What is Sod and Turf?

Sod And Turf Harrisburg PA are types of natural grass. Unlike grass seed, which requires time to grow, sod is a ready-to-lay option.

Turfgrass growers seed, cultivate, fertilize, and water high-quality sod in fields until it matures for sale. Using mechanical cutters, sod is harvested for transplanting. Sod can be used for residential lawns, parks, cemeteries, institutional grounds, boulevards, and golf courses.

Sod provides a quick alternative to reseeding your lawn. It’s a great option for new construction, filling in bare spots and stopping soil erosion on sloped areas. Homeowners can buy sod for their own homes or install it for businesses and professional sports fields. Grass sod is more expensive than grass seed, but it saves time and effort by providing an instantly usable, lush green lawn.

Sod is grown in sod farms where farmers plant, cultivate, fertilize, water, and maintain high-quality turfgrass seeds until they mature enough to sell. This process can take anywhere from 10 months to two years. Once the sod is ready for sale, tractors cut the turf and soil into pieces that are rolled into a final product. Farmers distribute the sod on-site or through local plant nurseries to prevent it from drying during transportation.

The type of sod you choose should be suited to your climate and average weather conditions. Warm-season sods (such as Bermuda, zoysia, and St. Augustine) are popular in the southern United States, while cool-season sods (such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass) are popular in the northern United States.

When sod is laid correctly, it can hold together and resist weed invasions better than seeded grass. It also provides a more attractive, manicured look than a patchwork of bare spots and dying grass. In addition, sod reduces noise pollution by absorbing and diffusing sound waves.

Sod can help reduce the levels of harmful pollutants in the atmosphere by reducing the burning of fossil fuels. It can also lower the concentration of CO2 that causes climate change. Grass sod also has the added benefit of insulating homes and businesses from the hot sun by lowering indoor temperatures.

Soil Preparation

Before you can install sod or turf, the soil must be prepared. Good preparation ensures that the sod and turf will thrive and become a beautiful lawn. It also protects the investment you’ve made.

To prepare your soil, start by mowing existing grass short and removing weeds as they sprout. Use a roto-tiller or sod cutter for best results and always follow herbicide product label instructions to avoid over-application. Choose a non-selective herbicide, like RoundUp(r) or any glyphosate based product, and apply it when conditions are dry (not raining for 24 hours before or after application). If you have a large area to cover, it may be helpful to divide the site into smaller units that can be handled with a roto-tiller. This will prevent the need to re-mow and re-weed these small areas later on.

The next step is to core aerate your lawn. This will loosen up hard clumps of soil, making it easier for the roots to penetrate the soil and take in nutrients. Core aeration is best done in the fall when cool temperatures help the Bermuda grass go dormant.

After core aerating, lightly rake the area to smooth it out. This will give the sod a smooth, healthy surface to grow into.

Next, add 3 to 4 inches of organic material such as composted leaf and yard waste, peat moss, or pine bark. If the soil is heavy, add an inch or two of sharp sand to help improve its drainage and water holding ability. If your soil test indicates the need for lime or fertilizer, spread them at their recommended rate over the top of the organics.

Finally, consider grading the area. This will help water drain away from any structures, such as the house and driveway, rather than pooling in these areas. Typically, a slight slope is ideal unless the site is a very hilly location.

Once you’ve finished preparing the soil, take detailed measurements of the entire area to determine how much sod you will need. It is always a good idea to order 5 to 10 percent more sod than you need to account for any cuttings, mis-measurements, or errors in estimating the size of your yard.


Sod is a popular choice for quickly establishing a lush lawn. It is comprised of pre-grown grass plants held together by a layer of soil and roots. Specialized sod farms spend 10 to 24 months growing sod rolls or squares under ideal conditions, which means that when installed correctly, sod offers an instant solution for homeowners wanting to transform their landscape.

Soil erosion is a major concern for many property owners, and the mature root systems of sod help stabilize soil and minimize erosion caused by wind or water runoff. Sod also outcompetes weed growth, reducing the need for herbicides and manual weed removal.

Both sod and turf require good drainage for proper establishment, as well as proper soil ph and nutrients. Soil tests are recommended to determine exactly what amendments are needed, and a professional can help you interpret the results. Soil samples can be purchased from most local nurseries and sod suppliers, or you can contact your county extension service for testing recommendations based on your region’s climate.

Sod can be installed year-round in most areas, although you may want to avoid laying sod during extreme weather, such as heavy rainfall or extreme heat. Prior to installing sod, prepare the ground by working it to a smooth surface, removing all ruts and bumps. Use a leveling tool to fill in low spots and knock down high ones. Ensure that the soil next to concrete walkways and driveways is 1-2 inches lower than the sidewalk or pavement surface.

After sod is laid, water it thoroughly to saturate and eliminate any air pockets. Use a sprinkler or hose to do so, and continue watering regularly (at least once per day) until the sod is established. It is especially important to water sod in warm weather and near sidewalks, driveways and other features that will be walked on frequently.

Sod and turf can both be prone to drying out, which can damage the roots and create disease outbreaks. To prevent this, make sure that you are using a fertilizer that is in line with the recommendations provided by your soil test results.


Sod requires special care to ensure it survives until its roots can establish themselves in the soil. Sod and turf both benefit from plenty of sunlight and water, but the type of care needed differs by grass type. It’s important to consider the amount of foot traffic you expect on your yard and the type of lawn you want, so you can choose a sod or turf variety that will thrive in those conditions.

During the first few weeks after installation, you should minimize foot traffic on your sod to allow its roots to take hold in the soil. Heavy foot traffic compacts the soil and can inhibit root growth, leading to a less healthy and lush lawn over time. Instead, use boards or stepping stones to access areas of your yard with newly installed sod.

To help your sod establish its roots quickly, it’s best to lay it in the Springtime when warm-season grasses are at their peak of growth and can get established before summer temperatures reach their highest levels. It’s also ideal to lay sod on a cool day with ample rainfall to avoid sod stress.

Soil testing is a good idea before you lay sod, because the results will let you know whether or not your soil has a nutrient deficit. Once you have the results, you can amend your soil appropriately to ensure that your sod can grow healthily.

When laying sod, stagger the pieces in a brick wall pattern to prevent unevenness. Use a utility knife to cut sod strips to fit around curves, and be sure to cover the cuttings with soil to prevent them from drying out.

While a sod lawn is relatively low-maintenance, it can still be affected by drought, frosts and pests, so you should always monitor your sod closely. Depending on your climate, you may need to add some extra fertilizer after the initial year to keep it healthy.

To reduce the risk of weeds and insects in your new sod, apply an herbicide or a weed killer once or twice a month. Sod can be damaged by chemical sprays, so be sure to read the product label before applying any products. It’s also a good idea to add a layer of mulch to your garden and play areas to reduce weeds and to retain soil moisture.