Replacing sod can be a large task depending on the size of the area you plan to cover and the number of people involved in the project. The two ways that one can remove the old sod are mechanical and manual. The Sod Cutter is the fastest way to clear the lawn and prepare it for fresh sod. Check your local construction sites and nurseries, since these places may allow you to rent the tool required for hourly basis. With this tool you will be able to make a level cut and cleanly remove the old sod in large pieces that are easy for pick up and disposal. If you plan to remove the sod by hand, any shovel will work, but the best tool is the edging shovel. Start by cutting into the sod using the flat edge of the shovel to cut out the roots of the old sod about an inch below the ground level. Trace the area set for sod removal in white spray paint, and start from the outside working your way in in a spiral formation.
Once all of the sod is removed and disposed of, usually by hand via wheelbarrow, the next step is to take a leaf rake and clear up any remaining root debris. After that, you should use a dirt rake to smooth the area until it is flat and level. If the sod was removed by hand, this part will take longer to do than if it had been done by machine. After that, you should spread topsoil around the area about one half inch thick and ensure that the area where the new sod will meet the current lawn is flush.
The lawn is now ready for the new sod. Lay it so the long edge of the sod is parallel to the short side of the area you are relaying. To ensure the best possible environment for your sod to put down roots, stagger the rows of sod like bricks so that the edges of each piece do not directly meet. This will help the pieces take to the earth successfully. It is not necessary to match up the sod if the area in which you are working has a soft edge. Once all the sod is laid you can go around the edge of any flower beds and cut in the proper shape with your edging shovel. Following this step, go around the edge of the area with a tamper or your hand and pound the edge the sod pieces into the ground so that the dirt under the grass of each piece is not exposed. If there is any dirt from the bottom of the side visible, it is more prone to drying out before it can lay root.
Proper watering is essential to make sure the sod flourishes. If the sod is on a hill, you will need to use sod staples, which are purchased from hardware or garden centers. These will keep the sod in place while watered. Much water is needed in order for the sod to build roots, so water two times for day for about 30 minutes. Be careful not to over water, and if you see pools developing stop watering immediately. Ensure the water is properly and evenly distributed over the sod.