DIY Utah Sod Installation: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

In northern Utah, sod is a popular way to create lush, healthy lawn in a weekend.

Sod is cost-effective, easy to care for and good for the environment. So what’s not to love? Honestly, some customers aren’t thrilled about the work required for installation. But they are similarly hesitant about the cost of having someone else lay their sod.

sod installation

Let’s take a look at what you must do versus what you should do for a DIY Utah sod installation project, so you can decide whether to do the work yourself or bring in a pro to handle it for you.

What Must You Do to Prepare for Utah Sod?

Like most projects around the home, prepping for your Utah sod installation involves much more work than the actual placement. If you want to install your new lawn yourself, rather than have a pro handle it for you, this is the minimum amount of effort you must invest.

Your new sod will need a level, loose and damp soil base. The better you prepare the soil, the less work you will have to do to help your Utah sod thrive.

If you want to take the simplest approach, scalp the area with your lawnmower, rake up any debris that’s present and fill in any low spots with topsoil. Water the soil until you can push a screwdriver or metal rod easily into the dirt about 6 inches.

What Should You Do to Prepare for Utah Sod?

What you should do to prepare for laying your new lawn – and what a professional sod installer will do, should you hire one – involves a little more work.

To give your Utah sod the ideal base upon which to grow, you must start by digging out the top three inches of soil and tossing it in the mulch pile.

Use a rototiller (or an army of friends with shovels) to loosen up the next 10-12 inches of soil. This makes it easier for you to mix in soil amendments (fertilizer, mulch, etc.) and it will allow the new grass roots to easily penetrate the soil.

Break up any dirt clods bigger than 2” and remove rocks and debris. Level the soil and then compact it with a sod roller. Water the soil until it’s damp to a level of four to six inches.

Laying Your Utah Sod

To expend the minimum amount of effort, be prepared to start installing as soon as your Utah sod delivery arrives. That way, you won’t have to take any special steps to keep it healthy until it’s time to lay it down.

If you want to take the simplest approach, roll it out and water it according to directions. If you have gaps, they will fill in eventually.

If you want to invest a little more time – and do it like the pros would – lay the sod out in a brick pattern, staggering the seams. Be careful to butt each piece of sod up against the next to avoid gaps, and use your fingers to press down the edges along each seam. If you do have any gaps, fill them in with garden soil.

Use a sod rake or your hands to push lightly on the turf, to ensure that every surface makes contact with the dirt below. If you have any low spots, sprinkle a little garden soil over those areas once a week or so to build the areas up. Water according to directions.

You can choose to put as much or as little effort as you want into the installation of your Utah sod. Rest assured, the Dirt Bag has put years of effort into the turfgrass we deliver to your door. We provide free delivery within Salt Lake County too, as long as you purchase 10,000 square feet or more. We can also deliver any other landscape materials you need, including topsoil, garden soil and landscape rock. Contact us today to place your order for Utah Sod.