During winter in a cold climate area, many people hang up their gardening tools, turn off their irrigation systems, and drain their lawnmowers because the time for yard work is over. Sometimes, however, things happen a bit differently, and yard work needs to continue into the cold months of the year. If you find yourself wanting to lay new sod in the winter, you’re probably wondering if this is even possible. The short answer is yes! However, there are some important things to keep in mind before doing so.
The cooler temperatures are actually a major benefit of laying cool-season grasses in the winter. While many people assume that the cold would be detrimental to the grass taking root, the opposite is true for cool-season grasses. These grasses actually tend to be more difficult to lay in the extreme heat of the summer season, often becoming desiccated and failing to thrive due to drying out too quickly.
You need less water to maintain new sod in winter. Since you’re not fighting high temperatures, the sod will take longer to dry out in winter. If you live in an area that experiences early winter rain, this can also help to keep your new sod hydrated as it takes root. If you lay a dormant, warm-season grass, it will require even less water.
Sod farms and landscaping companies have a reduced wait time during the winter months, as most people are no longer doing garden projects or yard work once the weather starts to get cold. You can get your new sod delivered and installed much more quickly than in the spring or summer.
You will need to pay close attention to the weather in order to know when to lay your sod and when to water it as it establishes. Strong winds can dry out your lawn, so you will need to counteract it with more watering. You will need to know how much to water and how often you should do so in the winter—be sure to discuss it with your sod dealer.
Warm-season grasses, which are dormant in the winter when you live in a cold climate area, take longer to establish when installed in the winter. Since these grasses are dormant, they won’t begin to properly establish until the warmth of spring arrives.
If your area is experiencing freezing temperatures below 20°F, you won’t be able to install new sod until it warms up. The extreme cold can damage your new sod, and it will be almost impossible to cut to size during an installation. If you’ve already laid your new sod, avoid watering it when temperatures reach below freezing.
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