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Best Soil For Sod

We frequently get asked what the best type of soil is to use for new sod. The answer is: that depends!

Though you can sometimes have decent results growing grass in poor soil, most lawn grasses need ideally at least 4 inches of topsoil to do well. Topsoil should contain some organic matter and also have a balance of clay, sand, and silt. Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn!

Option 1: Do you need to raise the grade / elevation?

If you need to raise the elevation that your new sod will sit at, you should spread garden soil. You can plant sod directly on our garden soil since it is a pre-mixed blend of topsoil and compost. If you need to raise the grade significantly, it is more cost effective to use fill dirt for a base, followed by 4-6 inches of garden soil on top. Spread starter fertilizer on the dirt to feed the new sod as it takes root.

Option 2: Amend your existing soil with compost

If you do not need to adjust the elevation, you have the option of enriching your existing soil with 100% compost. This will ammend poor quality soil with organic nutrients, as well as reduce compaction and lead to a long term healthy lawn. Spread a 1" layer of compost over the area, and then use a rototiller to mix into your existing soil. We do still recommend using starter fertilizer since the grass will require more nutrients to get established.

Option 3: Use your existing soil

If you are replacing an existing lawn that has been established for a number of years, there is a good chance that you can use your existing soil since it may already contain enough organic matter. In this case, you can just rototill the soil and spread starter fertilizer.

Soil Testing

If you are investing in a new lawn, we highly recommend testing your soil to determine which, if any, nutrients your soil is lacking (see product below). The cost is quite low and actually ends up paying for itself since you won't be applying products that are not needed!