Sod is similar to carpet, and it can arrive at your house in long rolls, just like carpet! When you purchase sod, you have to look at the width, described in feet, to determine how it will fit into your lawn. Unless you have a perfectly straight lawn, you have to learn how to cut sod if you want to be able to lay it yourself, saving a few extra dollars!

Most homeowners select sod for a variety of reasons. The obvious check in the positive column for sod is that you don’t have to wait for it to grow. Seeds take forever to grow, and you have to extra careful to water appropriately if you want germination to occur. Sod creates an even, well-maintained lawn, as soon as you install it. Seed can create and uneven lawn that requires you to take the time to fill in the spots.​

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Things You Will Need To Cut Sod

  • Heavy Work Gloves
  • Utility Knife
  • Tape Measure
  • Hoe or Rake
  • Landscaping Spray Paint
  • Shovel or Garden Fork

How To Cut Sod Instructions

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  • Sod requires careful planning. One great idea is to outline the area where you want to lay the sod. Using the measuring tape and landscaping spray plant, mark the areas you will lay the sod. Doing so makes the laying process shorter.
  • Despite the shapes sold by the landscaping company, the easiest size to lay is 12 inches wide. If you receive rolls that are larger than that, it would be a great idea to cut the strip into more manageable pieces. A tight string can help you cut it correctly.
  • Before you can cut the sod, it has to be laid into its appropriate area. You have to turn the soil before laying down sod. This is an easy process! A simple hoe or rake can accomplish this job successfully. Put on your work gloves and get the first roll of sod. Put it down on the ground, line it up to the edge and slowly start to unroll until you finish the roll or reach an obstruction.
  • Using your utility knife, insert it through the sod at the middle point needed. Sod won’t rip like paper. You have to use a slow, sawing motion to create the desired shape. Start in the middle and work towards one direction. Then, go back to the middle and work towards the other direction.
  • Once you have the sod laid out in the correct area, remember to use a shovel or fork to slide under sod and break the roots. You want to pry the roots away from the sod to encourage active growth and to connect with the original soil.
  • If you need to cut the sod at an angle, remember to measure it so that it doesn’t leave gaps or oddly shaped areas without sod. Use the tape measure to take measurements and then bring that back to the sod.

Best Tools For Cutting Sod

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If you are only laying sod down in a tiny front yard, you could just use a utility knife to cut sod. However, there are better tools out there that make the job easier. Using a utility knife is risky because you might create an uneven cut or tear the sod. Here are a few other options to try.

Sod Lifters and Cutters

A quick trip to your local home improvement store should provide you with a few choices. Sod lifters and cutters perform two duties, but they often cost over $75, making them an unappealing choice for small homeowners. Most of these options feature a half moon shaped lower blade and a long handle that allows you to get a great grip. You can cut through virtually any weeds with this tool. At first, a sod cutter would resemble a regular shovel, except the handle is typically shorter, and the edge can be rounded or squared. It is important to remember that it takes some muscle to use these tools!

Manual Kick-Type Sod Cutters and Edger

Rather than using your hands, give your feet a job. Some homeowners opt for the manual kick-type sod cutters. While it does the same type of job as the previously mentioned options, manual cutters cover more ground, so you do end up having to do less work. These are built to last, and their price tag reflects this goal. However, it is a one time purchase.

Most kick sod cutters have a crossbar that holds two long handles together. On the ground, there is a roller and a flat blade. Adjustments allow you to level the blade for your particular project. As you work across the lawn, you kick the crossbar to cut.

Digging Tool and Sod Cutters

If your focus is budget, you need a sod knife. They are a very handy tool that can be used to lift small areas of sod. If you hit underground snags, nothing stands in the way of these cutters. While there are many options on the market, the Standard Lesche is one of the highest rated choices by gardeners. Even if you aren’t laying sod, this sod cutter is a multi-purpose tool!

Tips For Cutting Sod

  • Always make sure the knife you selected has a smooth blade. An uneven or dull blade could lead to tearing. Jagged edge knives could also create a bad cut or tear the sod. A smooth blade is the best option.
  • Don’t lay joints next to each other. Try to stagger where you start and stop sod because it is noticeable until it grows together.
  • Once you laid your sod down, water it immediately to help to grab onto the soil and encourage active growth.

Conclusion

After spending hundreds of dollars on sod, you want it to match your lawn perfectly. It should curve around each corner and look like a natural lawn. Even though it seems intimidating, learning how to cut sod doesn’t have to be hard. With a little elbow grease and manual labor, you can save money and install the sod yourself!

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Tina Martino
 

My passion is gardening. Along with my husband and children, each year we grow a garden large enough to provide our family of five with over half of our needed produce. Besides vegetables and a small berry patch, I also focus my attention on beautifying our home with strategically placed flowers, herbs, and flowering plants. Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is a way of life.

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