CAN I INSTALL SOD IN THE WINTER?
Although much of the U.S. is smack-dab in the middle of winter, construction is still going on. New homeowners want a beautiful lawn for spring, so that means installing SOD in freezing temperatures and possibly snow conditions. Read about the challenges you may encounter.
INSTALLING SOD IN WINTER
Even though you can install sod in winter, it may not be the best time and could result in damaged grass that never sets down roots. Since sod originates at the soil surface and mimics the air temperatures, it could cause newly-laid sod to freeze if the air is at or below freezing.
Read about some steps to take that allow for the best chances of success in laying sod.
STEPS TO ENSURE SOD-LAYING SUCCESS IN WINTER
If you decide to risk it, there are certain things you must do to ensure its success. It’s important to know which types of grass do best in Utah, which include two types: Kentucky Bluegrass & Bermuda, which brown in the winter and green up again in spring. Luckily, you can install these types in the winter.
First, measure your lawn area. Calculate how much sod you’ll need by measuring the length x width, ensuring to subtract space for buildings, driveways, or gardens. Next, kill off any existing grass and then take a soil sample and check for lime and fertilizer needs before preparing your soil. Add phosphorus, potassium, lime, and maybe sulfur (if you need to lower the pH) and then till the ground. Wait on adding nitrogen at this time.
Next, till the soil, adding lime and fertilizer to a minimum depth of 3-4 inches (deeper is better), which is usually adequate for the establishment of turfgrass. Level it out and add any soil amendments. After, dampen the area you want to lay sod. Start on the straightest edge of the lawn and lay it in a brick-like fashion. Because it’s winter, it’s best to lay it perpendicular to slopes, which helps it to stay in place. The weight of the soil will also help prevent erosion before the grass takes root, which will be spring.
Roll the sod with a sod roller you can rent from a local equipment rental. Then, fill the roller with water and roll back-and-forth in a grid-like pattern to eliminate air pockets and prevent roots from drying out, as well as winter damage. If you properly roll your sod and water it, you shouldn’t have problems with freezing temperatures.
WATERING NEW SOD IN WINTER
It’s crucial to water new sod immediately after you install it and several times a day for a few weeks, depending on weather conditions. It needs plenty of moisture to take root in the spring and green-up. Take note of the weather and check your new sod daily. When it snows, alter when you water to make sure you’re not wasting water. For a while, it will be a balancing act until you know how well it’s doing.
An advantage of laying sod in winter is that you use less water since the ground is already moist from snow and dew. However, you may have an issue watering your new sod if there’s no snow since a cold, dry, and windy day can dry out roots fast and destroy your new installation. It may also be tricky to water if irrigation water has been turned off for the winter, so keep that in mind.
CONTACT MONARCH SOD
For more information about laying sod in the winter and our services, please get in touch with us. We deliver high-quality Kentucky Bluegrass Sod to Utah County, including Lehi, American Fork, and surrounding cities. Our team of experts is readily available, so contact us today.