Why choose sod over seed?
Sod is often faster and more reliable than seed and it can help immediately reduce erosion. An additional benefit is that sod can be used to successfully establish a lawn at times when conditions are not optimal for seeding a lawn.
What time of year is a safe time to plant sod?
Sod can be installed any time of the year, however at Shattuck Turf Farms, we typically cut sod from April through the end of November. It all depends on the weather. Once the ground freezes, we can't cut. Sod is different than plants and flowers, the frost in the winter won't hurt it.
Sod applied in the spring and the summer has a high success rate as long as you take care to ensure drought conditions are mitigated with adequate watering. Fall is the optimum time of year to establish bluegrass and fescue lawns from sod due to the cooler temperatures while also offering the lawn enough time to become established.
What’s are the best conditions for planting sod?
It's always best to have your ground prepped and ready before you receive the sod. That way you can lay it immediately and get water on it right away.
The soil under the sod should be moist, but not muddy and never install sod on excessively dry or hot soil. You may water the soil prior to installation, but take care not to soak the area. Read our guide on how to lay sod here.
What are the next steps after planting sod?
The first watering is so important that we suggest beginning to water each section you install before moving on to the next section. Apply at least one inch of water so the soil below the new sod is wet and try to keep foot traffic off the sod for 1-2 weeks.
Apply at least a quarter inch of water each day for the next two weeks, preferably in the morning to avoid water evaporation and fungal disease. At that point, the sod should be well rooted, which you can test by grasping a corner and trying to pull it up. New roots will be white. For the rest of the first season, apply at least an inch of water a week and make sure the water reaches all areas of your lawn. Read more tips on watering sod.
You can mow your new sod after about 10 days and never take off more than 1/4 of an inch at a time to reduce stress. Optimal height is 3 inches.
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