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