Can Sod be Installed on Top of Existing Grass? Why or Why Not?
When installing sod, people tend to look for ways to simplify the process. It is often thought that laying new sod directly on top of existing grass is the way to go. This seems like an easy way to cut down the preparation time, but will end up adding more time than it saves! This is because the sod cannot survive if you lay it on top of existing grass. It might look good for a couple of weeks with proper watering, but it cannot survive in these conditions! Once the sod dies, you will end up having to re-sod again and remove all of the lawn underneath as well. Essentially, sodding over existing grass makes you have to do the job twice! It’s probably a better idea not to take any shortcuts!
Why Won’t Sod Survive on Top of Existing Grass?
In order for sod to survive, it has to be able to form a root system. In order to do this, your sod needs to have contact with the soil beneath it. If you install sod on top of your existing lawn, the existing grass forms a layer between your sod and the soil beneath. Your fresh sod will be unable to reach the soil to develop roots. Proper preparation to the soil and ground beneath the sod is crucial to the success of your lawn. For a guide on how to properly install sod, check out our full 7-step guide.
Freshly laid sod also needs proper nutrients to thrive and to grow. Existing grass makes it hard for sod to get the nutrients it needs to survive. Have you ever set a heavy, dense object (like a brick or large rock) on top of your lawn? If the object is left there for awhile the grass underneath it will decompose. Once the object is removed the grass gets a slimy, sort of wet layer on top of it. This is what happens to the grass beneath the sod. This doesn’t seem like a great growing environment and your sod will not be receiving all of the nutrients it needs.
A Couple of Points to Consider:
Be careful when researching ‘shortcut’ ideas for your lawn. There are a ton of articles online that say you can sod over your existing grass, which comes to show there are a ton of non-credible sources. Do your research and check out blogs run by sod companies or garden centres to ensure you are getting high quality information and tips.
It is easier to put in the time and effort now as the results will be well worth it! It is easy to take shortcuts, but they can end up costing you! Don’t skip any steps, and save yourself the trouble of having to re-sod in a couple of weeks. Save time and money by doing things right, the first time!