I just had SOD installed in my yard. I live in Arizona so our dirt/soil is not the best. I checked under some of the SOD cuts and didn't see that any mulch/seeds/nutrients were used which worries me a little.

On top of the watering, is there anything I should apply on the grass it self in terms of nutrients/seeds that will help the grass take root?

I would like to refrain from having to lift back each piece of SOD and put down seeds, but if that's my only options, please let me know.


  • coffee grounds may help May 12, 2016 at 22:28
  • Why would you be adding seeds under or on top of sod? The whole point of sod is that someone else planted the seeds and grew the sod, so you would not have to. If you want to seed a lawn, don't buy sod...
    – Ecnerwal
    May 13, 2016 at 1:23
  • I explained my thoughts incorrectly- I meant to say the ground was not prepared in any way such as tilling, nutrients, fertilizer etc. sod was placed on top of dirt and then watered. If that's all that's needed, apologies for the lack of knowledge in the area
    – SBB
    May 13, 2016 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


If you've had this sod 'installed', that would strongly suggest you paid someone to install it. That someone should be able to tell you precisely what preparation of the soil they made beforehand, including any emendments, and precisely which fertilizer they used, if any.

Preparation for sod usually involves removal of pernicious and ordinary weeds, turning the soil over, raking or spreading to level off, allowing the area to settle or consolidate, raking up the top couple of inches and applying a balanced fertilizer, then laying the sod. So before you start thinking of applying any kind of fertiizer on top, you need to establish exactly what happened prior to the sod going down. It also would not be wise to fertilize at this stage - you need to wait for the turf to root into the soil beneath before doing that.


You've said you know the gardener you employed did no preparation other than raking the soil flat, then just laying the sods on top. If you only moved in December 2015, it's hard to know what would have grown in it if it had been left, but you haven't mentioned any obvious plant/weed growth being present prior to the turf going down. As the soil itself had been untouched, then it would already have been consolidated, so hopefully, the person who raked it over didn't leave any 'soft spots', which would cause sinking in the grass in those spots over time.

Unless you want to take the lot up and start again, then just carry on watering copiously and frequently, particularly with such high temperatures. Once it's taken root and starts growing properly, that's the time to add a lawn fertilizer. Sometimes the grass grows even before the sods have rooted into place, so just check by trying to lift a bit to test, preferably in the middle of the sodded area rather than the edges, don't pull it too hard, just see if it lifts up easily. If it doesn't, its rooted in. Rooting into the soil beneath, at this time of year, should take place pretty quickly.

To be fair to the gardener you employed, if the sods were already on the property, waiting to be laid, he didn't have much choice but to lay them immediately, with minimal preparation, though he could have applied some fertilizer. It's usual to do the soil preparation first, then wait a week, check the area, then order the sods, spreading general purpose fertilizer underneath just before laying.

  • I ordered the sod myself from a local area and had it delivered. I then called a gardener of whom I had been given their business card weeks ago. They came, raked the yard level and laid the sod on top. There was no tilling, fertilizing or anything done to the ground other than raking it level. I was just told to water and and that was all. Prior to this during my research, I had seen the mentioning of preparing the ground etc which is what stemmed my question.
    – SBB
    May 13, 2016 at 16:00
  • Hmm, doesn't sound like any kind of gardener to me - what you describe is exactly what a builder does, or someone who's pretending to be a gardener. Was anything growing in the ground before he raked it over?
    – Bamboo
    May 13, 2016 at 17:09
  • And had the area been dug at all in the last, say, three months?
    – Bamboo
    May 13, 2016 at 17:16
  • My home is a new build, I moved into it in December of 2015. I trenched my yard for sprinklers but that's about as much digging that has happened. The only reason they raked was to make it as level as possible, they were only raking dirt, nothing was grown where the sod was placed. I only hired someone else for this part so I didn't waste $500 on sod by doing it incorrectly but i don't know if that even made a difference now. I live in Arizona, temps at 106 today and will be high for the summer months. Just trying to see if there is anything I can do to make sure the sod takes root :/
    – SBB
    May 13, 2016 at 17:20
  • See updated answer
    – Bamboo
    May 13, 2016 at 17:26

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