Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

By Harry RamosLast update: 2023-12-09

While many people throw away removed sod, it can be recycled in many different ways to create extra value to your yard/garden, even helping you earn some money. Want to learn more? Here are the 8 pro tips on what to do with removed sod that anyone should try.

Ask Your Neighbors If They Want The Removed Sod

If your curbside yard debris collection program does not take the removed sod and you don’t currently have any plan to recycle them, try asking your neighbors if they need some.

Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

Who knows, what if they plan to make a compost pile but are lacking materials?

Somebody's trash is someone else's treasure – it’s always true.

Add Directly To The Topsoil As A Base For New Garden Beds

The simplest and easiest way to recycle removed sod is to use them as a base layer, place them upside down, then cover them with a few inches (4-6 inches) of high-quality garden soil.

Discarded sod will break down after a couple of months and start increasing the nutrients of the soil.

If you just add a super-thin layer of removed sod into the soil, it is totally no problem to directly grow new plants into that area right after then.

Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

Note: Only add a thin layer of removed sod into the soil to prevent the heat created by the decomposition process from affecting your new plants.

Add To A Compost Pile/Bin

If you’ve got a lot of discarded sod while your garden is small, the above idea will not be appropriate.

As stated above, the decomposition process of removed sod creates heat. If you add all that huge amount of sod into your garden soil, a huge amount of heat will be created - which could burn the root system of new plants.

Instead, you should add them into a compost pile/bin.

How to create a compost pile from removed sod

Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

If you intend to make a compost pile, remember to choose a shady, dry, and airy spot in your garden. Stack layers of sod as tall as you want, but be mindful of moistening each layer thoroughly before adding another layer.

With sod full of thatch, you should add some cottonseed meal or nitrogen-rich fertilizer between sod layers to speed up the decomposition process.

After setting the pile, use thick black plastic to cover it, secure all edges carefully to prevent sunlight from getting inside.

Let it sit for 6 to 12 months before uncovering and ready to use.

How to create a compost bin from removed sod

Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

Stacking layers of sod pieces into your compost bin, layering them with brown materials – such as sawdust, straw, dried leaves, newspapers, or shredded paper.

Consider adding extra green materials, like coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, manure, or green grass clippings, then add some nitrogen-rich fertilizer if you find the sod pieces are dying or already dead.

Close the compost bin and wait for at least 6 months before use.

Remember to periodically check the situation of your compost pile/bin. Flipping it if needed.

Patch Bare Areas In The Lawn

If your lawn has some bare spots that need repair, then the discarded sod is perfect to patch them.

Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

But before doing that, remember these three important notes:

  • Prepare the bare spots thoroughly, including removing old grass or vegetation, adding some compost mixture, and irrigating.
  • Keep the removed sod adequately moist before transplanting
  • The removed sod only survives within 36 hours after being dug up if kept moistening properly and kept in shady areas, so hurry up

After laying removed sod on bare areas, water again.

Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

For large-sized areas, consider using a sod cutter to cut and lift the sod pieces from the soil. And, after laying sod on new places, use a weighted lawn roller.

Sell The Sod

Yeah, you can earn money from the removed sod.

To sell them at the highest price available, you should wait until the grass is at least 2” tall or a year old before cutting.

Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

Besides, look for potential buyers using online classified ads, dedicated e-commercial foundations, or local newspapers.

While waiting for somebody who is willing to buy them, make sure to remain the lawn healthy.

Removed sod should be sold within 24 hours after being dug up because if leaving them outdoors for longer, their roots and the soil become dry and the sod starts to die.

Control Weeds

If you have just removed weeds from an area in your yard and want to prevent them from re-growing, lay the removed sod upside down onto there. Then, lay a layer of Landscaper's cloth over it.

Tips On What To Do With Removed Sod

The lack of sunlight will inhibit the growth of weeds and they will die.

Meanwhile, after a couple of months, sod starts decomposing and adds nutrients to the soil.

Leveling The Surface

You can make use of the discarded sod to rise in elevation, create a berm, or fill a low spot in your yard.

Lay the sod upside down over the desired spot, then cover it with newspapers.


Those are the eight tips on what to do with removed sod that I did try and succeeded. They’re all easy to do, budget-friendly, and quick. I hope the article helped you find out the best way to recycle them. Thanks for reading!

I’m Harry Ramos, who's crazy about all things green. I’m here to share some experience in my gardening adventure and how to choose the best products for your garden. Let's dig in, get our hands dirty, and celebrate the simple, earthy pleasures of the garden together!

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