How to Lay Sod Over an Existing Lawn People often think that laying sod over an existing lawn makes sense and saves time. Frozen sod is like trying to cut through concrete. This season is way too harsh for the grass, which will grow very slowly. You do not want your soil to be too cold because you run the risk of the new roots freezing. Without growth, the newly laid sod will not produce a new root system, and rooting is the measure of establishment. If you lay sod in the heat of summer, moisten the surface of the planting area before putting down the turf. They are sold in strips or in slabs. Steps for Laying Sod. Growth slows in fall and winter. This makes it easier to lay the sod down yourself with minimal help. 4 Tips for Maintaining Your Sod During Cold Weather. Before you even purchase the sod, walk over the surface where you intend to lay it, and remove any large rocks. An ideal time to lay fresh sod in Atlanta would be late spring or early summer. A utility knife or sharp spade is handy for cutting sod to fit irregular areas. Then water it enough to wet an inch or two of the top layer of the soil, and keep it watered to prevent the roots from drying out and dying. Thanks to good climate conditions and even rainfall throughout the year, getting your lawn ready in winter is the perfect time to lay your sod. Stagger strips in a brick-like pattern, and be sure that all pieces fit tightly together. Follow these simple steps to create a beautiful lawn. If it’s too hot or too cold you can have a hard time getting sod to take root. It's important to lay sod the same day it's delivered. In the summer, new sod installations require an intense watering routine to combat extreme heat and dryness. The risk of freeze damage from an extreme cold spell is higher for sod that is not well rooted. Timing and Laying Sod A man is unrolling sod. Although you can plant St. Augustine grass at other times, in north Florida avoid cold winter months or hot, dry summer periods. (Example: All-purpose fertilizer 15-15-15 or 16-16-16 at a rate of 1lb per 100 sqft) Once established, the lawn will need regular fertilizing. How to Lay Sod in the Summer. Cooler climates may adversely influence some species. Summer is a tough time to lay sod. Without many roots, the sod is also at a much higher risk of drying out and suffering drought damage during winter. Turfgrass selection involves choosing a turfgrass species and cultivar that is adapted to the environmental conditions of Oklahoma and that fits your personal needs and interests. It may come as a surprise to learn that turf can be laid throughout the year - even in winter. After your sod has been laid in your yard, properly watering your grass is a necessity, regardless of season. The ideal temperature range for laying sodis between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius. At the colder end of the scale you might … Laying turf in winter. Sod needs to be unfrozen to install, making it possible to work with and cut. Any extra work that you put into taking care of your sod during the winter season will help the sod … Laying dormant sod on the lawn of a new house helps move-in happen more quickly. You don’t want it much colder or hotter than that. Get ready for spring early. "Floratam" is the most common variety, giving a dense, green lawn in warm months. Daytime temperatures around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit typically mean the soil temperature is between 50 and 65 degrees and perfect for seed germination. Ideally a good time to lay sod is when the temperature is cooler, but the ground isn’t too cold or too hot. Laying turf in winter. Plan the sod pick up or schedule the delivery for the day you want to complete the project. Be sure to set your mower to the highest setting possible in order to avoid cutting it too close to the root. Lay sod on a cool, overcast day to minimize plant stress. Cool-season grasses like Jonathan Green Black Beauty can be planted in cool temperatures. Water the sod right after you've laid it, and water it lightly every day for the next couple of weeks if there is less than 1 inch of precipitation. Loosen the top 6 to 8 inches of soil with a rototiller. Waiting too long will give the sod time to dry out, and can damage the roots. Dormant grassroots don’t get enough time to establish into the soil. It is very hot and sometimes drought prone depending on your location. To install sod on an existing lawn, cut any existing grass low, and level out any holes or step dips in the yard. Hand water if nessessary. A fertilizing should be applied prior to you laying the sod. When dormant, grass turns brown. Winter is the least desirable season for sod installation. It’s generally easy to lay your sod. Check the soil to make sure it isn't frozen on the day you lay the sod, and make sure outdoor temperatures aren't near or below freezing. Bermudagrass, buffalograss, and zoysiagrass are the warm-season (grows in the summer and dormant in the winter) turfgrass species most commonly planted in … Your new sod should root within 10-14 days of application. How long does it take new sod to root? Planting it too early in the spring can result in less-than-ideal germination, because the … Image Credit: brebca/iStock/Getty Images Grass seed needs the correct soil and air temperature, as well as moisture content, to sprout. First you must clear the area of any grass, weeds, or other materials. Step 1 –Smooth the Surface. Sodding Basics 101 Covers- What to watch out for- PLUS watering, mowing, grading, how to deep to lay black dirt, sod patterns, How to remove old sod & MORE! Explanation: The best time to lay your new sod is when night temperatures range between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The number one factor in decomposition rate is heat. Give your sod the best chance to grow healthy by laying it as soon as it comes. If the ground remains warm, you are good to proceed. With this particular range, daytime air temperatures should be at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher This is because the seeds will absorb too much water from the snow and rot. If you need to lay sod in a larger area, it’s more cost-effective to buy larger rolls. If you do decide to try and lay sod during winter, make sure this isn’t the case. If the temperature is in the 80's or higher, you should install the sod within 24 hours. It’s also recommended to add a … Bring in a top soil/ compost mix and spread it evenly through the yard. Therefore, if the air temperature is at or below freezing temperatures there is a risk that roots of newly laid sod will freeze. Sod is a living plant and begins to decompose as soon as it is rolled up. A sod cutter is recommended for quick removal of old sod and weeds. All the steps are the same when you sod in the winter. Increased winter injury has been observed on zoysiagrass and centipedegrass compared to bermudagrass sodded late in the year. The grass should also be suited to the physical or environ­mental limitations of the planting site, such as shade, no supplemental water, or poor soil conditions. Today the high is 18 degrees and its covered with a few inches of snow! Add 2 to 3 inches of sand to claylike soil to improve drainage. If they laid it a longer time ago, then it may have gone short of water, but its really a bit late to worry about it now, if your temperatures have already started dropping below freezing. When the cold weather sets in, there are some important things you can do to maintain your sod and help it last throughout the year. For most, 16-x24-inch sod pieces work great on home lawns. The easiest way to lay sod is to have it delivered to your home pre-cut into 4 to 12 foot lengths. In winter, freezing temps can damage grass roots. Plant sod in spring or summer when the grass is actively growing. Many landscapers suggest that spring and fall are actually the ideal times to plant sod because the weather is cooler and wetter. The temperature of the soil prior to laying fresh sod should be a minimum of 45 degrees. Temperature plays an important role in sod installation. The temperature should be at least 45 degrees F before you lay sod. Types to Install During Winter Even though warm season turf like Zoysia, Centipede, and Bermudagrass is dormant and brown (think hibernating) in the fall or winter, you can still lay it on the bare soil of your lawn. 1. The time you have to install sod depends greatly on the outside air temperature. Spread 2 inches of finished compost (this may be available for free if your town has a municipal compost center). This is also when you should mow your new lawn for the first time after laying sod. Read these steps to learn how to lay sod in your yard. You can store sod indoors temporarily at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but you need to lay it quickly while it is still moist and healthy. Less than 50-degree temperature makes the grassroots dormant. Winter is perhaps the most difficult time of year to lay turf. In fact, laying fresh sod over an existing lawn is no shortcut and could kill your sod and cause you twice as much work. This row, you want to stagger the seams “like you are laying brick.” Install … How to Prepare Your Soil for Sod. What about freshly laid sod (fescue) and freezing temps? Putting down sod in winter is one of those cold weather tasks that can make an enormous difference to your garden in a short space of time. Also the lower the temperatures, the less likely the seeds are to germinate since there will no longer be warmth in the ground. Lay the next row of sod. 50 degrees or higher temperature is perfect for sod installation. The warm-season grasses we use for our lawns (St. Augustine, centipede, Bermuda, zoysia) grow slowly in soil below 70 degrees and stop growing around 60 degrees. I live in Eastern Missouri and mine was put down about 3 days ago (when it was 55 degrees). In fact, laying turf in winter has its advantages, as there are no long periods of hot, dry weather, which require extra maintenance and watering. The sod will come in rolls and you will simply need to unroll the sod into the spot it is going to be placed. Once the area is cleared, lay down a bed of fresh black dirt so the sod can take root easily. You will want the soil to be damp three to four inches below the surface. Growers offer different size sod cuts. Time the delivery so you can lay sod the same day. If you need to lay sod in the summer, be ready to water your new lawn very often as a means of maintaining its health. The cold weather makes frozen or waterlogged ground a risk. 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