Removing sod

Best 4 Ways Of Removing Sod: Ultimate Guide Of Cutting Sod

Removing sod is often an essential first step when preparing a new garden bed or construction project as well as to hold the fertility of your garden soil. Here are four techniques are given below to make well-establish turf into a bed ready for planting. Each method has its advantage and disadvantage but all will get you one step closer to the bed that you have been dreaming of.

Removing sod: Best way to remove sod

There are some common questions in our mind that are related to removing sod, sod cutter, how to remove sod with a sod cutter, sod cutter rental, cutting sod, how to remove grass with a shovel, how to remove grass to start a garden, how to remove grass permanently, cutting sod, tips for cutting sod, sod-cutting knife, sod cutter hand tool, sod cutting tool, cutting and rolling sod, how to remove sod, etc. In this article, we’ll discuss the solution to these common matters.

Essential sod cutting tool

  • Hose or sprinkler
  • Sharp spade, shovel or edger   
  • Spade or pitchfork

Method 1: Removing sod manually

1. Select the type of grass you are removing

Some grass has shallow roots (Bermuda or Zoysia), while other types of deep roots (Perennial Ryegrass). Deep roots grass will be harder to remove than the shallow roots grass. For example, if your grass has deep roots, then you will need to use extra tools that you have to kill the roots otherwise the grass may grow back later.

2. Water the sod you wish to remove

Put on moisture to the sod, you’ll make it clumpier and simply to work with your shovel or spade. Do this a few days ago while you will water the unwanted sod.

  • If you give more water, the
    soil may become muddy that is very difficult to work with a shove. Add water only
    your sod till the soil is moist. 
  • Check your soil so that how
    much moisture is it by sticking your shovel into the sod you wish to remove and
    shaking it back and forth to make a small hole. Then gauge or measure soil
    dryness by touching it.
Removing sod manuallyRemoving sod manually
Removing sod manually

3. Use a shovel, spade, or an edger to cut strips into the sod

If you have a plan to reuse your sod in around your home, garden or anywhere, prioritize using an edger. This kind of machine will provide you straight, clean cuts. For this purpose, your strips of sod should be roughly 1 foot wide (30 cm) each and nearly 3 feet (0.91m/91cm) in length.

Best 4 Ways Of Removing Sod: Ultimate Guide Of Cutting SodBest 4 Ways Of Removing Sod: Ultimate Guide Of Cutting Sod
  • Sod is around like a
    carpet. The roots of the grass pleach together to form a thin layer of greenery
    on the top of the soil. When cut into strips, you can wind up sod for easier
Removing sod manuallyRemoving sod manually
  • Sod is normally heavy. Even if you’ve cut your sod into a definite segment, you may need someone to transfer it. You may also need some pallets handy to put the removed sod and move it to another. 
  • You will need to break through the top layer of sod with a spade, shovel, or edger to ready your sod for removal. You don’t need to dig especially deep.

4. Cut your soil in a checkboard pattern for large scale removal

By using your shovel, spade, or edger to cut an additional 1 foot-wide (30 cm) parallel strips that run perpendicular/vertical to the previous cut. After cutting this sod, it will be pulled free of the ground and disposed of.

5. The smaller squares of sod will be comfortable to carry and can be stacked in a truck, trailer, or wheelbarrow, one top of another. To keep your sod in one continuous piece, use spade, or pitchfork to cut through the taproots so that there is minimal resistance to your removal.

6. Break up soil clumps with your hands or a gardening tool

Sometimes, the soil will keep at the roots of your sod in clumps. You will be able to try and knock these free easily along with your hands, but more hard soil should be removed more efficiently with a shovel or other suitable tool.

Method 2: Cutting sod by sod cutters

Sod cutting is very simple if you use a sod cutter machine. Just run the machine properly on the sod. It will cut the sod automatically. Sod cutters are very useful matching for cutting sod.

Cutting sod by sod cuttersCutting sod by sod cutters
Cutting sod by sod cutters

Method 3: Tilling to remove your sod

1. Stake off the area where you wish to remove your sod

Most of the modern tillers are motorized. A small motor powers holding metal blades to break up and aerate soil easily. Some stakes marketing the boundaries for easier your sod removal project will impede this from happening. 

  • For long distances, or a few stakes, you could stake the corners of your project area and run string them to outline your sod removal.

2. Wear proper safety equipment to operate your tiller

For holding the blades, the tiller can sometimes kick up dangerous debris, rocks, and plant matter. That’s why you have to wear proper protective gear like gloves, goggles, long pants, and boots while a mechanical tiller.

  • Living in a dry region, you may kick up a great deal of dust over the whole time of tilling. you should wear a dust musk to take a fresh breath. 

3. Till your sod

By breaking up of sod roots and mixing it in with the soil, the blades of your tiller will turn over the grass. This can be particularly perfect if you’re turning your sod area into a garden. After mixing in organic matter, like grass or leaves, can enrich the soil with nutrients.

  • Adjusting the depth gauge of the tines to a shallow setting for your first few steps. After that, go back and rake out any rocks and hard dirt clods. Then you can re-set the depth gauge of your tiller and we continue the process until you achieve the desired depth.
  • Don’t forget to follow the use and care instructions of your tiller to get the best result. Keep all children, anima, pets, and people out of the area where you are tilling.
  • Wear loose clothes and maintain the right distance away from the blades of your tiller when it is running.   
  • Hold your tiller firmly when it is running otherwise the result may cause injury or damage. 

4. Refrain from over tilling

Excess tilling can be harmful to the micro-organisms that live in the soil beneath. Over tilling could negatively impact the soil of your plot.

Method 4: Use of smother

1. Cover undesirable sod

Use a protective material that completely blocks out light, like cardboard or tar to cover the area where you want to remove the sod. This process may take several months to die the grass depending on your climate. 

  • If the weather is humid, paper products like cardboard might decay or disintegrate. Besides, if the weather report calls for rain, you should use a plastic trap, instead.
  • Eliminate to use sun blockers that have had colored ink on them. This kind of ink can be harmful to the balance of your soil as well as plant life.

2. Using cardboard or newspaper over the grass

It is a better alternative of plastic as plastic is a non-biodegradable and we shouldn’t use it. Cover these biodegradable materials with grass clippings, leaf mold, mulch, or compost to hold the layers in the selected areas, keep in moisture, and add organic matter. 

Best 4 Ways Of Removing Sod: Ultimate Guide Of Cutting SodBest 4 Ways Of Removing Sod: Ultimate Guide Of Cutting Sod
  • Lay down 6 to 8 sheets of
    newspaper; use paper printed with black-and-white ink only, because colored ink
    may hold heavy metals.
  • Newspaper and cardboard
    eliminate light, causing chlorophyll to break down and it helps to stop
    photosynthesis as well as smothered plants die.

Method 5: Killing sod by chemicals

Removing sod by using chemicals also an excellent way. We can kill and remove sod in the following way.

1. Select a suitable herbicide to kill your sod.

There are various kinds of herbicides depending on various kinds of grass. Some herbicides may come in liquid form to be applied with a sprayer; another kind of herbicides are in granular form which may need to dissolve in water first then applied to the selected area.

  • Having different kinds of grass and some of these may be resistant to certain grass herbicides.      
  • If your sod is not killing by the action herbicide, you need to talk with a representative at your local home to find which herbicide Will work for you.
how to get rid of sodhow to get rid of sod

2. Apply your herbicide according to its directions

You must follow the instructions label in your herbicide as describe, and make sure it’s administered safety and its proper quantity as herbicide are basically a kind of poison. Applying too much herbicide could be harmful to nearby plants.

  • Several herbicides can be dangerous to inter in your eyes. For the purpose, you should wear goggles while applying herbicide and avoid applying it on windy days.
  • Don’t apply herbicides when rain is expected or rainy day. Rain can wash herbicides into the water and causes damage to the nearby ecosystem.

3. Use further herbicide as necessary

It shows that some kinds of sod will be more resistant than others. It may take several applications of herbicide before you reach the results that you expect. For this reason, you may have to apply your herbicide annually.  


Most of the herbicide contains harmful chemicals that can be very harmful to your body as well as for animals, pets, and the environment because of air blows and causes different health issues. For this reason, you must be aware of wearing gloves, masks, goggles, and safety equipment.                         

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