How to prepare and plant a new lawn from seed in Vancouver

How to seed a new lawn in the Vancouver, B.C. area

Ten step to installing a new lawn from seed:

  1. Remove the old lawn / weeds / debris. In order to install new sod you should always have a properly prepared sub base to enjoy many years of a beautiful lawn. Pulling out all the old lawn area, weeds, rocks and debris gives the new sod unimpeded ability to root deep into the soil. Deeper roots in a lawn area will require less watering in the long run. Deeper roots means more nutrient availability to the plant. Deeper roots mean less pest infestations. Lets focus on a nice clean slate to install our new lawn upon and reap the rewards by way of a healthy lawn area for many years to come. To remove the old lawn handy tools include: sod cutter with a wide blade for large areas, pic axes, small front end loaders to remove the cut out old sod.
  2. Grade the lawn area. This is a very important task and will save you from costly drainage repairs in the future. We want a slight slope away from structures or if a slope aways is impossible at least toward a functioning drainage system. We want a generally flat surface without humps and bumps. Large area will be impossible to do by hand, use a bobcat type machine or if one is not available, a horse with grader.
  3. Add new top soil. Finding a proper soil for new lawns is hard to do. You want a well draining, properly balance ph, non compaction, high nutrient value type soil. Most soils today are not acceptable in my mind for a new lawn area. Wood chips and partially composted materials are a no no. Sand content should be high, around 60-70%. I like a little peat and other organics mixed in. Order turf blend soil from us, end of your problem, unless of course you are reading this from outside the Vancouver, British Columbia area. New turf blend soil should be at least 3 inches thick, exceptions are made for locations where the soil quality is good such as an old garden area or recently installed lawn that was neglected, died and needs replacing. Please follow the new lawn maintenance instructions here.
  4. Final grade the lawn area. Rake and roll, rake and roll, rake and roll. Basically that’s it, just do it a few time unless the soil is fairly compact and your grade is acceptable. Use a half full roller and a wide landscape rake. Don’t roll down steep hills where the roller can get away from you.
  5. Lightly roll and rake again. Sort of a redundant statement, I just didn’t know how to get to 10 steps in this article.
  6. Now apply the grass seed to the soil with a speeder, evenly cover the entire area. This may require you passing over the area once and then again to evenly spread the seed.
  7. Rake the seed lightly into the soil to about a 1 inch depth, this will help cover the seeds, retain moisture and spur germination.
  8. Water the are frequently enough to keep moist. This doesn’t mean soak the area. Just keep the area moist during the next 2 weeks.
  9. Try to seed your new lawn in wet and warm periods (Spring & Fall).
  10. After about 2 weeks re seed the areas with poor germination and repeat 6-9 until you are happy with results.

Mow your newly seed lawn area after 45-60 days, at about a 4 inch height. Apply a fertilizer after 45 days. Hand pull weeds throughout the entire process.

Sod Installation Tips

Sod Installation Tips

Here are some simple sod installation tips:

  1. Have your sodding area completely prepared before ordering sod.
  2. Fertilize the ground prior to installation. Your sod order from BC Instant Lawns will come with root starter fertilizer from Superintendent Lawn.
  3. If it’s hot out, water the ground lightly before installation.
  4. Lay the sod out in a brickwork fashion. Stagger the joints to allow for the brickwork pattern to form.
  5. Do not overlap sod, make sure its nice and butted up. Small gaps will grow in, but larger spaces will need to be filled with spare pieces of sod.
  6. Use a sharp knife to cut the sod into place. Use the extra cut offs to fill in other spots and gaps.
  7. Water the sod as you are laying it, if it’s hot out. Water the sod again as soon as you complete the installation.

Sod Installation Notes:

When you receive the sod delivery try to place the sod as close to the installation point as possible. Sometimes sod comes on pallets but for smaller orders pallets are not required.

Make sure you install the sod as soon as possible. When it’s warm outside, sod doesn’t last long rolled up, in cooler weather sod lasts much longer.

Don’t fertilize your sod for 30 days after you initially put down the root starter fertilizer.

You’ll be mowing within 7-10 days if you planted in the growing months (March-October).

Purchase a Yearly Lawn Care Kit to keep your grass looking beautiful.

What is the best fertilizer to use in the spring for my lawn?

Billionaire (20-20-20) Lawn Fertilizer

In early spring your apply an application of 20-20-20 type fertilizer to your lawn. Depending on the current weather conditions, early February to mid March is a good starting point for lawn care. This will be the best choice of lawn fertilizers to use to start out the year.

Be sure not to apply any other fertilizers or products containing fertilizer within 45 days of this application.

Superintendent Lawn provides custom packaged lawn fertilizers based on your lawn size, you don’t need to buy extra and there’s no guessing when applying the correct amount to your lawn. We have found this to be the easiest for customers when trying to decipher what and when to apply products to their lawn.

It’s a good idea to keep up with a regular lawn maintenance program or purchase a Yearly Lawn Kit that has everything you need to keep your lawn looking great throughout the year.

A typical lawn care program can be found here:

Grass Seed for Shaded Lawns

Are you looking to plant new or redo your shaded lawn area? Consider using a shade tolerant type seed such as Encourage from Superintendent Lawn.

Encourage Shade Lawn Over Seed

Shaded areas are difficult to grow lawns in and germination takes considerable amounts of time. Seeding a shaded part of your lawn will require patience as germination of the seed itself can take unto 90 days depending on the seed type. During this time plenty of things can happen to your freshly planted grass seed; Birds, heavy rain fall, wind. Here are a couple tips:

  1. Plant shade seed when it’s warm outside in shaded areas. Late April through to July. Don’t get too late in the year, the plant won’t have time to mature.
  2. You may wish to cover your seeds with cardboard for the first week or so. This will speed up the germination process.
  3. Keep debris of the freshly seeded area.

Where to buy quality lawn fertilizer in Vancouver, British Columbia

Looking at taking care of your lawn this spring? Use a well rounded fertilizer such as 20-20-20. BC Instant Lawns provides yearly lawn care kits with everything you need to keep your lawn in great condition.

Billionaire Lawn Fertilizer 20-20-20

Order lawn fertilizer online, delivered to your door in Vancouver and British Columbia. Superintendent Lawn Billionaire 20-20-20 is an ideal lawn fertilizer to use for spring and fall treatments. 20-20-20 is a well balanced fertilizer that will help keep your lawn strong and healthy throughout the year. BC Instant Lawns and Landscapes provides all Superintendent Lawn products through its Lawn Care Products store (link below).

Netted vs unnetted sod, what’s the difference?

Netting is used in the production of sod for harvesting purposes. The netting is within the dirt layer of the sod rolls.

When you look at a lawn area you may not realize that a thin layer of netting exists. This netting is used when planting sod to help lift the sod from the field during harvest. In the old days (5 years ago), the netting used was made of plastic, almost like a herring net. This plastic was with you forever in your lawn. It didn’t matter if you planted sod when houses in Vancouver were $30,000 the plastic netting was still there in 2062.

We will continue to offer unnetted sod

We will still offer no net sod but we urge our customers to choose the no netted type. The plastic meshing used today is marketed as biodegradable but is still found in lawns many years later.

Where to order unnetted sod?

You can order no net sod here:

West Coast Turf, Delta, BC – Sod pick up and delivery daily.

Before stopping by our place in Delta, please pre-order your turf online so we can have it ready for pick up or deliver it to you. Use the green link below to place your order online now or call us at 604-245-2227.

small sod rolls
sod rolls

BC Instant Lawns is a sod supplier in Delta, B.C.. We have sod pick up at our location in Delta at:

3865 72nd Street
Delta, BC

***** Please note all turf pick up orders need to be pre-arranged by placing your order online below ****** If you just stop by we may not have your turf ready for pick up.


If you would like to pick up sod from our location, please pre-order your sod online by clicking here:


We offer multiple varieties of sod to choose from that are ideal for the west coast of British Columbia.

The west coast blend type sod is a variety that is used for most lawns in the Vancouver, Lower Mainland.

Westcoast turf is available year round from our locations in Delta and Abbotsford. Please pre arrange a pickup or delivery.

West coast turf
West coast turf blend used for a condo lawn area.

What is the best grass type for a Vancouver Lawn?

Choosing the best type of grass for your Vancouver lawn depends on many things.

Choosing the best type of grass for your Vancouver lawn will depend on a few primary factors:

  1. Amount of sunlight
  2. Amount of traffic
  3. Amount of water you will give your lawn in hot summer months

To select a grass type that is suited to your lawn need, you should be aware that there are only 3 types of cool season grasses that are grown for the Vancouver area:

  1. Rye grass
  2. Blue grass
  3. Fescuse

Most sod varieties are composed using a mixture of the three types of grasses but with varying percentages of each type of grass.

Now if we understand what each grass type is used for, we can now select the best type of grass for your Vancouver lawn. Let’s keep it very basic but remember most sods, if not all, will be composed of a mixture of a three grass types with varying percentages :

Rye grass: Used for general lawn coverage.

Bluegrass: Used for heavy traffic.

Fescues: Used for shade, drought tolerance and chafer beetle protection.

Now lets look at our sod choices:

  1. West coast premium blend (A high rye grass)
  2. Shade Blend (High fescue content)
  3. Sport Blend (High bluegrass)
  4. Chafer beetle sod (High fescue)
  5. Drought tolerant sod (High fescue content)

If you don’t want to sod your lawn and would like to seed it, we offer all the same types of grass seeds here:

You can now match the best type of grass with your choice of sod or seed based on the items listed above.

Sod Installation Cost For Residential Lawns 2023

Sodded lawn in West Vancouver
Sodded lawn in West Vancouver, Installed by BC Instant Lawns.

The cost of having sod installed for a new residential lawn in the Vancouver area for 2023 will be approx. $4.00-$5.00 per square foot plus gst. Sodding a new lawn includes:

  • Removal of the old lawn
  • Supply and installation of new soil
  • Preparation and final grading
  • Sod supply and installation (Sod Varieties)
  • Rolling and fertilization
  • Site clean up

Please note: Your lawn area must have easy access and be above 1,000 square feet to qualify for this pricing. For sod projects below 1000 square feet, pricing will increase to about $5.00-$7.00 per square foot.

Sod Installation cost for Vancouver Island / Whistler area / Okanagan

The cost of sodding a new residential lawn on Vancouver Island is about $5.00 per square foot for areas above 1,000 square feet.

The above pricing is the same for: Victoria, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Squamish, Whistler, Penticton, Kelowna, Kamloops, Princeton and Osoyoos.

To get an accurate price on sod installation in the Vancouver area or anywhere in British Columbia, please use the link below:

If you’re thinking about replacing your lawn, you may find the following links handy:

When is a good time to plant a lawn

What type of sod should I use?

When can my project be completed

sodding a new lawn
sodding a new lawn

How can I save on lawn installation?

If you need to save a few dollars on your sodding project there are a couple ways you can limit the costs:

  • Dispose of the old sod on your property. By keeping the old sod you save the cost of disposal.
  • Book your project in advance and in slower months. November, February and August are your best bets for the best discount.
installed sod for a new lawn
installed sod for a new lawn

Having a new lawn installed from sod is always the preferred method over seeding. If you need to absolutely save the money, you can seed your lawn area in April. This will save you a few dollars off your sod installation project and MAYBE give you a lawn area again.

If you need to save a few dollars off your sod installation after you get an estimate, call us at 604-245-2227 to discuss options.

How to measure your lawn area for sodding

preparation for a new lawn
preparation for a new lawn using sod

When taking measurements for new lawn areas it is not always easy. Use the following steps:

  1. Break the lawn area into squares.
  2. Measure the length and the width of each square. You don’t need a measuring tape you can pace it off. Each pace is about 3 feet for the average person.
  3. Add in the parts that were shaved off by squaring.
  4. Add up each section to get your total square footage (length x width of each square) or use our turf / sod calculator.

If you have circles or rounded areas you will need the radius of the circle and then use the calculator here.

The best option to measure your lawn area

Please take 5 minutes to get the app below, it might just save you from a costly mistake on measuring.

If you have an iPhone under utilities is a measure app that can be used to calculate distance or a great app that we use is:

Cam To Plan

This app simply walks you around your yard as you click on points and gives you a total square footage. I’ve used it hundreds of time with almost perfect measurements.

After you have your measurements, visit the link below to get an instant price on your sod or an installation estimate:

Another great measuring option

  1. On your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. Search for a place, or select a location on the globe.
  3. On the left, click Measure Measure . Google Earth will switch to a top-down view.
  4. Click the map to set measurement points.
  5. To remove a point, on the right, click Undo Undo.
  6. To complete your line measurement, double-click on your last point, or click Done Done.

On the right, you’ll see the length. Tally up the total square footage and bingo you have your lawn area size, now you can get a price quote instantly for either installation or just the sod and soil materials.

sod farm truck
sod farm truck

How much soil do I need for a new lawn and how do I calculate?