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Sod laid end of Nov - any chance in heck??

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,229


    Had a gas utility rip up a portion of my lawn to install a line to a new house across the street. I took the sod out in advance, and promptly reinstalled it the very day the work was complete (the contractor packed the dirt back in good with a jumping jack, so hopefully settling wont be too extreme). I laid a good layer of compost over the sodded area and raked it in, and watered the heck out of it.

    Our soil does not have frost in it at all yet. However, end of this week, highs are looking to dip to upper 20's to freezing daytime, and lower 20's at night. I would guess within a couple weeks at least, the frost line will develop.

    Any sliver of a chance at all that this sod might make it to spring? Anything I can do now to enhance its chances prior to permanent snowfall/super cold temps setting in? OR, if it does not make it, how do you recommend rehabbing in Spring (overseed the sod, take it out and seed, etc)

  2. keepcuttin

    keepcuttin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    absolutely, I've laid sod in DEC before and come spring it was fine.
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,056

    You can partially mulch it with compost or a sand-compost mix. This will help insulate depth of sod cut for a short time and give it that much more time to begin growing. Like other mulches, it will incur the surface drying, sparing the sod. That's what I would do. Leave 1/2 - 2/3 of grass blade length exposed above mulch level.

    After that long thread how do you think they did? Do you have any during and after pics?
  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,229

    I did do a nice compost topdress, thanks for the insight. I could even do a little deeper one as per your advice......

    I actually do not have any during photos, as I was too scared to look outside when the pipeline contractor was doing the work. I went out to get the mail when they were nearing completion, and the foreman asked me what I did with the sod, and that they would lay it back in for me if I brought it out of my garage. I was shocked to say the least. The crew packed the dirt all back in with a jumping jack so settling will be at a minimum. They then put the sod back in, and did a decent job of it. I did apol. to them for being so ademant last week, and thanked them for doing a good job. I will get an after pic sometime today and post.

    Now, I just hope that sod somewhat takes for next season.....
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Seaweed helps a lot with rooting. When I lay sod I apply greensand/seaweed/humate mixture underneath and never had any rooting issues. It doesn't help you now, but it will for the future.
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,229

    Sorry guys, no after pics of the sod install. The area in question is now under about 8" of snow and probably won't re-emerge until March. Hopefully it will green up and not brown out....
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,573

    Ya know DA,
    that brings up a good question. I have noticed that around here in Michigan the grass often stays green right up to the first snowfall--about the first week of December. After that, if you dig down to the grass it is still green all winter. And then the snow melts, and then it turns brown. How come? Does this happen in your town. Green under the snow--turns brown in spring --and then greens up when temps hit about 60. Green up is about April 15 around here. How do professional ball fields keep it green in early spring for those early season opener games? And some types of sod green up much later than our ryegrass/bluegrass lawns.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    That's a very good question.

    My guess would be, that the blades are filled with anti-freeze(K) and preserved as a result. When the anti-freeze is released in the spring, not 'every Blade" survives.
    K, however, is a motile nutrient, in that is moves readily, from the blade, to elsewhere in the plant.
    From there, it grows new blades.
    So, for a while - on some lawns, you see more brown than green.

    It's scary when you see, all brown, in the spring, even though it usually comes back.
    Am I close to right? :)
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,573

    I would think heavy concentrations of sugar and various sugar-like compounds would prevent the freezing. Perhaps the brown is really caused by dessication due to the frozen soil during spring warm spells.

    I am sure the athletic field managers have some experience with this.

    Dig down--is your grass still green where you live? Does the snow protect it? Is is warmer under the snow? Soil frozen yet?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  10. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    I think you will be fine. Did you add any starter fert when you laid the sod?

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