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5 Important Factors that Affect When You Can Lay Sod

Before you can lay sod, there are important factors that have to be considered along with other items we intend to address here to ensure your project is a success. In this blog, we will go over the 7 best ways to discern if you can lay sod on your lawn or if you’ll have to wait.

Before we lift off here, lets get a couple things out of the way

The most often question we get about when to lay sod is can it be laid over grass and can you lay it in the winter.  The answer is no to laying over grass because the sod has to have good contact with the soil.  As far as the winter goes, you can lay sod then but its better for temperatures to be above freezing because the grass needs to be able to root and it cannot do this when soil is frozen beneath.

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Factor 1: Is the ground prepped for sod installation

Pretty big no brainer here.  But the ground being prepped for sod is a big key on when you can lay sod.  The ground has to be prepped in order for the soil to have good contact with the sod.  You can learn more about preparation by reviewing this post here about it. 

Factor 2: Type of Sod You are Installing

The type of sod is an important factor here.  For example, the best time to lay sod such as cool season grasses are early Spring and late Fall.  On the other hand, the best time to lay warm season grasses, such as bermuda grass or zoysia grass, is in the heated summer months because it thrives in the heat.  The transition zone map is a good teller of what type of sod is better suited for where you are installing the sod.  To learn how to choose the best sod for your lawn, we recommend reading up on our article here.

Factor 3: The Weather

If you talk to any sod farmer, they will tell you that the weather plays a crucial role when trying to optimize the best time to install your new sod.  Been in a drought?  Probably not the best time to lay sod.  Rain the next 6 days?  Again, not a good time here either.  It’s best to go with a time that has a mixed rain/sunshine forecast to allow for the sod to receive proper nutrients from the sun and rain.

Factor 4: Time of Year

We touched on this a bit earlier but the time of year will depend on how well the new sod will root into the soil and establish itself.  Planting cool season grasses in the heat of the summer is definitely doable, it just require more watering because of how quick water evaporates in the heat.  Most warm season grasses go dormant but can still be installed during the cool months.  Speak to your local sod pros for more on this.  Best way to find them is to google “sod near me”.  A list of pros should pop up.  I would talk to a sod installer here though, as sod farms typically have receptionists answering that mostly take care of paperwork and such.

Factor 5: How is the Soil

The soil type that your new sod is being installed upon is critical to the underlying health and establishment of the sod that is to be installed.  Installing into clay soil?  As long as the clay soil is properly graded clay soil can actually be very good for sod as it can be rich in nutrients.  Other types of soil, such as sandy soils, does not hold nutrients well and needs amendments prior to sodding.  Soil tests are good because they tell you the acidity of the soil and can help you with proper amendments to add.  You can buy soil tests here.   

Summary

After going over these 5 factors, I would classify these from an importance standpoint by using theorder, with number one being the most important:

  1. The Weather
  2. How is the Soil
  3. Is the ground prepped for sod installation
  4. Time of Year
  5. Type of Sod you are installing

When laying sod, it is critical to look into these 5 factors and they should help you on your way to achieving a healthy lawn.  Whether warm season grasses or cool season grasses, its important to consider these factors.  We hope you enjoyed this article and it helps you with establishing your new lawn.

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