Lawn Care Tips: How To Use A Sod Cutter

Lawn maintenance tools: how to cut, roll, and store sod using manual or powered sod cutters.

Lawn care sometimes requires cutting sod. Cutting sod is not as difficult as you might think. You can cut sod with a hand cutter, powered cutter, or with a sharp spade.

The amount of sod you have to cut makes the difference on the tool used. The hand cutter comes in two styles. One has two handles on it and cutting blades and you squeeze the handles together as you move along the sod. The other has a serrated rigid cutting blade beveled on the back. It looks like a spade but is designed specifically for cutting sod.

To use these two cutters you hold them with your hand and kick or press with the foot. When using hand cutters only do a small section at a time. Roll the sod and carry it to where you want to use it.

If you do not have a lot of sod to cut you can simply use a sharp spade. Using the spade you will cut sod by rolling it as you slide the spade under the grass. It is easier if the soil is damp. To begin using the spade you will make your outline with vertical cuts about a foot wide and three or four foot long. If you make them too wide and long it will be difficult to roll them and move them.

Once you have made your vertical cuts slide the spade under one end and slide it sideways as you push forward to cut the roots of the grass. Make sure not to go more then a couple inches deep. As you cut the sod roll it so as to continually be exposing the roots.

If you have a large area to cut you will want to rent a sod machine, which is the easiest way to cut sod. Most rental stores have gasoline-powered wheeled cutters and manual cutters.



The sod cutter will cut the sod in strips about 16 inches wide. You can cut long rolls at a time the roll and cut to size.

When you get the machine, take a few moments to make sure everything is working the way it should. Do not always trust the rental store to have made the necessary checks. They are human and get busy also forgetting to check things at times. This will save you time and money.

Once home with the machine set the height adjustment by loosening the handle and sliding the adjuster to the appropriate height and then retighten the handle. Next, most sod cutters have two places for oil. One is for the transmission and the other for the motor. Check the oil and fuel level before starting. Next, make sure the fuel line is set to on and choke is in full position. If the machine has an ignition switch flip it to on and start the sod cutter.

Most cutters have locks on them so you will need to unlock it. Once this is done engage the blade, then the drive wheels, and then adjust your throttle and cut a small test piece to make sure the cut is deep enough. Once you are sure your cutting depth is right begin cutting your sod.

If you will not be using the sod right away store it unrolled if possible in a shady area grass side up and if possible on concrete so it will not try to take root. If you water it daily, you can wait a month or two before using it.

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