The Q&A Archives: what to do about sod not rooting

Question: Hi this is carolyn again I just had sod put down in my yard a couple of weeks ago and some of it is brown and still not rooted to the ground shouldnt it have done so by now? also in the brown patches i can see a little green grass is trying to grow so does that mean that the sod is still good? Am I watering it to much what should I do? Help

Answer: If the sod is not establishing itself in the soil, roll up the affected areas, scrape in some compost into the ground, fluff up the soil, then re-lay the sod and stomp it down with your feet. If the roots of the sod do not establish into the soil, the grass will die. If you see new grass blades in the brown areas it means the roots are healthy and the new blades will mature into turfgrass.

Your lawn should be watered immediately after installation to moisten the soil and the sod. Water thoroughly, providing about an inch of water over the entire lawn. The sod will require consistent moisture for the next 7-10 days to ensure good, even root development. Water the lawn lightly to keep the sod moist at least twice daily; 15-20 minutes is sufficient. Once the sod has begun to "knit" to the soil surface, gradually increase the duration and decrease the frequency of your waterings until you are watering once a week for 45 minutes to an hour (long enough to provide one inch of water). This schedule can be adjusted for the weather, of course, with more frequent applications during the early stages if you experience hot, dry, or windy weather. Less water is needed during periods of rainy or cold weather. Watering is best done during the overnight hours. The hours between 10:30pm and 2:00am are best. This limits the amount of time the grass blades are wet, thus reducing the threat of disease establishment. Do not water from 6:00am through the remainder of the day. Watering during the heat of the day will not damage the grass, but too much of the water is wasted through evaporation loss before the grass ever has a chance to use it. Sod is a very perishable commodity. It can dry out very quickly in sunny, windy weather. Until the roots have grown down into the soil, it is critical that the sod not dry out. As long as this doesn't happen, your results should be excellent.

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