Can You Lay Sod In The Winter?

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Winter rolls out, and it’s time to put your lawnmower safely tucked in your garage until Spring and the beautiful green lush environment is gone.

It’s brutally cold and even snowing, and your lawn looks bland, but then here’s a thought to consider, can you lay sod in the winter?

Yes, you can lay sod in the winter as long as the temperatures aren’t freezing.  Winter is a great time to sod because turf is dormant in winter and requires less water so it won’t dry out and die. The roots will continue to grow while the sod remains inactive in winter. 

Although it is still vital to maintain moisture in the sod, the cold weather enhances water retention. Since the grass only absorbs a negligible quantity of water, watering once or twice a week will suffice.

Can You Lay Sod In The Winter?

can you lay sod in the winter

Yes, you can sod in winter. Sodding in winter is a brilliant approach, since the grass will not dry out. Hot and dry weather are the leading causes of sod failure.

Your sod will stay moist with relatively little water if you lay turf in winter. Even better, because sod stays dormant in the winter, it uses less water.

Related: Signs of overwatered lawn

Spring rains will provide most of the water required for your sod. Although your sod may be dormant over the winter, a winter planting will cause a more rapidly grown lawn in the spring.

The Benefits Of Laying Sod In The Winter

Below are some advantages of sodding in winter.

1) No Worries of Weeds with Winter Installation

Weeds will grow in your turf over the winter, considering you won’t employ fertilizer until spring. However, weeds won’t sprout for a long time.

You can apply fertilizer when spring beckons, an exercise that would kill the weeds, leaving you a magnificent lawn.

2) Sodding In Winter Keeps Mud And Erosion In Check

You wouldn’t want to incur mud and erosion in your barren yard during the winter. An ideal option is to use dormant sod that safeguards your lawn, enhances the curb’s aesthetic appearance, and provides you with an instantly stunning turf when spring arrives.

You can relax and enjoy your finished lawn without having to deal with the inconvenience.

3) Laying sod In Winter Saves Water

As inactive sods develops root system, they use less water, meaning you won’t have to worry about your water bill skyrocketing.

Even though your newly sodded lawn needs water right after planting and throughout dormancy to keep it moist before spring, the sods would take up less water in winter.

Just make sure you maintain the moisture in the sod during dry winds and in cold because the two conditions can quickly dry out and damage your sod.

Is The Process Any Different When Installing Sod In Winter?

Laying turf in winter doesn’t differ much from doing the same in warmer months. The process of soil preparation, clearance of existing grass, and sod installation is all the same, but the chief difference comes in aftercare.

Although labor is not thorough, ensure you treat your sod with the same care as you would at any other time of year. For instance, keep foot traffic away off new sod until the roots establish firm anchorage.

Additionally, keep the sod moist, seeing that dry months in the winter can cause sod stress because of moisture shortage.

Can Sod Be Installed On Frozen Ground?

You can sod safely on frozen ground once you rototill and rake the soil smooth. Proper soil preparation can also facilitate the process.

Experts discourage leaving sod pallets outside throughout the night since the prevailing cold weather could freeze them. The chilly conditions may not harm the sod, but it may make it more difficult to unroll.

That is why professionals recommend planting it the same day you buy or get it, or at the very least, cover left-over sod with a tarp to keep it from freezing in the cold.

It is essential to water the sod for around 15 minutes after planting. You should water only if the air temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit and in the middle of the day so that the sod has time to absorb it before reaching the freezing point.

If the temperature drops below 32 degrees, grass will stay moist thanks to the cool temperatures and frequent rain. So, don’t fret about watering.

You can water either once or twice per month in winter, based on the regularity of snowfall. Also, remember to disconnect your hose from the tap.

Related: Reseeding New Sod

Types Of Grasses That Grow In Winter

A few factors influence the decision to plant a particular grass variety. You must consider two critical variables for your lawn to flourish and offer the required appearance: geographical location and climatic conditions.

The following are the best fail-safe grasses that do well in winter:

1. Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass is among the most attractive lawns available. It is dark green, somewhat blue, and soft textured sod that will always entice you to run your fingers over it.

You won’t regret installing Kentucky in your backyard during winter, thanks to its incredible toughness and tolerance for foot traffic. Kentucky bluegrass can withstand wintry conditions, such as that in Victoria and Tasmania.

This squishy lawn thrives in the shade and is resistant to frost, surviving even the harshest winters. Drought doesn’t bother with it either.

Many homeowners install Kentucky bluegrass in the fall between September and November and from December to February when winter is prevalent.

2. Improved Tall Fescue

Tall fescue has delicate leaves than the older broad-leaved species, and it matures into a turf, making it perfect for lawns. In addition, the enhanced species display more resistance to pests and diseases, enhancing their odds of survival.

Tall fescue is a winter grass bred to tolerate heat. Planting this species in the fall, just before winter, is ideal since it assists you in preparing your grass for the upcoming cold season.

Tall fescue thrives in full sunlight and will cluster if grown in the shade.

3. Perennial Ryegrass

Although Perennial Ryegrass isn’t the best winter grass, it does well when planted right before winter. It’s ideal for reviving greens after a long winter.

The resilient, coarse grass commonly found in grass seed mixes alongside fescue and Kentucky bluegrass garnered massive recognition amongst homeowners. Rapid germination rates and cluster growth played a modest role in that.

Ryegrass exhibit minor genetic differences in winter survival. It also takes a bit of time to develop varieties that are both winter tolerant and have good playing quality.

4. Velvet Bentgrass

If you’ve been to a golf course, then you’ve probably seen and trod on this turf. The sod is a perennial grass variety commonly planted in Europe, thanks to its dense nature and prostatic development patterns.

Professionals have studied Velvet bentgrass extensively and placed it among the few species with significant winter stress resistance. Nevertheless, the grass could be susceptible to diseases such as M.nivale.

On the plus side, Velvet Bentgrass endures snow molds far better than other bentgrasses.

5. Chewings Red Fescue

This tufted grass has soft leaves and usually stays dark green during winter.

The absence of creeping rhizomes and better winter endurance distinguishes it from creeping red fescue. Its competitive edge stems from its high resilience to snow molds.

How Long Does It Take For Sod To Root In Winter?

Your new sod would need between 2-6 weeks to develop roots, provided there’s a proper balance of air, sun, and water. Conventional soil preparatory work facilitates the process.


In Conclusion, Can You Lay Sod In The Winter?

According to the post, installing sod in the winter is not only possible, but it is also one of the finest seasons to do so. Sodding in the winter presents many benefits, including water conservation, mud and erosion elimination, and weed management.

However, consider your geographic location and climatic parameters before embarking on creating the desired look for your lawn.


  1. Louisiana State University -College of Agriculture: Laying sod in winter

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