A Guide to Installing Sod in Orlando, FL

A Guide to Installing Sod in Orlando, FL

A Guide to Installing Sod in Orlando, FL


The quest for the perfect lawn can be both thrilling and daunting. When it comes to achieving the lush, green expanse you've always envied, installing new sod might just be the best-kept secret of landscaping aficionados. But where do you begin, and how do you ensure your sod doesn't just survive but flourishes?

In the sunny state of Florida, particularly Orlando, the climate throws its own set of challenges and opportunities into the soil. This comprehensive guide is your starting point for sod installation, specifically tailored to the unique conditions and needs of the Orlando area. By the end, you'll be ready to transform your turf and create a lawn that's not only a local gem but a testament to your green thumb.


Understanding Sod and Its Benefits

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of installation, it's important to comprehend the what and why of sod. Sod, or turf, consists of grass and a small layer of soil beneath it, held together by the roots. It's often sold in large, carpet-like rolls that are unrolled over prepared spaces.

The key advantages of using sod compared to seeding a lawn are its quicker establishment, erosion prevention, and the ability to enjoy a near-instant, verdant cover for your landscape.

In Orlando's climate, where the humidity and heat can be intense, sod can endure the elements better than newly planted seeds, offering a hardier start for your lawn.

Preparing for Sod Installation

Conducting a Site Analysis

Assess your yard before sod arrival. Check for proper drainage, sunlight exposure, and possible obstacles like tree roots. Timely analysis can help you strategize sod placement and determine the best type of grass for your site's needs.

Testing the Soil

Orlando's diverse terrain and previous land uses can result in widely varying soil conditions. Conduct a soil test to ascertain pH levels, nutrient content, and potential amendments required. Local agricultural extensions or sod professionals can provide soil test kits or recommend laboratories.

Clearing the Area

Prior to sod delivery, your site should be free of existing grass, weeds, and debris. This might involve mowing the existing vegetation closely and using herbicides for more aggressive weeds, ensuring they've thoroughly died off before sod day.

Selecting the Right Sod for the Right Spot

Orlando's eclectic landscapes call for diverse grass types. Bermudagrass and St. Augustinegrass are prevalent choices for the area, each with its own characteristics. Bermuda thrives in full sun and is durable - optimal for high-traffic areas. St. Augustine, known for its shade tolerance, is a great option for homes with more limited sunlight.

Partner with a local sod provider who can recommend the best sod type for your lawn's specific microclimates and usage patterns. They can also ensure you're receiving high-quality, freshly cut sod that will fare well post-installation.

Planning for Delivery and Installation

The ideal scenario is to have the sod delivered on the day of installation. The quicker the sod is laid after cutting, the better. Sod's health and success are greatly impacted by its freshness and timeliness of planting.

Calculating the Quantity

Measure your installation area's length and width and calculate the square footage. Remember to order a little extra to account for irregular shapes, any mid-installation mishaps, or unexpected needs.

The Crucial Steps to Installation

Timing Is Everything

While sod can be laid year-round in Orlando, autumn and spring are particularly ideal seasons due to mild temperatures and increased rainfall. Avoid the height of summer if possible, as the heat can stress both you and the fresh sod.

Laying the Foundation

The day before sodding, prepare the soil by tilling to loosen the top 4 to 6 inches. Ensure the soil is level and that you've taken care of any heavy or compacted areas. Create a 1-inch slope away from structures for proper drainage.

Installing the Sod

Begin sodding along a straight edge, like a driveway or sidewalk, laying rows tightly together, like bricks. Stagger the joints in a running bond pattern to avoid long seams. Press down to ensure good root contact and water immediately after installing each section.

Watering and Initial Care

The day you install your sod, water until the area feels wet 3 inches below the surface. In the following two weeks, keep the sod moist - not puddling - and gradually reduce frequency as roots establish, typically in about 2-3 weeks.

Post-Installation Best Practices


In Orlando's sandy soils, nutrients leach quickly. After six weeks, apply a balanced fertilizer to mitigate potential deficiencies and encourage growth.


Wait until the sod has rooted well, usually within 10-14 days, before mowing. Maintain a cutting height that doesn't exceed more than 1/3 of the grass blade's length at a time.

Weed Control

Weeds can be prevalent in disturbed soil. Practice diligent observation and hand pull as necessary until your sod has fully established and can compete with weeds on its own.

Disease and Pest Management

Be vigilant against pests like chinch bugs and diseases like brown patch. Early detection and effective management are crucial for a healthy lawn.

Partnering with Professional Sod Contractors

While DIY sod installation can be rewarding, professional contractors bring expertise, efficiency, and often, warranties to the table. Choosing a trusted sod contractor in Orlando, FL can relieve the pressure of installation logistics and ensure a long-lasting, finely finished lawn.

In Orlando, contractors like "From The Ground Up Landscaping" specialize in sod installation, supported by years of local experience and dedication to customer satisfaction. Their end-to-end services ease the homeowner's burden and guarantee professional results.



Installing new sod is a fantastic leap toward a captivating lawn, and with the right approach, success is well within reach. Remember to focus on preparation, selection, and thorough care. For the residents of Orlando, the sunshine and occasional storm are merely the backdrop to the real show – the flourishing expanse of your lush, green turf.

Captivate your neighborhood with a lawn that's not only green in color but also green in the eco-friendly practice of water conservation. By choosing sod and following these guidelines, you contribute not just to your home's aesthetics but to the sustainability and beauty of Orlando, one sod roll at a time. If you're looking for sod contractors in Orlando, FL, contact From The Ground Up Landscaping today for free estimates.

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