Guide to Establishing Fresh Grass in Your Yard

Are you eager to kickstart a fresh, healthy lawn in your yard? Whether you’re a new homeowner looking to match your home with a beautiful lawn or simply want to revamp your existing one, starting a new lawn is a manageable project for most homeowners. However, achieving the lush, green lawn of your dreams requires some know-how. Follow these user-friendly steps to ensure your lawn thrives.

Choosing the right time to lay turf is essential. While mild climates allow you to lay turf year-round, spring and fall are generally the best seasons. These periods offer moderate temperatures and increased chances of rainfall, which promote robust root development. For personalized advice on the ideal sod-laying time in your area, consult a local landscaping professional.

Why opt for sod?

  • You desire instant results.
  • You prefer grass varieties that are challenging to grow from seeds, like Bermuda, zoysia, or centipede.
  • You aim to install a new lawn in spring, summer, or fall (warmer climates can extend into the fall, while colder climates require earlier installation).
  • You have a budget for your lawn project, as grass is available individually or on pallets, with prices varying based on the grass type. If you plan to install it yourself, budget around 8 to 30 cents per square foot.

How to Plant Grass


Prepare the Ground: Ensure proper soil preparation to avoid a lumpy, uneven lawn that could lead to drainage issues and safety concerns.
Choose Your Lawn: Seek recommendations from your local extension office for the most suitable turf types in your area. You can purchase small quantities from local home improvement or landscaping supply stores for small spaces. For larger quantities, order from a turf supplier and plan to lay it on the same day it’s delivered.
Lay the Sod: Once the ground is ready, place sod patches in a straight line, pressing the joints firmly without overlaps or gaps. Stagger the pieces like bricks. Use a sharp carpet knife to trim irregular sections and fit them around obstacles, then water the turf within 20 minutes of laying it.

Establish a Lawn Care Routine


  • Water the new lawn four times in the first week, each time with an inch of water, and mow it after 6 to 7 days.
  • In the second week, water three times and mow again on the seventh day.
  • In the third week, water twice and mow on the seventh day.
  • Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass height in a single mowing. Mow when the grass is 21⁄3 to 3 inches tall, setting the mower height to 11⁄2 to 2 inches. Always use a sharp blade for optimal results.

Additional Tips

  • Inquire about shipping costs when ordering turf.
  • Consider using a sod roller after laying the sod to ensure good root-soil contact, though it’s possible to establish a lawn without one, albeit with a bit more time.
  • Avoid walking on the new lawn for the first two to three weeks to allow for healthy root development.
  • For the next 1-2 weeks, minimize heavy activities on the lawn.
  • Gather specific information and recommendations for lawn care in your area, including the type of turfgrass and an accurate sod placement schedule.

Looking to reduce your lawn space? Explore ideas to conserve water and effort in your landscaping projects.

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