Preferred time(s) of the year for sodding?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Valk, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Very general question, but is there a preferred time of year to lay down cool-season turf sod in the midwest? Are there times of the year when laying sod is not recommended?

    I've seen some new homes recently constructed...and the lots were just sodded last week (in early Feb). Curious if they will take once the soil warms up? Guessing they need watering even now so the roots don't dry out?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    As long as the ground isn't frozen, the roots should start taking, but winter dessication is definately possible... I believe you're right about that...
    is your grass in KS green but dormant or brown and dormant???

    Up here our grass is still green under the snow, but once the snow melts and the ground is still frozen, our grasses then turn brown... and another thread got me wondering if brown grass would wakeup and grow as sod...

    Sometimes the sod will thaw out at the surface and the ground underneath would stay frozen,,, sometimes for weeks... even on good thick grassit turns into a muddy mess if you walk on it in the daytime...
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    Best week of the year is when the customer has their checkbook out.
    But really, is the area irrigated? What kind of grass? Fescue? Blue? Bermuda?
    Is sod available in the winter? What do the sod farms say?
  4. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    We are brown & dormant...and just over 30" below avg precip for the previous 2 yrs combined.

    The above mentioned recently constructed new house near me has a newly installed sprinkler system below the recently laid sod. Ideally I'll see any evidence of watering should they do so. For their sake I hope it's fescue, cuz BG doesn't handle our Summer's around here very well at all.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Yes, keep an eye on the stuff and see what happens... this could be another fiasco like Riggle's April 26 hydro-seeding... :)
  6. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    It was watered today...and the sod is brown like all the other turf around here.

    Still curious, might the heat of summer be among the worst times to lay sod...even if watered regularly...due to midwest heat/drought? Let's face it rain trumps city water, right?
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I would agree that the heat of Summer is the worst time to lay sod during the growing season... not impossible but may not be 100% either...
    I also have noticed over the years that irrigation can keep the plants going OK,,, but you sure can tell the difference in EVERYTHING when it rains...

    If it is being watered then they may be serious about getting it to grow...and you're thinking that for you're climate that this should be/likely be,,, fescue???
  8. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Yes, for their sake, I hope it's fescue...IFF they want a green lawn July/Aug. BG has it's merits as far as self-repair and even appearance in Spring/Fall, but as a mowing guy I vastly prefer fescue just for the ease of side-discharging (or mulching). This particular new lawn in a new development will not have shade issues for a decade or longer, but fescue is more shade tolerant as well as more heat/drought tolerant around here.

    I have a couple of customers who hail from Ohio/Penn region who insist on bluegrass and both re/overseed every year...and they both have too much shade and HUGE watering bills trying to keep it green in our brutal Summer's. Old dogs/ NO new tricks scenario. LOL

    Thanks for your input. I've had these inner~questions re: sod for more than awhile...but since I don't dabble in renovations they've remained unanswered until now. :drinkup:

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