What You Need to Know About Buying Sod

Hank Kerfoot - Thursday, October 27, 2011

When you are ready to begin the process of buying sod for your lawn, it helps to understand what sod is and how you can choose the right kind for your lawn needs. Buying sod for your lawn is a great alternative to seeding, because it provides instant results, creating a beautiful lawn right away. Still, sod requires a certain level of care in order to create a secure root structure that provides long-lasting healthy grass.  


Sod is living grass that has been cut and fitted onto pieces of prepared soil ready for placement on a yard. Because sod has already developed roots, it can usually be placed during any time of year, excluding winter when frozen ground poses challenges. Because sod is professionally grown, it is healthy and has strong root development thanks to quality soil, consistent watering and fertilizing. The result is a sod product that creates a dense, lush lawn with no need for seeding. 


Where to Turn When Buying Sod 


Although sod is available from garden superstores, your chances for receiving the best sod product increases when you go directly to sod production companies and farmers. Choose a company that offers customer service that can provide consultation services, which helps you to choose the ideal sod for your local climate and yard conditions.  

Most stores and sod companies offer a wide range of sod products with the top-dollar varieties being sod that requires less care and watering. These more expensive sod products are usually drought, insect and disease resistant, making them worth the investment.  

Buying Sod: How to Detect the Best 

Knowing what to look for in healthy sod helps you to make the best choice for your lawn. What you are looking for is sod grass that possesses dense foliage with a uniform green hue. Other things to look for in healthy sod are moist soil near the roots and thick roots you can see within the soil. The soil should be less than one inch deep and the roots should be intertwined close together, which shows they will survive the transport well without tearing or breaking down.  


Additionally, you will want to verify that the sod product you are purchasing is recently harvested. Check to see whether or not the thatch is visible. A layer of thatch is a warning sign that the sod may have been harvested some time ago and may lead to slower root growth into the soil bed. Ideally, you will want to install sod no more than eight hours following harvest to prevent stress caused by loss of moisture. Stressing the sod can leave it vulnerable to pest issues and grass disease.  


Before you begin buying sod, prepare the soil on your property, so that the sod can be laid right away. If your situation prevents immediate sod placement, keep the sod in the shade away from light and heat and take steps to keep the sod product moist to prevent further stress.  


Buying sod may be the best investment you could make for your lawn. The results are immediate, so soon after the purchase and placement of the sod you can sit back and enjoy a lush and beautiful lawn.