Sod Laying

This past week I received three inquiries asking if it’s still OK to lay sod.  My response was yes.  As long as sod is being harvested, it can be put down.  I’d also like to remind those who are considering doing this, that to be successful (anytime you lay sod), you need to:

  • Make certain that the site to be planted is free of any vegetation.  Many people may have had to kill off weeds before doing this.  Be sure to read the herbicide label to see how long you must wait before sodding, otherwise your sod may not take.
  • Buy good, healthy sod and install it as soon as you get it.  Sod can dry out very quickly when left on a pallet.
  • Offset each row of sod and make sure that all sod joints are flush with one other.  Don’t have any sod edges sticking up nor leave any gaps.  If the latter can’t be avoided, fill in these gaps with clean builder’s sand.
  • If possible, run a roller over the sod to leave a uniform surface, and to avoid any later scalping with your mower.
  • Once sod has been installed, thoroughly water it daily, especially the first 2 weeks following installation.  By that time it should be established.  If you pull on your sod and it doesn’t come up, then you know that it has taken root.  Once established, water as needed.
  • Hold off fertilizing your new sod until it has become established, then apply now because of the lateness of the season.  Use a slow release fertilizer (one without any weed killer), at half the normally recommended rate.
  • Wait till your new sod is at least 3 inches high before mowing.
  • Finally, because we grow warm season grass varieties here in Florida, don’t panic if suddenly after a freeze, your grass turn straw colored.  This is normal.  It will become green again when the warm weather comes.
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About AskthePlantMaster

I have 50 years of horticultural experience, am currently a Master Gardener in Central Florida. In addition, I'm a Horticulture Instructor and retired Parks Manager and Arborist. I love plants and would love to help you with yours!
This entry was posted in Fertilizing Lawn and Garden, Frequently Asked Questions, Planting Techniques, Sod and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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