Written by Breakaway Landscaping


Sod Installation

Transforming your lawn with sod is an exciting project, but even seasoned landscapers can make mistakes. Here are some common pitfalls to watch out for and how to avoid them for a beautiful, healthy lawn. 

1. Inadequate Soil Preparation

One of the most common mistakes in sod installation is laying sod on unprepared, compacted soil. This hampers root growth and can lead to poor sod health. 


  • Test the soil: Check the pH level and nutrient content. 
  • Loosen the soil: Till the soil to a depth of at least 4-6 inches. 
  • Add amendments: Incorporate compost or other organic materials to improve soil structure and fertility. 

2. Improper Watering 

Both overwatering and underwatering can lead to sod death. Overwatering can cause root rot, while underwatering can dry out the sod, preventing proper root establishment. 


  • Follow a strict watering schedule: Water the sod immediately after installation. 
  • Keep the soil moist: Water daily for the first two weeks, then gradually reduce frequency. 
  • Adjust based on weather: Increase watering during hot, dry periods and decrease during cool, wet conditions. 

3. Poor Sod-Laying Techniques 

Incorrectly laying sod can result in gaps, uneven growth, and sod drying out. Proper laying techniques help sod establish well and appear seamless. 


  • Align the seams tightly: Ensure each piece of sod is snugly placed against the next to avoid gaps. 
  • Stagger the joints: Lay sod in a brick-like pattern to reduce erosion and ensure coverage. 
  • Roll the sod: Use a lawn roller to press the sod into the soil, eliminating air pockets and promoting good soil contact. 

4. Ignoring Lawn Maintenance 

Neglecting post-installation lawn care can quickly undo all your hard work. 


  • Mow correctly: Wait until the sod has rooted before mowing, and never remove more than one-third of the grass height at a time. 
  • Fertilize: Apply a balanced fertilizer about six weeks after installation to promote healthy growth. 
  • Monitor for pests and diseases: Regularly inspect your lawn and address any issues promptly to keep your lawn in top condition. 

5. Failing to Plan for Drainage 

Improper drainage can lead to waterlogged soil and poor sod health. This occurs when water pools in specific spots and fails to reach others.  


  • Assess the site: Identify low spots and areas prone to standing water. 
  • Grade the soil: Ensure a slight slope away from buildings and toward drainage areas. 
  • Install drainage systems: Consider installing French drains or other drainage solutions if necessary. 


Avoiding these common mistakes in sod installation will help you achieve that lush, green lawn your neighbours will envy. Proper soil preparation, watering, sod-laying techniques, and maintenance are your keys to success. 

Our Best Tip: Call in an Expert 

Ready to transform your lawn with brand-new sod? Contact Breakaway Landscaping today for professional sod installation and lawn maintenance services. Our team of experts will help you care for a beautiful lawn all year round!