The quickest way to establish a new lawn is by installing sod, which is commercially produced turf. It is available in cool-season and warm-season varieties. Sod is harvested and sold to be planted as an immediate lawn.
To lay sod, remove all lumps and be certain the soil is perfectly smooth. Bumps and holes are difficult to repair after the sod is established. Unroll strips of sod and tuck them into place. Without stretching or overlapping the rolls of sod, piece them together like a puzzle. Cut irregular pieces with a spade or knife.
Fill in any visible joints with topsoil, making the final grade 1 inch lower than the grade for seeding. Roll the new lawn to ensure close contact between the roots and the soil. New sod needs regular watering until the roots are so well established that you can no longer pick up the pieces of sod.
Cool-season sod can be installed any time of the year that the ground isn't frozen. Warm-season sod should be installed in spring or summer.
In the next section, you'll learn how to grow a lawn from plugs.
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