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Guide to Sod Installation in Modesto, Northern California

Quick Intro

Intro to Sod Grass in the Modesto Area

Modesto, CA is located in the Central Valley of California, which is characterized by hot summers. Winters are mild and rainfall is seasonally distributed.

This favors warm-season grasses such as Bermuda, Buffalo grass, Centipedegrass, and Zoysiagrass, which thrive in the hot and dry summer months. These grasses are best suited for Modesto, where temperatures remain warm throughout the growing season.

In addition, these grasses don’t need as much watering as cool-season grasses, making them an ideal choice for Modesto’s drought-stricken climate.

Let's take a look at some costs for different lawn sizes.

Modesto Sod Cost Chart

Listed below are average price ranges for various yard sizes and sod types

BermudaKentucky BluegrassZoysiaTall Fescue
500 sq ft$175 - $325$175 - $350$275 - $450$300 - $425
1000 sq ft$350 - $650$350 - $700$550 - $900$600 - $850
1500 sq ft$525 - $975$525 - $1050$825 - $1350$900 - $1275
2000 sq ft$700 - $1300$700 - $1400$1100 - $1800$1200 - $1700
2500 sq ft$875 - $1625$875 - $1750$1375 - $2250$1500 - $2125
3000 sq ft$1050 - $1950$1050 - $2100$1650 - $2700$1800 - $2550

*Keep in mind these sod prices only include the sod itself - not delivery fees, sod installation, and other lawn care services.

Timing it just right

Is Now the Best Time to Lay Sod in Modesto?

As you can see in our handy chart below, july is generally a decent time to lay sod in Modesto.

Because the daytime temperature averages between 64° and 95° degrees fahrenheit, the sod will be able to take root and grow, but it may take a little longer than usual. Make sure to keep it well hydrated!

Average high in july

95°

Average low in july

64°

july is an

average time

to lay sod in Modesto, CA

Click/scroll on the months above to see average temperatures and how that affects the best time to lay sod.

The Best Types for Your Area

Because of the climate in Modesto, Northern California, the best sods to grow are transition grasses. Below is a list of these grasses and their ballpark prices:

How much will it cost me?
lot lines graphic

Price Considerations

DIY vs. Hiring a Sod Installation Company

When it comes to sodding your new lawn in Modesto, Northern California, there are two options to consider. Each offers its unique set of advantages and disadvantages:

Hiring Sod Professionals

Going with a landscaping company means a comprehensive, hands-free solution. They have teams that manage everything from sourcing quality sod to preparing the ground, taking care of sod delivery to your property, and installing the turf grass for you.

Cost: This is when you want the white glove "do it all for me" approach. You're not just paying for the product but also for professional labor, project management, and often, a service warranty. Expect to pay $300 or more per pallet of sod and double that figure for installation.

Sod Procurement options in Modesto, Northern California: Landscaping Company vs. Sod Farm

Where to Buy Sod in Modesto - Local CA Sod Farms

Want to save a little cash? Sod farms are the way to go. This DIY approach comes with its own set of challenges, but the cost-saving potential for homeowners is significant.

Cost: Prices can drop to as low as $155 per pallet when buying in bulk from sod farms near Modesto, offering you substantial savings. You'll sometimes need to go pick up the sod yourself as well.

DIY: The trade-off here is the manual labor involved in self-installation. Additionally, many sod farms operate on a minimum purchase policy, commonly starting at multiple pallets, which typically covers at least 1000 square feet.

Poor Online Support: Don't expect a sophisticated online browsing experience. Most sod farms have basic websites, so you'll likely need to make a phone call or fire off an email conversation to get ahold of availability and pricing.

Interested in going the farm route?

Here are the 7 closest sod farms to Modesto:
  • West Coast Turf / Western Sod1649 Fruit Ave., Patterson, CA 95363 11 miles away
  • West Coast Turf / Western Sod1570 Howard Rd, Livingston, CA 95334 26 miles away
  • Delta Bluegrass Co.111 N Zuckerman Rd, Stockton, CA 95206 35 miles away
  • Delta Charlie Sod2003 Berkesey Dr, Valley Springs, CA 95252 38 miles away
  • A-G Sod Farms HQ12750 Guard Road Lodi, CA 95242 39 miles away
  • Grass Farm Garden Accents602 Palm Ave. Morgan Hill, CA 95037 50 miles away
  • Grass Farm Garden Accents11155 Lena Ave. Gilroy, CA 95020 51 miles away

What else?

Other Factors that Affect Pricing in Modesto

Sod Supplier & Delivery Distance

San Jose is the largest city within 100 miles of Modesto. This means that San Jose lawn companies near Modesto may charge more to cover the cost to travel to your property. But at the same time you will have more options to choose from, so make sure to get multiple quotes. We've seen how prices can vary wildly!

Preparation Work

The following factors can make a huge difference in the cost and either save you or cost you big time:

  • Regrading: Need to flatten your yard? This can vary pricing wise but expect to pay roughly $0.55 per square foot extra on average.
  • Soil needs: If it's new construction or you have poor soil, you may need to add topsoil. Expect to pay somewhere in the ballpark of $0.25 per square foot for this.
  • Removal of existing sod: If you have existing grass that needs to go, this can cost an additional $0.45 per square foot.
  • Removal of other debris: Let's just say you have lot's of pebbles and rocks in your soil. It's going to cost extra to remove those.

Installation Labor Costs

The next thing to consider pricing wise is the cost of labor. Here are some of the factors that can influence labor costs:
  • Ease of access to your yard: Is it in a back yard that's hard to access? Up on a hill that laborers have to walk up? This will add to your cost.
  • Random objects: Best case scenario: it's wide open grass. If there are lots of trees, irrigation systems, or other objects this can add to labor cost.
  • Time of year: Since it's a seasonal business, and there's less demand for sod in Modesto in the winter, you can sometimes get deals in the off-season.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Reach out to us directly at team@sodcalculator.com

What is the cost for a pallet of sod in Modesto?

As mentioned above, it depends on if you want the DIY or the white-glove approach, but it can range anywhere from $155 to $550 a pallet. Most of the time it's somewhere in the middle around $350 per pallet.

How much sod is in a pallet?

Different companies have different pallet sizes, but the most common is 500 square feet. We've also seen 400 square feet, 450 square feet and even 504 square feet. Make sure to check with the company!

What time of year do you lay sod in Modesto, Northern California?

Cool season grasses grow best in Modesto in the Fall and Spring. Warm season grasses grow best in the Summer.

How much is 200 square feet of sod in Modesto?

If your goal is to get just 200 square feet of sod in Modesto, you might have some luck looking on Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, or Craigslist. Otherwise you might be out of luck and have to purchase a whole pallet (400-500 sq ft).

Nearby Cities

Terrance Sowell

Writer & Editor, SodCalculator.com

Terrance is a former engineer turned sod connoisseur, who brings a unique, scientific approach to the world of landscaping. His analytical style and dedication to environmentally responsible practices make his content an invaluable resource for the eco-conscious homeowner.

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