Laying Sod in Georgia for Best Results

Did you know that you can lay sod almost any time during the growing season? There are optimum recommended times of year. Warm season grass should be planted in late spring or early summer. Cool season grass should be planted in early winter. If you lay sod in the summer, it is important to water at least once a day for several weeks.

The good thing about Sod is that it produces a lush lawn quickly, without the time and risk of planting grass seed.

There are things to consider and do before you actually lay the sod. Begin by preparing the soil. Sod must be planted within 48 hours of the time it is harvested.

Soil Preparation

“Test the soil through your local cooperative extension service for soil pH and nutrients. Don’t add nitrogen until the soil is at least 65 degrees F or higher 4 inches down into the soil. Add the recommending nutrients and till into the soil 3 to 4 inches. Remove any rocks or clots and smooth out the soil, preferably through the use of a tractor with a box blade, if you own one or can afford the expense of hiring one. This is the best way to assure that the yard will be graded properly. Water the soil so that it can settle and won’t have gullies in the sod, reports


Sod requires just as much care before and after laying it as sowing seed. It is important while rototilling before laying sod gives the roots loose soil to grow into, other soil preparation methods also work well in helping sod to take properly.

Lay on top of grass?

You have to do preparation before you lay sod on top of grass. The sod needs to make contact to the root. The existing grass must be extremely sparse or you will have to bring in dirt and put it on top before laying the new sod.


In mild climates, you can lay sod almost all year round as long as the ground isn’t frozen or a frost isn’t expected. The ideal temperature to lay sod is when daytime temperatures are cool between 55- and 65-degrees Fahrenheit.

Best grass

“What is the best types of grass for Georgia sod? “Hot weather, full sun sods are the best choices for planting in Georgia. Below are several different types of sod, and a discussion of their positives and negatives.

Fescue: Because Fescue is considered to be a cool season grass, and although it will do best in Georgia if planted in shady areas, it does still need at least four hours of sun each day. The best time to plant Fescue in Georgia is in the fall, although it is generally successful if planted in the spring as well. The roots of fescue sod will take about three to four weeks to take hold if watered well during that time.


The beautiful thick grass seen on golf courses or baseball fields is usually Bermuda grass. Bermuda loves the sun, heat and plenty of water. You may think it has died when it turns an unattractive yellow in the winter, but it will come back the next spring. Bermuda sod can usually be purchased year-round in Georgia. Once established, water Bermuda one to two inches per week. Bermuda is known to creep over driveways and need to be trimmed.


If you have clay or sandy soils, you might want to try Centipede sod. It should be fertilized sparingly, as it is very sensitive to fertilizer. If you want that short, manicured lawn look, don’t use Centipede sod. It will die if mowed too short. It should be watered at least 6 inches deep to get it established, and watered heavily enough that it will not die during hot weather, as it is not drought tolerant.


Like Fescue, Zoysia does well in full sun, but can tolerate a little shade, and like Bermuda, Zoysia sod will turn brown in cool weather. But when it comes out of dormancy in the spring, it creates a beautiful, smooth green lawn. Watering is essential for this expensive type of sod,” according to


With the hot days in Georgia, if you water the sod early in the morning, you will achieve the most success. This allows the water to soak in before the heat of the day. Evaporation will occur if you water in the afternoon. Watering in the evening can lead to mold or fungus.

It is ideal if you water the sod before laying it. After the sod is down, water it enough to wet an inch or two of the top layer of the soil. Keep it watered to prevent the roots from drying out and dying.

If you would like assistance with your lawn, give Houseman Services a call at 866-964-PEST?

Houseman Services is the only complete service company in the Athens, GA area. We provide Weed control, fertilization, shrub care, mulch & pine straw, sod, annual plantings, irrigation, and commercial & residential lawn maintenance. We are also state certified and licensed in wood destroying organisms (termite control), household pest control, public heath, and turf & ornamental weed control. We are licensed to control and treat mosquitoes, termites, all pest problems and turf & ornamental weed control. Contact the professionals at Houseman Services and set up a free inspection of your yard. We have been servicing homes and businesses in the Athens, Clarke County area since 1985!