How Long Does it Take to Install Sod? Planning Ahead is Key

Planning needs to be done before a sod delivery. Before the sod arrives you need to allot time to remove old turf, grade the area, and ensure there is a layer of soil. Once the sod arrives, you need to install it as quickly as possible. Complete all of your prep work so you can install the sod immediately. Sod can begin to suffer after 12 hours so plan your delivery accordingly. If you cannot avoid having your sod sit around for a few hours, check out our blog on overheating for tips on how to help your unlaid sod in the heat. Planning ahead will ensure none of your sod overheats.

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Planning Makes Perfect

Each skid of sod comes with 70 rolls (700 square feet) of sod. It takes just under 2 hours for one person to install around 700 square feet of sod. This doesn’t include watering as you go, or cutting the pieces to fit curved edges. Planning ahead to ensure you have enough time to install your sod before it starts to overheat is crucial. Sod cannot sit around in the heat for more than a couple of hours before it starts to overheat. Hire some extra help if you have a large quantity of sod. Consider getting your sod in multiple deliveries if you have a large quantity. This way you don’t have to worry about damaging your sod if you are running behind. You also can spread out the work over a couple of days.

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Plan, Plan, Plan!

Planning ahead leads to a smooth installation process. Ensure that you have adequate help to install the sod if needed upon delivery. Getting multiple deliveries ensures the sod isn’t sitting out for prolonged periods in the heat. Our sod gets cut close to delivery in order to minimize heat damage. Choosing to purchase sod is a great way to achieve an instant lawn, but can be quite costly if done incorrectly. Save yourself time and money by planning accordingly to ensure a smooth sod installation!

15 Responses

  1. Marcus Coons says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning how you should take the time to plan ahead to make sure you have enough time to plan your sod before it starts overheating. It makes sense that doing this can help you get the amount of grass you need and understand how you can plant it so your area is properly covered in it. My wife and I were thinking about installing sod since seeding our [property is not working, so I’m glad I found your post.

    • Cameron Shimoda says:

      Hey Marcus! Thanks so much for your feedback! I’m very glad to hear that our information is being well received! Seeding can be difficult without the right conditions. I think you guys will have much better success with sod. Fall is a great a time to lay sod because of the grass’s lifecycle. In the spring, grass grows leaves (blades) aggressively in anticipation of the coming warm weather and copious sunlight. In the fall, grass grows roots aggressively in anticipation of the coming cold weather and dormancy. This makes for perfect sod establishment conditions, because you want the roots to take as fast as possible! I hope this helps 🙂

  2. Larry Weaver says:

    Thanks for emphasizing that planning makes perfect when installing sod. My backyard is dying, so I would really like to do a landscaping project to try and give it new life. Through finding a reliable sod delivery service, I’ll be sure to develop a plan on how I can effectively install sod for my yard.

  3. I agree with your point that planning ahead will help ensure a smooth installation process, especially when it concerns something outside our expertise. I also never knew that certain types of sods can help ensure we achieve an instant and green lawn. After reading this, I will definitely call for professional help and discuss it with them in creating a lush garden for the family.

    • Cameron Shimoda says:

      Thanks for your comment Kristofer! I’m glad you found so much to agree with in our article, and that you even learned a thing or two!:)

      All the best!

  4. Annabel says:

    This is why I’m leaving it up to the professionals. Too much timing for a beginner like me who would likely take hours (days) longer than I anticipate to do anything.

    • Cameron Shimoda says:

      There’s no shame in hiring a landscaper Annabel! Sod installation can be a daunting project and having an experienced installer makes a world of difference. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Alison says:

    we had 15 pallets delivered by a company that had planned to lay them that day. Then it rained for 4 days and the grass has sat on the pallet. They came to air out the ground and get it ready to lay tomorrow. But it’s just been so long that I’m concerned with the lower levels of the grass. Its been overcast, so its not dead, but its showing distress and has spots that have turned yellow. The company claims that its going to be OK and they lay sod for a living.

    • Cameron Shimoda says:

      Hey Alison,

      I would be very concerned about your sod… Especially with all the rain on it. Watering rolled up sod will cause the sod to begin to grow, a process which releases gasses that can build up in the rolls and kill your grass. Ideally, you want to install sod (at the latest) 6 hours after delivery. The fresher the sod, the better it will establish. It’s possible that the installation company can still get it to establish, but like I said, I would be worried about how healthy your new lawn will be after being on the pallets for 4 days.

      Monitor your new lawn closely, and if things start to turn for the worse, reach out to your installation company and try to reach a resolution over your concerns.

      All the best and good luck with your new lawn!

  6. Sod Fresno says:

    Been doing landscaping for over 40 years and i have to agree ” PLAN PLAN PLAN” ive seen many times were folks call me to reinstall sod for a number a of reasons.

    James Granz

    • Cameron Shimoda says:

      Thanks so much for your comment James! We try our best to equip our customers with the information required to establish sod successfully! All the best 🙂

  7. Jeff Czarkowski says:


    I have very Sandy/granular-black/grey stuff. I won’t’ even call it real soil. il. It’s by a lake and a friend feels it’s from the bottom of the man-made lake.

    What would you recommend before laying sod or type of sod to help ensure success? Not much grating to do as it’s just a black “granular” muck, especially when it rains so leveling is easy.

    Thanks, good answers and questions here….

    • Cameron Shimoda says:

      Hey Jeff! I would definitely recommend improving the underlying soil nutrition before installing sod. Your sod will only perform as good as your soil is, so you want to make sure that the sublayer has a good balance between drainage and moisture retention, and a solid nutritional profile. Amend your existing soil with some high nutrient soil and mix it in well. We have some great info on nutritious subsoil in this article:

  8. John says:

    What equipment can I use to speed up laying 1/4 acre? We just did one yard that was awful as we used wheelbarrows. I’m thinking of something like a skid steer or lawn tractor with a dump cart to speed up moving the sod in place. Or a tracked skid steer carry the pallets around the yard and roll pieces off?

    • Cameron Shimoda says:

      Hey John! Absolutely using a skid steer or a similar compact utility machine can help accelerate your installation. Use them to move sod and soil around the job site as needed, and for levelling the area. You’ll likely find many more uses for a skid steer once you get one on site. Be careful not to compact the soil too much by driving over the same spots often!

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