Homeowners don’t want to wait weeks or even months for a green lawn to grow and that’s why sodding is the perfect solution for anybody who wants to enjoy perfect grass right away. 

But before you commit to a sod installation in the Greater Toronto Area, there are some factors to consider, including the time of year and your soil type. The landscaping pros at ISR Gardening have put together the following guidelines for optimal sod installation.

Why Do We Lay Sod?

So what is sodding exactly? “Sodding” refers to laying down rolls of grass on top of soil for it to take root. Sod is pre-grown by farmers and is pre-cut into mats. Compared to seeding a new lawn, sodding offers many benefits, including:

  • It only takes a few hours to install sod so you’ll get instant gratification.
  • There’s less maintenance required than seeding, which needs watering multiple times a day.
  • Finally, there’s much more flexibility with sodding in terms of what time of year you can install it.

Best Environment To Lay Sod

With sod, your grass already looks fabulous and it’s ready to go for installation, but you still need to do some prep work on the ground before you roll it all out.


Use a lawn aerator to make tiny holes in the ground. This will loosen up the soil allowing more oxygen.

Test your soil to see if you need to add extra compost or other nutrients to the soil.

Make sure the ground is sloping away from all foundations on the property.

This is your chance to shave down any high spots or fill in any holes.

Comb the property for debris including tree roots and big rocks.

The soil should be moist but not too saturated and you shouldn’t lay sod overtop of dusty soil or muddy soil.

Best Time Of Year To Lay Sod

So how late can you lay sod in Ontario? The schedule for laying down sod is very flexible as opposed to seeding. The best time to lay sod in southern Ontario is anytime after the ground thaws in spring and before it freezes in fall or winter:

Don’t install your sod until your soil temperature is holding steady between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius, which can be done by buying a cheap soil thermometer from your local hardware store

While there is some flexibility, the optimal time to lay the sod is in late summer or early fall because warmer temperatures help the roots take hold easier and still leave time for the sod to get settled before the brutal winter weather comes.

Snow Removal by ISR Gardening Services Toronto

Worst Time Of Year To Lay Sod

As discussed previously, use soil temperature as a guide for laying down your sod. Don’t roll it out too late in the fall or too early in the spring. This will also make it more difficult to find sod because there isn’t as much harvesting going on at these times of the year.

Ensure that your sprinkler system is good to go and that all of your patio furniture is taken out of your storage because you’ll want to minimize foot traffic on your new sod once it’s laid down.

The middle of the summer when it’s hottest is one of the worst times to lay sod because its condition can deteriorate more easily during delivery.

If your area is experiencing a drought, wait until it’s over to install new sod. Despite regular watering, hitting your sod with intense variances of heat and moisture can really stress it out and lead to poor results.

Why is it bad to lay sod in late fall? If the ground freezes before your new sod’s roots system can take hold, you will be horrified in the spring when your lawn is a lumpy, patchy mess. Just don’t do it!

Tips For Successful Sod Installation

  • Do some research about where your sod is coming from and how it’s grown. Ask around for references and recommendations to see if it’s a good grower to be dealing with. Try to find out if the sod you’re about to buy is grown using newer genetic varieties of grasses because this type of sod will require less water to stay lush and fewer chemicals to keep away the weeds.
  • Invest in some high-quality fertilizer to apply to the soil before you lay any sod. You’ll be looking at the fertilizer packaging for high amounts of potassium or phosphorus. These are the secret ingredients for a healthy green lawn.
  • Are you laying sod on a steep slope or hill on your property? You’ll want to lay the rolls down horizontally as opposed to vertically. It’s almost important to use wooden stakes to keep the sod in place, otherwise, heavy rain could send them sliding out of place!
  • To avoid attractive, long seams in your sod layout, you can easily avoid this by staggering the placement of the rolls, making sure that the short ends meet adjacent to the middle of a subsequent roll.
  • If you want that professional look around flower beds or up against sidewalks and trees, use a sod knife, utility knife or sharp spade so you can get the tightest fit possible.
  • Be sure to water your new sod at least once a day for several weeks until the roots have a chance to get well established, and then switch to watering just a few times a week taking rainfall into consideration. It’s important not to overwater your sod.
  • Let your sod grow for an extended period of time before you use the lawnmower. You don’t want to remove more than 33% of its length the first time you mow because this could stress out the sod.
  • Another thing to consider before mowing your lawn is to ensure that the ground isn’t too soft. If it’s very moist and you roll a lawnmower over the lawn, you could ruin your new grass before you’ve had time to enjoy it.
  • Add some additional fertilizer to your new lawn between 4 and 6 weeks after your new sod is laid down.

Contact The Sod Installation Pros!

If you don’t have the time or skill to take care of your own lawn, treat yourself to the reliable and affordable landscaping services provided by ISR Gardening! We offer the GTA’s best sodding and lawn care services by experienced teams with a commitment to first-rate customer service. Contact us today for a free consultation and let’s start creating the beautiful lawn you deserve!