Persons who desire to secure a lawn very quickly may sod the area rather than seed it, although the most permanent results are usually secured by seeding. Sodding, however, is expensive, and is to be used only about the borders of the place, near buildings, or in areas in which the owner can afford to expend considerable money. The best sod is that which is secured from an old pasture, and for two or three reasons. In the first place, it is the right kind of grass, the June-grass (in the North) being the species that oftenest runs into pastures and crowds out other plants. Again, it has been so closely eaten down, especially if it has been pastured by sheep, that it has made a very dense and well-filled sod, which can be rolled up in thin layers. In the third place, the soil in old pastures is likely to be rich from the droppings of animals.
In taking sod, it is important that it be cut very thin. An inch and a half thick is usually ample. It is ordinarily rolled up in strips a foot wide and of any length that will allow the rolls to be handled by one or two men. A foot-wide board is laid upon the turf, and the sod cut along either edge of it. One person then stands upon the strip of sod and rolls it towards himself, while another cuts it loose with a spade, as shown in Fig. 77. When the sod is laid, it is unrolled on the land and then firmly beaten down. Land that is to be sodded should be soft on top, so that the sod can be well pounded into it. If the sod is not well pounded down, it will settle unevenly and present a bad surface, and will also dry out and perhaps not live through a dry spell. It is almost impossible to pound down sod too firm. If the land is freshly plowed, it is important that the borders that are sodded be an inch or two lower than the adjacent land, because the land will settle in the course of a few weeks. In a dry time, the sod may be covered from a half inch to an inch with fine, mellow soil as a mulch. The grass should grow through this soil without difficulty. Upon terraces and steep banks, the sod may be held in place by driving wooden pegs through it.