How to Prevent Weeds From Growing in New Sod

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Generally, weeds should not emerge in new sod since high-quality, premium sod is free of weeds, so you can start a green, fresh lawn of weed-free, healthy grass.

Nonetheless, weeds can be a nuisance, especially if you don’t kill them before laying sod, so how to prevent weeds from growing in new sod?

The best way to prevent weeds growing in new sod is treating your lawn with pre-emergent herbicide before laying sod, this prevents weeds from emerging.  

Moreover, you can stop weeds by pulling sprouting weeds by hand or using organic weed control methods like using vinegar.

Addressing weed issues is essential for caring for your new lawn, so don’t overlook it since letting them thrive will result in poor, patchy grass or kill them entirely.

Continue reading this post for effective solutions for weeds.

How to Prevent Weeds from Growing in New Sod

How to prevent weeds from growing in new sod

The best way to prevent weeds from growing in new sod is the proactive approach that keeps them from growing in the first place. However, you should also have ways to deal with them should they grow.

Here’s how to prevent weeds from growing in new sod:

1. Remove Weeds Before Laying Sod

All the effort you put into installing new sod on your yard can be destroyed by invasive grass weeds competing with the fresh grass. Therefore, remove existing weeds before installing new sod by doing the following:

a) Apply Grass And Weed Killer

Get the strongest grass and weed killer and apply it on your lawn to swiftly get rid of old weeds and unwanted grass. A Glyphosate-based weed killer like RoundUp is excellent for preparing your yard for sodding.

Read more: Watering lawn after fertilizing

This weed killer eliminates grass weeds, including their roots and the best part is it washes out of the ground within a couple of weeks, so it doesn’t harm fresh sod. Alternatively, you can use non-chemical methods like a vinegar weed killer recipe.

Pre-emergent herbicides are best applied in Spring and are typically mixed with fertilizer. They prevent the germination of weed seeds.

b) Re-apply Weed Killer If Necessary

If you see weeds re-emerging after applying a weed-killer, consider re-applying since emergent weed killers don’t kill seeds. Monitor your lawn for two weeks following the initial application before re-applying.

Related: How to get rid of weeds in grass naturally

Alternatively, block moisture and sunlight from penetrating the soil by covering your lawn with black plastic. While this method is effective, it’s slower (takes about four weeks) and only applicable to small yards.

c) Prepare The Yard For Sod Installation

Before laying new sod, remove old sod since it helps remove crabgrass, weed seeds, rhizomes, and rootstock. Grasses and weeds will likely grow through the fresh grass if you lay sod over the old grass.

Read more: Does mowing weeds kill them

2. Pull Out The Weeds

Your new sod doesn’t have to compete with weeds for moisture and nutrients when you can easily pull out the weeds. This method is effective since it allows you to remove the weeds from their roots, preventing them from regrowing, but it’s labor-intensive, especially on a large yard.

However, for the method to provide permanent results, you must know the depth of the weeds’ roots since plants have different root sizes. It’s easier to pull out weeds with shallow roots.

Read more: killing crabgrass with baking soda

It’s better to pull weeds by hand when the soil is wet, so do it a day after it rains, or you can irrigate your lawn first. Moreover, make sure you have the right equipment (long or short-handled weeding tools, gloves, and even kneepads or benches).

Before pulling weeds, identify the parts of your lawn that require weeding and work on those areas, leaving the rest undisturbed. This method also gives you instant results and is environmentally friendly since it doesn’t involve chemical use.

3. Apply Safe Herbicides

You can control isolated weeds through spot treatment and widespread weeds using a systemic approach depending on the extent of your weed problem. Regardless, ensure the herbicide you use is safe for your grass and environment and effective.

Use a controllable stream from a ready-to-spray bottle to treat pesky weeds in your new lawn, directing each spray to the center of every weed. Be careful not to spray the herbicide excessively because it will travel to the roots of the grass, damaging new sod.

Remember, sod and chemicals don’t mix well early after installation, particularly the initial two weeks. Therefore, wait until you mow the grass four times, and it appears healthy and lush before application.

Furthermore, use a product specifically made for your type of grass and growing zone.


4. Use Organic Weed Control Methods

You can opt for organic methods of controlling weeds if you’d rather avoid chemical use altogether. For instance, you can use soapy water, boiling water, rubbing alcohol, and vinegar to stop weeds from taking over your lawn.

The above solutions work best during sunny days and keep them away from areas of your lawn without weeds to protect the healthy sod.

Can You Put Crabgrass Preventer On New Sod?

While crabgrass preventer is excellent at controlling crabgrass that hasn’t germinated, you shouldn’t apply it to new sod or during sod installation preparation.

This is because the chemical can hinder the growth of sod roots, preventing them from thriving but instead leaving your yard vulnerable to foot traffic, high temperatures, and drought.

Related: Best crabgrass killer that won’t kill grass

If your new lawn develops crabgrass within the first two weeks of installation, you can try other eradication methods like pulling it out by hand. You shouldn’t be walking on the new grass during this period, so pull the weeds from the sod edges while standing or kneeling from a safe location.

Ensure you repair the patchy areas on your lawn  using grass seed to prevent crabgrass and other weeds from re-emerging.

Alternatively, use organic methods to eradicate crabgrass as you wait for your lawn to mature enough to use a chemical crabgrass preventer to avoid the risk of killing your new grass.

Preventative Measures For Crabgrass

Crabgrass is an annual weed that spreads mainly by seed and can be a menace to your lawn if uncontrolled. Its seeds can stay viable in the soil for a minimum of 3 years, but you can lower seed production and keep it from taking over your yard.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Select the best sod species that will thrive in your area.
  2. Keep your lawn lush and healthy by watering and fertilizing it appropriately.
  3. Mow the lawn high to choke the crabgrass by depriving it water and sunlight.
  4. Fill thin or bare spots by over-seeding.


To summarize everything on what’s the best approach when it comes to weed control in new sod.

Here’s how to Prevent Weeds from Growing in New Sod:

  • Treating your lawn with pre-emergent herbicide before laying sod.
  • Pull sprouting weeds by hand. 
  • Use organic weed control methods like soapy water to prevent weeds growing in new sod.
  • Apply Safe Herbicides.

Don’t be in a rush to apply herbicides the moment you see weeds emerge in your new sod out of frustration, as that will cause more significant problems. Instead, exercise patience until the grass takes root.

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