How To Patch Lawn Damage With Sod

Posted on: 26 August 2020

Damage to the lawn can ruin the perfect look of your landscaping. Although you could seed the area and wait patiently for the grass to recover, a quicker option is to install a sod patch. Doing so correctly provides an instant fix that you can begin to enjoy immediately.

Remove Old Turf

The first step is to prepare the site for the successful rooting of the new sod. Remove the old damaged turf, along with any weeds. Use a flat-bladed spade to make clean cuts into the healthy turf that borders the patch area. It's easier to install sod in strips, so you want the patch area to have straight sides and sharp corners. This may require the removal of some healthy lawn if the damaged area is round or irregularly shaped.

Prepare the Soil

Once the area is clear, it's time to prepare the soil. Remove some soil so that the soil level is about 1.5 inches lower than the soil surface in the surrounding turf. Add a starter fertilizer, following the rate recommended on the label, and work it into the top 3 inches of the soil. This will also loosen the soil surface, which makes it easier for the new sod to quickly take root. Once prepared, water the area so that the top few inches of soil are evenly moist.

Install the Sod

It's best to pick up or have the sod delivered on the day you plan to install it. Cut a length of sod to the length of the installation site using a sharp blade. Set it on top of the soil and slide it until it just touches the edge of the existing turf. If you need to install more than one strip, repeat this process until the bare soil is covered. Stagger the joints between sod pieces if you put down more than one row. The sod edges should just touch, but there should be no overlap or bare soil.

Encourage Establishment

Once installed, walk across the sod a few times or use a lawn roller to ensure that the bottom of the sod is in full contact with the soil underneath. This encourages quick rooting. Water for about 10 minutes twice a day so that the soil is moist but not soggy. Avoid mowing until the grass begins to actively grow and it is well-rooted, which means you can no longer lift a corner of the sod. Sod typically establishes within a couple of weeks.

Contact a sod company in your area for more help with lawn repair.