Can You Lay Sod Over Sod?

Published Categorized as Sod & Seed

There are various reasons for installing new sod. It may be due to unceasing bare spots, dead sod, or the appearance of weeds. Other reasons are having barren soil or needing to change the type of grass. But the big question is; can you lay new sod over existing sod?

Never lay sod over sod because the old sod will decompose and release harmful gases that will damage your new sod. Also, a layer of vegetation above the soil will prevent the new sod from taking root.

Therefore, whatever your reason is for laying new sod, don’t lay it over existing sod. Keep reading for more information.

Can You Lay Sod Over Sod?

You shouldn’t lay new sod over sod, whether dead or in good condition. Note that for you to have a flourishing lawn, your sod must reach the soil bed.

When sod is in touch with the soil, it enhances the establishment of deep roots for easier absorption of nutrients and moisture. But if you lay sod over sod, your new sod will lack this contact and hence wither and die.

Additionally, once you lay new sod over existing sod, the old one will decompose. The decomposing sod will release gases like methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, and nitrogen. All these gases might harm your new sod as they cause yellowing in the grass.

For these reasons, you need to know how to prepare to lay new sod instead of covering the existing one.

How To Prepare to Lay Sod

Can you lay sod over sod

Follow these steps for a successful sod-laying journey.

1. Remove the old sod using a sod cutter, spade, pitchfork, or hoe. Shake it for the loose soil to go back to the ground, then roll it up like carpeting.

2. Test the soil to check whether it’s healthy and well-aerated.

3. Measure the entire area to ensure you have enough sod.

4. Till up your land and remove all debris, rocks, and sticks. Loosen up the soil using a rototiller, and make it 6–8 inches deep. Add organic matter to the area to enhance water retention and boost soil aeration.

5. Level up the area using a rake.

6. Make the soil moist by watering the ground well at least four times in 24 hours before laying your sod.

7. Install your new sod and pat it down carefully. This patting ensures no air pockets between the soil and the sod.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q: Can you lay sod over dead sod?

A: No. You are required to remove the dead sod before laying the new one. The dead sod might prevent the new sod from reaching nutrients and moisture from the soil, hindering root development.

Q: How long does sod take to root?

A: It takes around six weeks for the sod to germinate and establish a healthy, deep root system.

Q: Should I put anything down before laying sod?

A:  Before laying new sod, till your land and add organic matter, compost, lime, or fertilizer. Adding topsoil, sand, or claylike soil is also critical to improving drainage.


Removing old sod before laying new is not debatable. Failure to do this may kill your brand-new sod, as it will lack essential nutrients for root development. Additionally, the sod beneath emits gases like methane, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide when decomposing. These gases may harm your sod as they cause yellowing in the grass. So, remove the old sod first before installing the new sod.

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By Wycliffe Magara

Hi, my name’s Wycliffe Magara, a professional landscaper, journalist, published author, photographer, and lawn attendant. Apart from this site, I also own LawnAffection, Grasstology, and TheScholarshipTipster. I specialize in creating informational content to help you grow a Lifelong Lush Lawn and find the ideal scholarship opportunities no one ever talks about.