• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to create a lush, new lawn with sod.

    1. Remove old grass from lawn with a cutter mattock. 2. Run a rotary tiller over the area to loosen up the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. 3. Spread 1-inch layer of compost over the area. One cubic yard of compost covers 300 square feet at 1 inch thick. 4. Use rake to fill low spots and smooth out high spots of compost. 5. Apply lime to the area using a walk-behind broadcast spreader. 6. Use a walk-behind spreader to apply starter fertilizer. 7. Unroll first roll of sod starting along the edge of the lawn. 8. Continue to unroll sod, making sure to press the joints tightly together. 9. Stagger the joints between courses of sod. 10. When laying sod around curves, line up the sod along inside edge of curve, then use a snap-off utility knife to cut through excess sod at inside corner. 11. Water the sod every day for the first week, every other day for the second week, and then 1 inch of water per week.
    • 6 to 8 hours for a small- to medium-size lawn
    • about 20 to 50 cents per square foot for sod
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      although the larger the lawn, the more difficult the job
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • cutter mattock
        Cutter mattock, used to excavate old grass from the yard
      • rototiller
        Rototiller, used to loosen the soil
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake, used to smooth compost
      • walk-behind spreader
        Walk-behind broadcast spreader, for spreading lime and fertilizer
      • snap-off utility knife
        Snap-off utility knife, for cutting sod
      • wheelbarrow
        Wheelbarrow, used to transport sod and compost

      Shopping List

      1. Sod, used to create new lawn

      2. Compost, forms healthy base for new sod

      3. Lime and starter fertilizer, used to amend compost and soil