Laying Sod in the Fall
Laying sod in the early Fall or mid-Fall is a great time to install a new lawn. During this time, 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”. Dormancy is a grass’ state of stalled growth and conservation. Because of the time between Fall and Winter, your lawn will be healthy, full, and easy to green up in the Spring.
STEPS FOR LAYING SOD IN THE FALL:
Test the Soil
The first step we recommend is testing your soil-before you apply chemicals to kill off your old grass and before you install the new sod. Your soil’s health is what determines the overall health of your grass. Working from the ground up is the best way to ensure superior grass quality. We carry the My Soil test kits at our Gulf Kist Sod of Pensacola store. We also carry them at our affiliated locations at Woerner Turf & Landscape Supply of Mobile, AL and Baton Rouge, LA.
Choose a Grass
Before choosing a grass for your lawn, you should do your own research and take into consideration the unique traits each grass possesses. Some grasses are soft and are very appealing to the eye- while also being more of a higher maintenance grass. Other grasses are low maintenance, but may not be suitable for high traffic areas. Make sure the grass you choose fits the environment and climate you live in, and matches the amount of maintenance and time you are able to put into it.
Measure Your Planting Area
The third step involves determining how much sod you need to order. One of the most efficient tools available for measuring outdoor spaces is Woerner Turf’s Area Calculator Tool. This calculator helps you determine how much sod you will need for your particular area.
Kill & Remove Any Existing Grass
Before you install new sod, it is important to clear the area of any currently existing grass, vegetation or debris. If you are removing grass, we recommend the following steps:
- Apply an application of Roundup 10-14 days before sod installation takes place
- Wait at least three to four days and then make a second application
- Once your grass is dead, use a sod cutter or roto-tiller to remove the top layer of grass and debris
Prep & Level the Soil
Proper site preparation makes it easier for new grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly. A dense lawn will outcompete weeds and resist insects and disease better than grasses with weak or shallow roots. Follow these steps to begin soil prep:
- Reduce compacted soil with a rake or hoe
- Smooth out the soil’s surface to get a visual for how level your yard is
- Wait for rain or irrigate with a sprinkler to help settle the soil
- Smooth the soil’s surface
Lay New Sod
Once soil prep is complete, it is now time to have your sod delivered and installed. Be sure to have the grass off the pallet and on your lawn within 48 hours or less. When laying new sod, it is recommended to follow these tips:
- Plan on where the sod will be delivered and place it in a convenient location in your yard
- Use wagons or wheel barrels to help transport slabs to where you’re working as you move around
- Have the right hand tools, such as utility knife box-cutter to cut oddly shaped pieces to fit around curbs or other landscapes
- Use a brick pattern with offsetting seams when laying sod
- A landscape edger or machete can be used to cut around corners and at the edges
- Place pieces together as tightly as possible. This prevents weeds from pushing through the seams and helps to retain moisture
During sod installation, it is essential that turf be watered thoroughly. Soak thoroughly to a depth of 3 inches for the first two weeks to avoid dry out. Reduce the amount of water after two weeks, but continue to water daily for the following two weeks until the lawn is established.
A fertilizer can be used to provide necessary nutrients to your sod that it may need during the Fall. We recommend the TURFection Fall-Winter Kit which can be purchased at quicksod.com
Learn more about TURFection seasonal kits here. Turfection Information sheet
For questions regarding how to lay sod in the Fall, please contact us at the following: