When is the Best Time to Lay Sod?

When is the Best Time to Lay Sod?

Sod University

When is the Best Time to Lay Sod?

At Sod Solutions, we are often asked the question, “When is the best time to lay new sod?” Well, believe it or not, the most ideal time is either early or mid-fall. Spring is also a great time of year to complete this landscaping project, but due to the fact that grass continues to grow despite the cooler weather in early and mid-fall, fall months win this close battle between spring and fall seasons as the most ideal time to lay sod. Different times of the year may be better depending on where you live, however from a broad perspective, early and mid-fall are usually the best times of the year. You can successfully lay sod in any season, and we’ll explain how here.

How to Lay Sod in the Fall

Laying sod in the early fall or mid-fall tends to be the best time to lay sod. This is because the temperatures have cooled down from the summer highs and you tend to get more precipitation during these months. There is plenty of time between fall and winter for the sod to root and establish prior to dormancy which means in the winter, your lawn will be healthy, full, and easy to green up in the spring. Our installation guide is comprehensive and will help you install your lawn appropriately.

Here are some key things to aware of when laying sod in 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 three 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 the Winter

A good number of people, particularly in the south where warm season grasses are grown, believe that laying sod in the winter isn’t possible. People think that either the sod is brown and therefore dead, or that they don’t need to water it—both of those statements are wrong. When laying sod in the winter in the south, the sod can look dormant, but dormancy is just like hibernation—it will be off-color and appear dead, but will regain its color in the spring when temperatures warm up. Similarly to all other seasons, water is very important and you will need to dampen the soil prior to laying the sod and continuously water the sod to ensure it stays moist. Check out our installation guide here.

Here are some key things to be aware of when laying sod in the winter:

  • Your sod will not green up until the spring. 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.
  • It is still beneficial to spray Lawnifi’s New Lawn Starter Box on your lawn while it’s in dormancy. It provides nutrients to help keep your new lawn healthy.
How to Lay Sod in the Spring

Spring is the second best time to lay sod, and in certain cases (depending on where you live), it can be an even better time to lay sod. You should be sure to follow our installation guide which can be found here.

Here are some key things to be aware of when laying sod in the spring:

  • Make sure there are no more opportunities for a freeze before laying new sod.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on 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 the Summer

Summer is a tough time to lay sod. It is very hot and sometimes drought prone depending on your location. 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 three to four 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 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 fungus and disease pressure.
  • Be sure to fertilize your lawn to promote healthy rooting and establishment. We recommend our Lawnifi™️ New Lawn Starter Box for proper lawn nutrition.
Lawnifi™️ New Lawn Starter Box

The New Lawn Starter Box is designed for newly seeded or sodded lawns. The two bottles of Grow for improved soil health and a single bottle of Maintain is designed to feed the lawn work in combination to establish thick, healthy grass. Start with an application of Grow anytime during the first week after installation. Grow works to promote healthy root growth and provides phosphorus, potassium, and carbon. Be sure to apply Grow a second time two weeks after the first application. This second application accelerates root growth so the newly installed lawn tacks down into the soil properly. Finally, apply Maintain four weeks after you install your new sod. Maintain works to enhance color with iron and nitrogen. The amino acids and microbes in Maintain also contribute to healthy soil composition. Continue with regular monthly Lawnifi feedings for optimal results during the active growing seasons: spring, summer, and fall. Learn more about Lawnifi’s Seasonal Boxes and the Annual Subscription Program at lawnifi.com.

Overall, you can successfully start a new lawn at any time of the year and we hope this blog helps you make a decision on when to sod your new lawn for optimal results. Sod can be installed at almost any time of the year. The best time to lay sod, however, is in early and mid-fall when temperatures are cooler but grass continues to grow. Spring is the second best time to lay sod and is the preferable time for warm season grasses such as centipede, zoysia, bermuda, and St. Augustine that become dormant in the winter. Avoid installing sod in summer as the extra water required for establishment could result in added disease pressure and increased water bills. If you have any questions about your specific area, our customer service team is here to help answer your questions and to find the right grass for your house. Please reach out on chat, email, or phone whenever you have any questions. You can also visit our Contact Us page and FAQ page for more details.

For more information on how to take care of your lawn in the fall for your specific grass type, check out our Fall Lawn Maintenance Tips blog. Read our blog on Installing Sod for a detailed step by step guide starting with selecting the right kind of grass and installing your sod properly for long-term success. If you’re thinking about removing your old, damaged sod before installing a new lawn, read our blog on Sod Cutters: When Sod Needs Removal. Lastly, to read about the nutrients a new lawn needs, take a look at our How to Get Your Newly Sodded Lawn Off to a Healthy Start blog.

Want to learn more about achieving a great lawn? Check out our other Sod University tips here.

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