Dormant vs. Dying Sod


Will your established sod come back after turning brown? Yes! Well, normally. 

If it's been discolored for more than six weeks, the sod may be past the point of saving. For every week of dryness past the six weeks, you will lose about 25% of the turf to drought, so keep a careful eye on it! Read on for potential causes that go way beyond drought. 

Note: If your sod is new, be sure to water it daily.



Why Is Your Sod Damaged? 

Watering Restrictions
During the summer, many cities place watering bans or limits on homeowner water usage due to low rainfall amounts. If this is you and you're starting to worry about your sod, follow these tips:

  • Water once a week with 2.5 cm of water
  • Water sod first thing in the morning
  • Keep sprinklers from reaching the pavement to reduce runoff


Weed Takeover
Broadleaf weeds can quickly take over your lawn when the grass isnít lush and green. Weeds can reach sunlight and moisture much more easily — and then spread like wildfire.             

It's Not Damaged, It's Just Dormant
If it's been less than six weeks, chances are your grass will come back in 10-14 days — it just needs rain or watering. Dormancy is a common defense mechanism that keeps one area deep inside the plant healthy, and that area will help the entire lawn green up come better weather.



Taking Care of Dormant Grass

If you've determined that your sod has gone dormant, a completely normal defense mechanism, there are a few things you can do: 

  • Avoid permanent damage by staying off the lawn
  • Water your lawn just enough to keep it alive, about 1/4 inch per week
  •  Weed your lawn since the grass is dormant but the weeds are not
  • Apply water-soluble fertilizer as the grass begins to grow again, not when the grass begins to grow dormant
  • Set your mower blade for a higher cut to protect the plant


If your sod is beyond repair and it needs replacing, contact us at 515-331-4900. Shattuck Turf Farms is the go-to sod provider in Des Moines, West Des Moines, and the entire metro area. 



Read more:
How Sod Helps the Environment
Do It Yourself Sod Installation
Seasonal Tips
Keeping Shaded Sod Healthy
Your Sod Questions — Answered
Natural Turf Farm

6 Steps to the Perfect Lawn

Sod Estimates & Pricing

How to Keep Sod Healthy With Dogs

Why Fresh Sod Is Best

Helping Sod Survive Drought
How to Get Rid of Mushrooms In Your Lawn

Should You Rake or Mulch Leaves?

Is Rock Salt Killing Your Lawn?

Spring Sod Installation

Summer Fertilizer Guide

Shattuck Turf Farms​​ 515-331-4900