We often get phone calls from customers asking when the best time of year to install sod is. Or, worried because they feel they’ve waited too long and now it’s too hot to install sod. While there is an ideal time for sod to be installed, we are happy to share that we have seen lawns successfully installed year-round! We will refer to our ground cover as sod but the same will apply for our Kurapia.
Generally, fall is the recommended time to install sod because of the cooler temperatures. However, with climate change and varying weather in different regions, it may likely still be very hot in your area even into September and October. So, this begs the question, is fall really the only time I should be installing sod? At Sod and Seed, Inc. we are committed to ongoing learning and education about sod, seed, and anything plant-related. So, we’ll briefly dive into the science behind laying down sod and how to ensure your new sod establishes well!
Ultimately, the goal when installing sod is to keep the area moist during the establishment and rooting period, which is generally the first 2 -3 weeks after installation. This is because the short sod roots you see beneath the roll of sod need to grow and root themselves into your soil. Like any plant, the roots need water in order to stay alive and continue to grow to their ideal length during the first 2 - 3 weeks. Each blade of sod is its own organism that needs the right conditions in order to establish itself and continue to grow. Once the roots are established, then they can retain more water and therefore will need to be watered less. This means you’ll water more during the first 2 -3 weeks and then slowly cut back on watering into what your new watering routine will be.
Fall is an ideal time for sod installations because the temperatures are cooler, and help with keeping the sod and soil moist. We know heat evaporates water, so the idea is that in the summer, more of that water that needs to stay in the sod roots and soil will evaporate, versus fall when the cooler temperatures will not evaporate as much of that water out. However, the key in higher temperatures is to simply water a little bit more to ensure the sod and soil stay moist. Be careful to not over-water, which would ultimately drown the sod and roots. The goal is to have your lawn spongy and moist so that if you press your fingers or foot against it, you see a little bit of water come out. Avoid watering at night and water as early in the day as you can. We generally recommend watering at 5 am, 11 am, and 2 pm. It is hard to give a rule of thumb with watering because there are many factors to consider such as PSI, hand watering versus a sprinkler system, etc. But we do recommend watering early in the morning and the first half of the day and avoid watering at night.
We hope this helps clear up some of the ideas behind when the best time is to install sod and understand the science behind what is happening with your new lawn the first few weeks! For tips on installations, visit our blog at: http://bayareasodandseed.com/how-to-install/
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