Graphic: Replacing Fenway Park’s sod for 2014

To prepare the field for this season, the Red Sox grounds crew had to dig up the sacred sod -- a planned renovation, though not an annual one -- where the Sox celebrated a world championship at home for the first time since 1918. A look at the process:

Old sod

In February, the frozen ground is thawed using hoses (shown above), heating units, blankets, and the rain tarp to trap heat. The old grass is removed and used for compost.


Sand, not dirt, lies under the sod at Fenway Park. Early in March, the sand is tilled, laser-leveled to grade, hand-watered, and laser-leveled again before a new layer of sod is placed.

New sod

Each roll of Kentucky bluegrass has a 1.25-inch thick root zone and is four feet wide. Synthetic and organic fertilizers, designed for cool temperatures, are underneath the sod.

Finished sod

The roots take hold through pores in the sand once the soil warms. The grass is mowed daily when the Red Sox are at home, once every three days when they are on the road.

Winter maintenance

To make the ground thaw quicker, the grounds crew has to be strategic in winter. Snow is plowed toward the left-field wall to make it melt faster, since the Green Monster absorbs heat.

Fenway's 'microclimates'


Area in front of Green Monster.


Area shaded by upper deck

Amount of sod

Fenway uses approximately 84,000 square feet of sod. Based on an average lot size of 5,000 square feet, it is enough to sod 16.8 homes.

Luke Knox, Chiqui Esteban/Globe Staff
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