Soil Preparation: Step-by-Step Guide

How to prepare soil for sod

Sod installation is a landscaping task that homeowners can perform themselves if they are up to the challenge. Preparation should begin a few weeks before you are ready to install new sod. The first step to getting ready for sod installation is to prepare your soil. Follow our step-by-step guide to get your soil ready. 

Step 1: Clear the Site

  • Clear the site of any and all debris, including rocks and sticks. 

Step 2: Rough Grade

  • Rough grade is the process of making a level or slope base for projects like turf establishment. 
  • Rough grade the entire area to prevent drainage issues. 
  • Always slope away from buildings. 
rake clearing soil of rocks and sticks in preparation for new sod

Step 3: Till the Soil

  • Initial tilling of at least of at least four to six inches is recommended.
  • This should be done before adding any topsoil and will allow for adequate water movement.

Step 4: Add Topsoil

  • Add topsoil if your soil lacks nutrients (see step 5).
  • Your soil should be a minimum of four inches in depth.

Step 5: Test the Soil

soil testing bags from local extension office

Step 6: Apply Starter Fertilizer

  • Apply a starter fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 13-13-13, and lime to the soil per soil test recommendations.
  • Till fertilizer into the soil before laying sod.

Step 7: Finish Grade

  • Finish grade the entire site, making sure to maintain uniform drainage of rainwater. 

Step 8: Roll the Area

  • Roll the area with a lawn roller to firm and settle the soil on the surface. 
  • Fill in low spots as they appear. 

Step 9: Ready for Sod

  • The site is now ready for turfgrass sod. Remember to water the sod as you lay it. Sod will wilt quickly on hot days. 

What our clients say

NG Turf Logo

An industry leader throughout the Southeast, providing premium grass varieties backed by superior service and a one-year warranty

Sod Calculator

How much sod do I need?  Use our custom sod calculator to find out.

One Year Warranty

Enjoy the peace of protection with the NG Turf One Year Warranty.

Recent Posts