Your newly installed warm season grass may be in hibernation mode, but it still requires a little TLC to insure it survives the winter and greens up in the spring. Follow our care and maintenance tips to see beautiful sod when the seasons change.
Caring For Newly Installated Dormant Sod
There are still plenty of landscaping projects that can be done during the winter months – including installing dormant sod. Even though there is always a risk when it comes to installing something that might not grow right away, NG Turf offers a one-year warranty and Spring Green Up Guarantee to help mitigate that risk.
Water can evaporate surprisingly fast from grass and soil due to winter’s low humidity, even with only a light breeze and pleasant temperatures. New sod can suffer damage from desiccation (extreme dryness) within the span of only a day if left too dry.
Ensure a newly installed dormant lawn receives at least one inch of rain or irrigation every two weeks throughout winter. Dormant laid sod will need only enough water to keep the upper 1 to 2 inches of soil moist.
Be sure to frequently lift the corners of the sod to check for moisture. Once the edges won’t lift, push a screwdriver through the sod instead. It should push in easily and come back damp two or three inches from the end. If not, water accordingly.
While you may be tempted to overseed your newly installed dormant lawn to get that green lawn sooner, overseeding newly installed dormant sod with ryegrass should be avoided. Overseeding may look appealing during the winter months, but come spring the ryegrasses can out-compete the warm-season grass for space, water, nutrients, and light, resulting in poor spring transition, delayed green-up in the spring, and potentially death of the grass.
Wait To Fertilize
If the grass is not actively growing, there is no need to fertilize. Do not fertilize until after green-up in spring and until overnight lows consistently remain in the mid-60s.
Mowing newly installed dormant sod will not be necessary until the lawn greens-up in the spring. Then, your lawn should be mowed based on the specific grass variety guidelines.