For many homeowners, spring seems like the best time to lay sod since there’s lots of sunshine and rain to help the grass grow. However, the spring season is followed by summer, the hottest season of the year in South Carolina. Believe it or not, fall is actually the best time to install fresh sod!
Before we get started, be sure to also check out our blog on The Best Grass for the Carolinas when you get a chance.
When to Plant Sod in South Carolina
You can complete a sod installation job successfully during any time of the year; however, the spring and fall seasons are the best times to lay sod in South Carolina.
Fall is the ideal season to lay sod because it’s still plenty warm in the Palmetto State, and there’s a good amount of rain as well. Autumn is the perfect time to lay sod because it gives the grass ample opportunity to establish a healthy root system before having to face the hot South Carolina summer.
But what about the winter? Will the fresh grass be able to survive colder months? Winters in South Carolina are mostly mild and experience few freezes; some of the coastal areas won’t freeze at all in a given winter. If you live in the northern regions of South Carolina, consider planting a little earlier in the fall to be sure roots have enough time to establish before that first freeze.
How to Lay Sod in South Carolina During the Spring
The spring and fall seasons are the best times of year to lay sod in the state of South Carolina. Check out our installation guide here.
Here are some key things to be aware of when laying sod in South Carolina during the spring:
- Make sure there are no more opportunities for a freeze before laying new sod.
- Be sure to keep an eye on the weather. You will want to make sure that you keep your sod extra moist to maintain root health—especially if you get an early hot day.
- Water shadier spots less than the sunnier spots to help reduce disease.
Be sure to fertilize your lawn to promote healthy rooting and establishment. We recommend our Lawnifi® New Lawn Starter Box for proper lawn nutrition.
How to Lay Sod in South Carolina During the Summer
Fresh sod needs time for its roots to establish and a steady watering schedule. Because of this, summertime is probably the least ideal time to plant sod in South Carolina. It can be very hot and sometimes drought-prone depending on your location in the state.
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. You will want the soil to be damp 3–4 inches below the surface. Water often to make sure of this. Once again, follow our installation guide here and be sure to water your lawn as often as possible.
Here are some key things to be aware of when laying sod in South Carolina during the summer:
- Keep your lawn moist, but do not overwater it—if you do this, it will be susceptible to disease.
- Water your lawn early in the morning, midday and early afternoon to help make sure it does not dry out.
- Taper back watering in the shadier spots since these areas are more prone to disease pressure.
Learn more about summer sod installation tips here. Be sure to fertilize your lawn to promote healthy rooting and establishment. We recommend our Lawnifi New Lawn Starter Box for proper lawn nutrition.
How to Lay Sod in South Carolina During the Fall
The weather is warm enough and there is plenty of sunshine to help the sod establish during the fall, and the following months bring rain and plenty of time for the fresh turf to strengthen before South Carolina’s incredibly hot summer season begins the following year.
Our installation guide is comprehensive and will help you install your lawn properly.
Here are some key things to aware of when laying sod in South Carolina during the fall:
- Similar to other times of the year, you’ll want to maintain a healthy watering schedule that keeps the sod moist, but not too wet during the first 14 days of fall. As a general rule, keep the soil moist 3-inches below the surface when establishing.
- Be sure to fertilize your lawn to promote healthy rooting and establishment. We recommend our Lawnifi® New Lawn Starter Box for proper lawn nutrition as your sod begins to take root and establish itself before dormancy.
How to Lay Sod in South Carolina During the Winter
Some homeowners are worried about how cold weather may affect newly laid sod and question whether late fall/early winter really is the best time to lay sod.
Most areas in South Carolina rarely if ever experience freezing temperatures except for the upstate in certain areas. Residences in upstate South Carolina may take winter weather into consideration by planting sod in the earlier fall months.
Generally speaking, there are actually several benefits to laying sod in the winter. If you follow these guidelines properly, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue.
Here are some key things to be aware of when laying sod in South Carolina during the winter:
- Your sod may not green up until the spring depending on where you’re located in South Carolina. Do not be concerned about this.
- You will need to continuously water the grass throughout the winter and its dormancy. Cold, dry winds can dry out the roots quickly and cause major issues.
How to Lay Sod in South Carolina
Start off by following our sod installation guide. Whether you’re doing sod installation on your lawn yourself, or using a professional, it is helpful to know what is involved. If you’re installing sod yourself, be sure to lay each piece of sod tightly together in a brick-like pattern.
Steps to Install Sod in South Carolina:
- Test the Soil
- Choose the Grass
- Kill and Remove Old Grass
- Prep Soil and Leveling
- Lay and Roll Out New Sod
- Water and Fertilize
Tools Needed to Install Sod in South Carolina:
- Soil Analysis Kit (Optional)
- Sod Cutter, Roto-tiller, or Glyphosate
- Top Soil
- New Lawn Starter Box
- Sod Knife or Landscape Edger
- Sod Roller (Optional)
How to Fertilize New Sod in South Carolina
If you’re wondering how to fertilize new sod, refer to our blog, When to Fertilize Newly Installed Sod.
The Lawnifi New Lawn Starter Box is designed for newly sodded, seeded or plugged lawns. The box contains three bottles of liquid fertilizer powered by Catalyst TechnologyTM to nano-size the nutrients for efficiency and effectiveness.
After the first 30 days of establishment, continue with regular monthly Lawnifi feedings for optimal results during the active growing seasons with the Lawnifi Complete Program 9 Bottle Annual Fertilizer. The annual subscription includes three seasonal boxes for spring, summer and fall.
Overall, you can successfully start a new South Carolina lawn at any time of the year if the appropriate installation and maintenance methods are used. The best time to lay sod in South Carolina, however, is during the spring and fall seasons as temperatures are cooler but grass continues to grow.
Avoid installing sod in summer as the extra water required for establishment could result in added disease pressure and increased water bills. Once the installation is complete, follow our establishment guide for the first 30 days after installation and then transition to a normal maintenance guide by selecting your grass type here.
For more details on caring for new sod such as watering new sod in South Carolina and other helpful tips, click here.
We hope this blog helps you make a decision on when to sod your new lawn for optimal results.