How to Remove & Transplant Sod

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
A grassy area provides a safe play area for children.

A beautiful green lawn provides a place for children to play. Additionally, it is the perfect setting for lawn bowling, croquet or badminton. When brightly green, a lawn sets off colorful flowers and provides visual interest. However, plans change and yards evolve. Sometimes it's necessary to remove growing grass and plant it in another area. Sod is not difficult to transplant but it will take some advance planning. Choose a cloudy day if possible on which to do your transplanting so the grass doesn't dry out.


Step 1

Prepare the area where the sod is being transplanted to by removing any debris, sticks and rocks from it. Remove any plants as well. Remove existing sod and soil in the area up to a depth of 6 inches. Collect the soil to the side of where the sod will be planted. If the area is small, put the soil in a wheelbarrow.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Add a fertilizer high in nitrogen to the remaining soil at half the rate the package directs. You want to give the sod a boost but not burn the roots.


Step 3

Rake the area level, avoiding the soil collected to the side of the planting area. Water until the ground is wet for several inches. Dig into the ground with a hand shovel to test the soil's moisture.

Step 4

Plunge a straight-edged shovel about 2 inches deep into the sod that you wish to transplant. Outline a strip of sod that's 1 foot wide and 3 to 5 feet long.


Step 5

Place the shovel edge under one end of the strip and push it laterally under the grass to dislodge the roots from the soil. Continue pushing until you have the entire strip removed. Roll it up so it's easier to carry.

Step 6

Place the strip of sod onto the newly prepared ground. Unroll it. Walk on it several times to ensure that the roots make contact with the ground. Continue digging strips and replanting them until the area is filled. Butt each new strip of grass firmly to the next one and stagger the joints.


Step 7

Water the transplanted sod every day for 15 minutes for the first week. If the weather is very hot, or over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, water twice a day.

Step 8

Use the removed soil to fill in the area where you removed the sod.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...