the turf seeder to repeat the process running east and west. Seed only during the time of year best suited for the type of grass you are growing. Some grasses do better if they are seeded in the fall, while others can be started in the spring. The chart at the Landscape-America website shows which grasses grow best in which areas as well as the best times to sow them.

    • 7

      Water your sod early in the morning with an oscillating sprinkler to encourage deep root growth and to help keep diseases from attacking your grass. Once the sod is established, you need to water only an inch to 1-1/2 inches once or twice a week for most areas. This may differ depending on the climate where you live and the current weather conditions.