What is Sod?
Sod is simply grass and a small part of the soil beneath it held together by the root system or in some cases by a thin layer of biodegradable material. Landscaping is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase the value of a home, but sod has many uses that go beyond appearance. For example, sod:
is used to establish a lawn quickly especially in areas where seed would be too expensive to use or would simply blow away.
can also improve air and water quality in the immediate area.
can help with the prevention of flooding in the area. Sod helps to drain the water and to divert it to the ground where it becomes part of the ground water supply instead of overflowing, overtaxed drain systems or already swollen local water supplies.
Like any other crop for sale, sod must be first grown and then harvested, transported to the consumer and then installed. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that there are nearly 1,500 specialized, sod growing farms in the US, growing many varieties of sod on almost 370,000 acres of land.
Sod is planted and then harvested sometime between 10 and 18 months later depending on the variety and how quickly it grows to the right size for harvest. The rate of growth also depends on the climate conditions of the farm and other factors such as the use of fertilizer and more.
Sod is harvested and sold in several ways: either as a square slab, which is easier to handle for a private homeowner, a rolled rectangle, which is typically used for a new lawn installation, or in four foot wide rolls for major repair projects typically used in the bigger, commercial installations.