Sod is an industry term for grass-planting that’s still rooted in soil. It comes in the shape of rolls. It gives you an instant lawn in no time. Sod is often used to cover areas of grass that have been damaged, but it’s also useful in places where you want your lawn to take root faster or if you want a thick lawn. However, after the grass has been laid down, it’s important to know how to dispose of the remaining sod properly so you can keep your yard clean and looking great.
The best way to get rid of your sod depends on what kind of sod it is, how much there is, and the most convenient option for you. Making compost is the best and environment-friendly way to dispose of leftover sod. Other disposing options include using it in building low spots in your lawn, giving it away or throwing it away with your other green household waste as a last resort.
In this article, I will be sharing useful tips on how to dispose of sod without harming the environment or contributing to the spread of weeds and invasive species. My main emphasis will be on making compost sod because this method not only disposes of sod in an environment-friendly way but gives you excellent compost for your garden, saving you money in the process.
Let’s have a look at the ways to dispose of sod and ensure that it doesn’t end up getting wasted, but instead has the opportunity to do its part in helping the environment, too!
Turn sod into compost
Sod can be turned into an amazing soil enhancer called compost. Composting improves the quality of your soil, which means more nutrition for your plants and better-looking lawns and gardens. Plus, composting your waste can help reduce the amount of garbage you produce and turn that garbage into something valuable, all while recycling and reusing some of your resources in the process. It’s an easy and worthwhile practice to get into if you want to save money, keep more trash out of landfills, and help the environment at the same time.
Making compost from sod can seem like an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You may not even need any fancy ingredients or advanced tools to start! All you need is some sod and some green or brown waste to hurry up the composting process.
Sod compost is created by placing leftover sod, yard debris, food scraps, and other organic materials in a pile to decompose over time. It can become a valuable resource for increasing your garden’s productivity.
Here is how to build a sod compost pile:
- It always starts with finding the perfect location and building the base of your pile to stabilize it. A compost pile needs to be located on dry, well-drained soil so that it can absorb water during rainfalls without drowning your compost. Pick an area of your lawn that receives a lot of sunlight—this is especially important in colder months when you’ll want more warmth. Look for an area of your yard that won’t be too much of an eyesore, and clear out any overgrown vegetation before you begin building.
- Use wood or cardboard as a base for your compost pile. Then, place sod upside down with roots facing up and dump organic matter on top of the sod. Finally, use water spray on each layer to keep sod damp. Don’t forget to put nitrogen-rich fertilizer over sod in each layer as it helps sod decompose quickly.
- Sod is difficult to decompose on its own, but you can make great compost with sod if you add things like yard trimmings and kitchen scraps, known as brown or nitrogen-rich materials. It’s especially important to add brown material because sod has very little nitrogen and won’t decay on its own.
- You can also introduce leftover sod in an existing compost pile. A pile will take longer to heat up if it includes a lot of large, green matter such as fresh grass clippings or fresh weeds. To speed up your compost, fill your pile with brown materials, such as dead leaves, straw and small twigs and use green matter only if the sod has dried out.
- After building the compost pile, you need to cover it with black plastic. It will keep the compost from getting drenched in the rain. Put some weight at the corners of the plastic to keep it secure. Now let this compost pile decompose for at least six months to turn into nutrient-rich compost for your garden. However, it can take more than six months, depending on the wastes you are using in the compost pile.
Transform sod into garden beds
If you have a patch of sod in your yard that needs removing, don’t throw it out but put it to use!
Sods are an excellent fertilizer for garden beds. It’s easier than you think to transform excess sod into a functional garden bed for planting flowers or vegetables. These garden beds will be rich in nutrients from decomposing grass.
By placing thick layers of upside-down sod into old wooden crates or similar contraptions and filling them with soil, you will have portable garden beds. Moreover, you can also make raised beds that will allow better drainage.
Follow these steps to make a garden bed with sod:
- Add layers of sod until you get the desired height.
- Then, put a two or three-inch layer of topsoil and cover with at least three layers of mulch.
- Now, plant your favorite flowers or veggies directly in the layer of topsoil and mulch.
The root system will help hold it together and provide nutrients for plants growing there. You will be pleased with yourself after using sod to give your garden amazing flower beds instead of letting sod go to waste.
Build up low spots in the garden with sod
Water can stand in low spots and may provide breeding points for insects. So, fixing the low areas helps prevent diseases in plants.
If you’ve got a low spot in your yard or a small area that could use some sprucing up, leftover sod from your lawn replacement project can easily come to your rescue. Cut or tear off pieces from large sections and lay them over dips or boggy spots.
Moreover, make sure you put the sod with roots facing up in these low spots. The roots will help the sod remain intact, keeping the soil from flushing away with water. Over time, the grass will decay, and the earth will fill the dip.
Relocate sod into weaker sections of the garden
You have just removed some sod to make room for patio construction, so what do you do with this sod?
The most important thing when relocating sod is to move, lay and water it within 24 hours of removal. It will ensure high survival chances for relocated sod.
Also, remember that if you move your grass elsewhere, be sure not to create a tripping hazard and do not plant your grass in areas with poor drainage. Be mindful when moving soil from one location of your property to another, as that could potentially introduce weeds into new areas.
Therefore, sod in your grassy yard can be used as a resource for weaker areas of your yard. You may have patches in your yard that need some strength or that are just plain bare. If you transplant sod, it should regenerate and create a green patch within six weeks.
Consider alternative lawn removal methods
Suppose you plan to replace old sod with new sod or get rid of it to make way for tiles or concrete floor. In that case, you have to remove old sod. However, other methods exist to kill the old grass instead of removing it. Doing so will eliminate the need to dispose of old sod altogether.
Here are three alternative methods to try instead:
- Spray non-selective plant killer (glyphosate-based) on the old grass.
- Cover it with a plastic sheet and let the sun burn it out.
- Till your lawn to break up soil and kill existing grass.
These methods will save you a lot of effort to remove and dispose of unwanted sod.
Sell it or give it away
Gardening stores do not take back any unused sod as it is a perishable product that can deteriorate or die out very quickly. So, other options if you don’t want to use it are to sell or give it away to those who need it!
You can give away sod for free—it’s also a great way to show off your green thumb. If you have more than you need, place an ad on Craigslist or post on Facebook, saying that you have free grass and give instructions on how people can take it. Include your contact information to know how and when they can pick it up.
If you have at least one-year-old sod, you can sell it easily. First, find a buyer and then remove sod from the lawn. Cutting sod earlier can leave the sod useless as it dries out the roots. Moreover, if you’re not sure about the price of sod, do a Google search for sod prices near your area. Whatever you find should be right in line with what buyers will offer.
Dispose of sod as green waste
If you have exhausted all methods of disposing of sod to no avail, then you can throw it out as green waste as the last option. Just make sure that you get rid of all the extra soil by shaking the sod. Otherwise, your bin will be full in no time.
Before deciding to throw unwanted sod in green trash, learn about the local laws for disposing of such waste. If you live in a multi-residential building, talk with your property manager about making arrangements for disposing of these materials properly.
The laws governing grass clippings vary from state to state and even city by city. Typically you’re able to put grass clippings in your regular yard waste pick-up—but if not, there’s typically a composting facility or lawn debris drop-off site in your community. Check out your city and county department website for details on local codes.
Sod can be a great addition to your lawn, but it’s also an expensive purchase. Throwing it away might seem like an easy fix, but there are other better alternatives. There are several ways you can use old pieces of sod in your garden or yard, including as a fill for a low spot or relocating them to weaker areas. In addition, you can create aesthetically pleasing flower beds with your landscape waste at no extra cost.
However, the best way to get rid of the nutrient-rich sod is composting instead of putting it in landfills and spreading weed growth. Next time you have some extra sod, make compost with it. It could change how you view wasted vegetation forever!
Also, before dumping leftover or unwanted sod in the trash, make sure you know what’s legally allowed in your area. Last but not least, you can turn your waste into somebody else’s opportunity by selling or giving sod away for free. It will save you from a lot of extra work that comes with reusing leftover sod pieces!