Throwing Sod a Curve

Neat green rectangles of sod fit tightly against each other when laid in straight lines, but they won't conform to a curve, such as around the edge of a flower bed. Some people cut the sod lengthwise into strips that can be bent around a curve, but This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook says smaller pieces like that are more likely to dry out and die than ones that remain full-width.

Instead, Roger makes his sod curve the way a tailor might, by cutting a dart or two in a full-sized piece. With the sod laid next to the curve, he grabs a couple of spots along one edge and pinces them together to make the sod follow the contours of the bed(1). This creates a triangular upward fold that he slices down its crease with a razor knife(2). One side of the cut goes down against the ground; he lays the other flap on top of it(3). Using the cut edge of this flap as a guide, he saws the knife through the sod and removes the triangular piece underneath(4). Now, the flaps meet and — voila — the cut disappears.

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