How to Remove Sod

3 Ways to Successfully Remove Sod

How To Remove Sod-a-green-lawn
A green lawn

The use of sod within the landscapes and garden has become popular that many homeowners are investing in a well-maintained lawn helping to beautify their garden area.

But what if the need arises where a part of that sod is to be removed because of some project that must be taken care of. How do you successfully remove a part of that sod to be reused elsewhere because the last thing you want is to damage or destroy that piece of sod that you invested so much time and money in?

If this describes you and you are hesitant then you have come to the right place to successfully remove your sod so you can get on with your project.

How to Successfully Remove Sod

1. With a square or flat mouth shovel and a machete cutlass

This method or technique is great when using on a small lawn area, first thoroughly wet that part of the sod which is to be removed.  Next with the machete cutlass cut out the piece of sod, you can make the job easier by cutting a wide area out in squares or checkerboard, and with the shovel applying some pressure using your foot press the shovel into the sod.

Once the shovel cuts its way into the sod place your body and hands at an angle prying up the sod. Do this until the entire area is taken up.

2. The use of sod cutter

For larger lawns a sod cutter will get the job done, these tools can be rented to successfully remove your sod. If you can’t remove the sod yourself with this cutter what you can do is hire a professional company to do the job for you. Check around however for a company that will work with your budget.

3. Removing sod with a pickaxe and shovel

This method is the same as in step one only with a pickaxe instead, once the sod is thoroughly wet, with the broad part of the pickaxe begin to cut into the sod using the checkerboard method followed by taking up each piece with a square or flat mouth shovel.

Additional information

Once your sod is up you want to get it in its new location as quickly as possible because what you don’t want is the roots that have already been disturbed to dry out and die. The area where you are to install your sod should also be prep in advance.

Once your sod is down continue to give it water so it doesn’t dry out, the sod however should be kept moist and not waterlogged. You will know that your sod is established as there are signs of new growth and to further test pull gently to feel if the sod is anchored to the soil.

The final word on how to remove sod

The thought of removing your sod doesn’t have to be a nightmare, the techniques we have discussed may call for some work but you will get good results because the last thing you want is to lose sod that is growing nice and healthy. By following this guide you will be well on your way to successfully transplanting your sod.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

6 thoughts on “How to Remove Sod”

  1. Hello Norman, thanks for sharing this really nice article. Sometimes I really get a hard time removing sob from my lawn and I really get sad seeing it. Learning how to go about it now makes it really easy and I would be really glad to teach my kids how to go about it as well. It’s been a pleasure to be here 

  2. Great article and straight to the point. I like the fact that you clarrified between which way is best suited for large and small landscape. When it comes to hiring, which company do you recommend one should hire from for material? I id not know that after emoving sod, you should relocate it not to mention the amunt of watering it requires. Thanks for the informative information. 

    • If you are saving your sod it is best to use one of these methods. If you cannot remove it then hire a proffesional company to do the job for you.

  3. Thank you for sharing this very helpful tips here. It can really be annoying when sod are evident on the grass lawns so, it is a great thing to see their are vvarious approaches to ensure this is done positively. I really value all you have shared here and it makes a lot of sense altogether. Thanks so much for sharing this here


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