Problem: Sod Fails to Establish
Sod should establish in 2 to 3 weeks. Test by gently tugging a corner. If it resists, then the roots have grown into the soil. Sod can fail to establish for several reasons. 1. Sod dried out: Until the roots grow into the soil, sod is very susceptible to drying out. 2. Unprepared soil: If the sod is laid directly on thatch, it dries out quickly. If it is laid on hard soil, the roots have difficulty growing into the soil. 3. Old sod: Old sod has many yellow blades among the green blades. It may be weak from water or heat stress and will establish poorly or not at all. Sod may be damaged by remaining rolled up for only 2 days in hot weather. In cool weather it can remain rolled for more than a week without damage. 4. Time of year: Sod can be installed almost any time of the year, but it will establish slowly if it is laid when the grass is not actively growing.
The numbered solutions below correspond to the numbered items in the Problem. 1. Water frequently enough to keep the sod and the soil under it moist. 2. Before laying sod, till or thoroughly rake the soil. Remove all dead grass and debris, and level the grade. 3. Choose uniformly green sod that is not turning yellow. Lay the sod as soon as possible. Don''t leave it rolled and stacked for more than a day in hot weather. Keep the soil on the outer pieces moist. 4. Lay cool-season grass sod in late summer to early fall or in early spring; avoid midsummer. Lay warm-season grass sod in the late spring and early summer.