It's an instant fix and, when properly installed, sod eliminates problems with soil erosion, mud, and weeds. And you can lay it almost any time during the growing season.
Professionally raised grass in high-quality sod is sturdy and dense from the outset and is usually weed-free. You can find sod in several of the most common grasses for your area. Although the initial cost of sod is considerably more than grass seed -- especially if you hire a contractor to lay it -- seeding costs about the same in the long run since you have to overseed in spring and fall following the initial seeding to grow a dense lawn.
Think of your lawn as a garden of grass. Before planting, prepare the soil as you would any garden bed. Add plenty of organic matter so the soil will retain moisture, yet drain well. Aerate it to encourage microbial activity. Once the sod is planted, deep watering is essential -- the water must penetrate 6 inches below the sod -- to encourage roots to penetrate deeply as they knit the sod to the soil. Pay attention to the seams between pieces of sod and the edges along walks and drives, and water them carefully because they dry out quickly.
Continued on page 2: Step-by-Step Sod Laying