a square of sod

What is sod?

Sod is both grass and the soil directly beneath the grass held together by the roots. When used for individual lawns, it usually comes in 16×24 inch blocks. For larger sod projects, it may come in long strips which are rolled up like carpet.

Sod is sold to landscapers, home builders and home owners to form lawns, sports fields and parks. It’s placed on bare soil which the roots grow into over a period of time.

How is sod grown?

Sod is grown on local farms that specialize in sod production. When planting a new grass field, the farmer treats and grades the soil, sets up an irrigation system and places sprigs of the variety of grass chosen for the field. Sprigs are small pieces of grass, taken from blocks off of a stock pallet, which are then chopped up and spread throughout the farm with a machine. After the sprigging process, the farm is rigorously maintained until the sprigs have grown together to produce a full field of grass ready to harvest. During that time the grass fields are kept well fertilized, undergo frequent watering and are mowed on a regular basis.

At The Grass Outlet, our grass is grown just off the Texas coast in Matagorda County where the soil is nutrient rich and the weather is ideal.

How is sod harvested?

Sod is ready for harvesting between 12 and 18 months after it’s planted, depending on the variety of grass. The extended growing period gives the grass enough time to form strong root systems which won’t break apart.

It’s harvested using a tractor that cuts the sod at the desired thickness and width. The farmers leave a “ribbon” of grass every 16 inches so the grass can grow back together for the next yield. While one person drives the harvester and controls the specifics of the sod cut, two others stand on the back and stack the sod onto pallets. These pallets are then loaded by forklift onto trucks and transported to homes, businesses and schools.

How is sod different from seeding?

Seeding involves planting the grass seeds in the spot that they will eventually grow. Sod, on the other hand, is already mature grass that takes root in a new location. Newly laid sod is ready for use in about thirty days. A seeded lawn takes much longer to grow and can’t be walked on until the grass is at least two inches tall.

For more information on how to care for your sod, check out our planting and watering tips pages.