**Installing a Sod Lawn**Few things are more pleasing to the eye or more satisfying for a homeowner than an expanse of lush green lawn. It adds value to your property and beauty to your everyday environment. The quickest way to get the results you dream of is to install sod. Unlike seeding, once the sod is planted the lawn is in place without waiting.

**Overview**To achieve the beautiful lawn that you want, you will have to follow a few basic steps. First, start by calculating how much sod you’ll need. Begin unrolling your sod along a straight edge such as a walkway or driveway. Once the sod is installed, you will need to water your yard carefully.

**Calculate your Yard**Start by calculating how much sod you’ll need. Use a paper and pencil to draw a reasonably accurate diagram of your yard area, and fill in the measurements for length and width in feet. Subdivide your diagram into the largest rectangle or square you can, then a series of smaller squares, for ease of measurement. Estimate irregular areas as if they were rectangles or triangles. To figure the area of a rectangle, multiply the length by the width. For a triangle, multiply the lengths of the two smaller sides, and then divide by two. Once you’ve added up the total square footage, divide the number by nine (9) to convert it to square yards. Sod is ordered by the yard.

**“Green side up”**When the sod arrives, you’ll see that each piece is one square yard, and measures 1-1/2 ft. wide by 6 ft. long. It is rolled dirt-side-out. To install the sod, you simply move it to where you want it and unroll it. As the old joke goes, your result should be “green side up.”

**Start with straight edge**Start by a straight edge, such as a sidewalk or driveway edge. Unroll the pieces of sod and butt them closely to the edge and each other. Place the sod in long straight rows, end-to-end.

**Off set seams**As you start each successive row, offset the seams between pieces of sod. In other words, a gap or seam between pieces in one row should be next to a continuous strip of sod in the next. You will probably need to cut pieces of sod to maintain this offset arrangement. Use the garden spade, drywall knife or large kitchen knife to do this.

**End of the Row**At the end of a row, simply cut the last piece of sod to fit your space. Be sure to maintain the offset arrangement of the pieces at the row ends.

**On a hillside**On a hillside or other incline, it is very helpful to peg the pieces of sod. Do not run the sod up and over the hill, but instead, lay it so it goes around the hill, in rows from bottom to top. This will help prevent erosion from water run-off. Use a hammer to drive the wooden pegs into the four corners of each sod piece. This will hold the sod in place until it roots; and eventually the wooden pegs will decompose. Make sure the pegs do not stick up where they will interfere with mowing.

**Watering Sod Lawn**Once the sod is installed, you will need to water it carefully. Every day for at least two weeks, water every part of the new sod for 2-3 hours. Make sure the water hits every corner, even if that means having the sprinkler wet beyond the edge or corner. If you water in the evening, it helps the sod retain moisture and root faster. After two to three weeks, your sod should be rooted in the soil underneath, and you can cut back to a standard lawn watering schedule.