Lavery's Sod Farm, Inc.                           Call Today: (540) 268-1220


  1. Remove Existing Vegetation/Debris: Bare soil is best for installing new sod. One option for removing existing vegetation is to rent a walk-behind sod cutter from a local rental store and using it to cut the existing lawn off the ground. Another option is to use a garden tiller to till up the yard and then rake the vegetative debris out of the tilled soil. A third option would be to rent a skid-steer or hire a skid-steer operator to remove the existing grass/debris from the area to be sodded.
  2. Loosen soil: Tilling soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches is optimal for sod installations. If you can only loosen a few inches deep, that is preferable to not loosening the soil. The roots of the grass plants can more easily travel and grow into loosened soil than a soil substrate that is tight or compacted.
  3. Grade soil:
    • Rough Grade: Depending on the area to be sodded, some sites may require extensive grading with slopes being worked or changed to provide the best drainage of the site, while other sites may require less rough grading if drainage is not a problem. To create the rough grade, land-moving equipment may be necessary. After this “rough” grading has been completed, a smooth “final grade” is important to promote a successful sod installation.
    • Final Grade: The final grade is the soil surface upon which the sod will be installed. Raking the loosened soil smooth not only creates a smooth lawn, but also allows the new sod to have good contact with the soil below, which aids the roots in finding water and nutrients. We suggest that rocks or debris larger than a quarter be raked out of the loosened soil to prepare a nice final grade.
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