Contrary to common belief, laying sod in the winter is entirely doable in South Alabama and North Florida. Here in the south, we see minimal, if any, snowfall, and the grounds don’t tend to freeze over during the winter. This makes it easier to install new sod and prepare your lawn for fresh green growth in the spring. Dormant sod offers very few problems when it’s treated properly. If you’re looking to install sod in your yard this winter, you’ll need to follow specific steps to ensure its survival.
Why Should You Lay Sod In The Winter?
Although the sod will initially appear brown, it will green up faster once the temperatures start warming up! Laying sod is especially important if you move into a newly constructed home. Covering the bare soil areas with sod protects against excess mud or erosion.
Luckily, most lawn and landscape companies aren’t booked out for this kind of winter service! Most landscapers will have room in their schedule for winter sod installations, so you can get a head start on having a thriving lawn in the spring!
What Special Considerations Are There for Winter Sod?
Even though sod remains dormant in the winter, there are some special considerations to take into account when you hire a sod installation service.
The Soil Needs To Be Prepped Before Laying The Sod.
Like any lawn, sod needs the right soil conditions to establish its root system and fully absorb enough nutrients. Unless your home is a new build, all other properties should remove any remaining grass in the areas where you plan on installing the sod.
The soil should then be tilled about 4 to 6 inches deep and tested. If the pH levels turn out okay, the ground can be properly leveled, smoothed, and moistened for the sod installation. Otherwise, see whether you’d need to perform a lime or fertilizer treatment to balance the soil’s pH level.
Sod Installed In The Winter Still Requires Watering.
Dormant sod needs far less water than sod laid in the summer, but this upkeep is key to how quickly it will green up in spring. Sod should be watered immediately after installation and throughout the winter to stay moist but not saturated. However, you need to pay close attention to the water requirements week to week. You especially want to water the sod on cold, windy days. This weather will sap the water from the sod and dry it out because the root system isn’t established. If temperatures fall below freezing, skip watering your sod that week since the grass can’t properly absorb it.
Dormant Sod Roots Slowly, So Be Patient.
Don’t expect to have the only green yard in your neighborhood just because you laid fresh sod. Sod remains dormant in the winter because it needs time to root itself deep into the soil. After the installation is done, your lawn will look brown and lifeless. Once the weather starts warming up, your sod will take root even faster and transform into beautiful green turf now that growing conditions have improved!