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Do You Lay Sod Horizontally or Vertically?

If you are laying sod on a sloped lawn, you should lay it horizontally. This means the sod should be running from left to right across the slope, not up and down the slope. If you are laying sod on a flat lawn, lay the sod vertically along paved surfaces, such as driveways. This means the longest side of the sod should go alongside the paved surface. This results in the best look for the completed lawn.

Do you lay sod horizontally or vertically?

Why Does the Direction of Sod Matter?

The direction sod lays is essential to ensure the sod takes root properly and is not washed out of position by flowing water. Additionally, laying sod in the correct direction can improve the finished look of your yard, once the sod has taken root.

  • Properly laid sod resists being washed away by rain and regular watering.
  • When you lay sod in the correct direction for your lawn, it will result in a more attractive finished lawn.
  • Offset rows of sod by laying them in a “brick pattern.”
  • Using the brick pattern technique helps sod from being displaced by water.

In addition to laying sod in the proper direction, you should also always lay the sod in an alternating “brick pattern” so that the seams of the rows of sod do not line up. This may require you to cut a piece of sod in half at the start of the second row, but it’s worth it. Offsetting the seams prevents water from filling a seam and dislodging the sod.

When Should You Lay Sod Horizontally?

You should lay sod horizontally if your lawn is sloped. To visualize this, picture a flow of water running down the slope of your yard. You should lay your sod so that the water running down the slope will encounter the long side of the sod pieces. You DO NOT want water flowing downhill to run into the short side of the sod pieces.

  • Lay sod horizontally on sloped lawns, so that the sod is running across the slope.
  • If sod is laid vertically (running up and down the slope) it can easily be dislodged when you water.
  • Installing sod on sloped surfaces can be tricky, so follow our guide to laying sod on a slope.

The reason for laying sod horizontally across a slope is precisely because of running water. Water flowing downhill from rain or watering will have a hard time dislodging sod laid horizontally. However, if you lay your sod vertically (with the short sides pointing uphill and downhill), water can easily get under the sod pieces and move them out of place. This can prevent sod from taking root and cause the sod to struggle and die.

When Should You Lay Sod Vertically?

You should lay sod vertically along paved surfaces, such as driveways and paths. This means that the long side of the sod should be alongside the paved surface. This results in a very tidy edge where your grass meets the concrete. However, it’s a good idea to also incorporate these tips for laying sod next to concrete.

  • When possible lay sod so that the long side is along paved areas, including driveways, patios, and pathways.
  • Laying sod vertically along paved areas results in a cleaner, more attractive edge to your yard.
  • If you are laying sod next to a sloped paved area, prioritize laying your sod horizontally across the slope.

If your lawn is sloped and has a paved surface, lay your sod horizontally across the slope. Although laying sod vertically makes for a prettier yard, laying sod correctly on a slope is more important. Sod laid vertically on a slope often struggles, is shifted out of place, and can become waterlogged. Always prioritize getting your sod to stay in place and take root—this results in healthy grass.

Can You Lay Sod in Different Directions in Different Parts of Your Yard?

Your sod can run in different directions in different portions of your yard, as long as there are no gaps between the pieces of sod. So, if you have a flat portion of your yard with a paved surface, you can run the sod vertically along the edge of the concrete. Then, as you reach a sloped area of your yard, you can transition so your sod lays horizontally across the slope.

  • If you like, you can lay sod vertically in some areas, then horizontally in others.
  • Changing the direction your sod runs in different parts of your yard can help you get the best looking lawn.
  • If you need to cut sod to fit your plan, use this sod knife for a clean cut.

Laying sod to take advantage of flat and sloped areas may require cutting pieces of sod. Although you want to minimize the number of cuts you have to make when installing sod, it’s an essential part of the job. With a good sod knife, you can cut long rolls of sod to shorter lengths. This helps when you want to transition from a horizontal to a vertical pattern.

Which Direction Should Sod be Laid?

When deciding which direction to lay your sod pieces, keep these rules in mind:

  • Lay sod horizontally across slopes, so that water flowing downhill will encounter the long edge of the sod.
  • Install sod vertically along paved areas, so that the long edge of the sod is alongside the concrete.
  • Sod laid vertically on hills is prone to being shifted out of position by water.
  • Sod laid horizontally along paved areas results in a messier look.
  • If necessary, you can run sod in different directions in different parts of your lawn.

Now that you know how to install your sod so it runs in the right direction, you’re well on your way to a lawn full of healthy grass. With the right yard prep, some good sod-to-soil contact, and plenty of water, your new lawn will be thriving in no time.

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