Can You Compost Sod?

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Quick Answer: Can You Compost Sod?

Yes, you can compost sod to provide nutrient-rich compost. The sod sheet can be stacked with dirt facing up and grass on the bottom up to three to four feet tall. Wet each sheet before stacking and spray some water on the entire pile to fasten decomposition. Cover the pile with a thick black tarp to completely decompose.

This is a comprehensive guide on composting sod at home.

Read further to know more!

Can You Compost Sod?

Yes, you can compost sod as it can add both loam and organic matter to the compost. It can help to nourish the garden soil.  It is also an insulator that should keep flies away.

It is preferable to cover the top of the pile with sod with roots up and grass down. Each layer of sod should be wet and watered sufficiently.

Also, you may need to break it down if the roots are compacted or thick.

Also, properly grown sod has minimal amounts of weeds and so, will not have any herbicides. It is thereby, safe to compost them.

How To Compost Sod With Ease?

Sod can be composted in small quantities as a large pile may take more time to decompose. It may take six months or longer to decompose into garden-ready compost.

The various steps to compost sod at ease are discussed below:

  • Stack the sod pieces– Lay the sod pieces or sheet with the root side facing up in the compost pile. Stack more pieces of sod all facing down. Take care to wet each piece thoroughly before adding the next. You may stack as high as three to four feet.

Alternatively, stack the sod pieces in a compost bin layered with shredded paper, dried leaves, straw, or sawdust. Sprinkle some nitrogen-rich fertilizers, extra green materials, or cottonseed meal between the layers if the sod is of poor quality.

  • Maintain the pile– Keep the pile moist by spraying some water to speed up the decomposition. Do not overwater or soak it.
  • Cover the pile– Cover the whole stack in thick black plastic. Use stones or cinder blocks to keep the edges down. It may several weeks or a full season to completely decompose depending on the quality of the sod.

Check this video on composting sod:

What Are The Alternatives To Composting Sod? 

The best alternative to composting sod if it is in good condition is to reuse it in another area. It is preferably done within 36 hours when the sod is moist and kept in shade when it is out of the ground. You may also use it as a base for garden beds.

Lay the sod grass down and cover it with several inches of good soil. Plant your garden directly into the soil. The sod will break down over time and supply the nutrients for the garden.

You may also give old grass away to other composters. If you don’t have any other options, you may dispose of it as green waste.

Why Do You Need To Cover Sod Compost Pile?

Many composters suggest covering the sod compost pile with a thick black tarp to avoid sunlight getting inside the pile. Without sunlight, the roots will die and form the compost. It also helps to retain heat within the compost pile.

Sunlight is an important component for grass to grow. To prevent the grass from growing, cover the compost sod pile with a tarp.

The grass roots will struggle for sunlight and eventually die creating a nice compost to use.

What Is Sod Layering?

Sod layering is an easy way to break down grass and convert them into compost. Layers of sod sheets can be stacked in a compost bin. Each layer needs to be about an inch thick.

Lay the sod sheet and spread a layer of wet newspaper over it. Add nitrogen-rich organic matter, including leaves topped with soil or compost.

Coat the surface with more soil and add carbon-rich material.

The layers of material will break the sod and turn it into usable soil.


How to speed up sod composting?

You may add some nitrogen sources, including concentrated fertilizer between sod layers to speed up the process. Also, maintain a small sod pile of about three to four feet for faster decomposition.

How long does it take for the sod to decompose?

Sod may take a long time to decompose. It may take between six months to one year later to obtain healthy compost to use in your garden. Smaller sod piles and covering them with a black sheet will fasten the decomposition process.

Bottom Line

I hope this guide has provided certain tips and tricks on composting sod. You may write to me if have any suggestions for composting sod.