Technically, there are a lot of things that can ruin your new sod.
A bison stampede. A pro football team practicing on your lawn. A groundhog convention.
Those would all be big new sod problems.
But let’s stick to the scenarios more likely to happen as you embark on new sod lawn care.
Is your new sod turning yellow or brown? Is your new sod dying? We hope not.
But here’s a look at what might be behind your new sod problems:
1. Too Much Water
This is a big one. Yes, your new sod needs plenty of water as it gets established.
But not too much. Overwatering is actually worse than underwatering.
Some homeowners notice brown spots in new sod and panic, dumping even more water on their lawn, assuming it’s too dry.
But those brown spots could be from sod webworms, pests that lay their eggs in the grass. When they hatch, the larvae devour your grass. Over- watering in this scenario will cause root- rot, and it is generally non- recoverable.
New sod lawn care can be confusing. That’s why we give you detailed instructions for watering new sod in our sod care guide. Really detailed instructions.
You’ll know what times to water, for how long, and even which of your irrigation heads to use for what amount of time.
The instructions for watering new sod vary, depending on what type of grass, what time of year your sod is installed, and if it's planted in sun or shade.
Our instructions for new sod lawn care will answer all your questions.
2. Not Enough Water
Water is the single most important step to keeping your new sod alive and thriving.
It’s really thirsty.
Make sure water reaches every area of your lawn. Sprinklers sometimes miss edges and corners, making these spots dry out faster than the center of the lawn.
Keep in mind that areas of sod near buildings, concrete, and asphalt will typically dry out faster due to reflected heat and may need additional water.
Is your new sod dying? You might be watering too little. Roots dry out quickly, and gaps can appear if the sod loses moisture after installation, causing the pieces to shrink.
3. New Sod Lawn Care: Diseases
Your new sod is getting a lot of water at first as it gets established, and that extra moisture can make it susceptible to fungus.
How do you know if fungus has set in? As with many lawn care problems, it’s tricky to tell.
You might see brown spots, assume your new sod needs more water, and end up making the problem worse.
Take a really close look. Sod damaged by fungus will often have a brown dead spot where the grass has died, but a lighter yellow-ish-brown ring around that where the fungus is spreading.
Apply a systemic and curative fungicide within seven days of your sod installation to head off any problems.
4. New Sod Problems Include Insects
The biggest insect culprit causing new sod problems is the sod webworm we mentioned earlier.
These pests lay their eggs in the sod, and when they hatch, the larvae devour your grass.
Our sod provider is the only one in the area that uses an expensive webworm preventative, to keep the sod free of the damaging pests.
Apply an insecticide within seven days of your sod installation as a precaution against pests.
New Sod Lawn Care: Don’t Worry Too Much About Weeds
You don’t see weeds on our list because that’s not a big worry with new sod.
Weeds can’t really be controlled during the first few weeks, as weed control products can damage new turf. Weeds are also a natural consequence of the extra water new sod needs, so you’re going to see a few weeds.
Reducing watering according to the schedule we provide, and mowing as soon as you’re able to will help prevent weeds.
Pro Tip: Check Your Irrigation System Before Sod Delivery
New sod needs lots of water over the first few weeks and months.
You don’t want to find out after your new sod is down that you have broken heads, a zone that doesn’t work, or controller problems.
You want to know that now, so you can have any problems repaired before your sod delivery.
New Sod Problems: Keep an Eye on It
Keep an eye on your new sod lawn as it gets established.
Watch for signs of chewing or browning — this could mean you have fungus, webworms, or your lawn needs more water.
How to tell for sure what’s going on out there? Give us a call.
Avoid New Sod Problems with Ground Source
You want your new sod to thrive. That’s what we want, too.
That’s why we provide you with all the information you need to take great care of your fresh, healthy, beautiful sod lawn.
We’re sod experts, but our skills don’t stop there. We’re with you every step of the way as you plan your perfect outdoor space.
Sod, irrigation, landscape design: Let us transform your yard from an embarrassing eyesore to a place you spend every spare minute.
Are you ready to enjoy the vibrant, impressive yard you've always wanted? Request a quote today! We’ll help you review your options and then transform your property.
Image Source: Sod Webworm Adult