Florida has a lot of cool stuff: oranges, gators, a famous mouse.
Add heat, sun, humidity, drainage issues, and hungry grass-munching worms, and you get reasons for extra preparation before laying sod in Florida.
Planting sod in Florida? Check out these tips:
1. Not Every Grass Thrives Here
If you choose the wrong type of sod for your Central Florida yard’s conditions, your new lawn won’t thrive.All sod isn’t the same. There are several varieties, and certain types of sod do best in our weather conditions.
Matching the right sod to your site’s conditions is crucial preparation before planting sod in Florida. A good sod installer will walk you through your best choices.
2. It’s Hot Here: Water, Water, Water
Water is the single most important part of new sod care. Your new grass is really thirsty — especially here in the heat of Florida.
Make sure water reaches every area of your new sod 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.Water between midnight and 4 a.m. That’s when your lawn and landscaping can best absorb the water, and it will saturate well.
If you wait until the sun is shining, much of that precious water will evaporate, and be wasted. You’ll basically be watering the air.
Water too little, and your sod will wilt and die. Roots dry out quickly, and gaps can appear if the sod loses moisture after installation, causing the pieces to shrink.
3. Fresh Sod is Best — Especially Here in Florida
Laying sod in Florida? The fresher the better.
Technically, cut sod will last about 36 hours in the summer in Central Florida and about 72 hours in the winter.
But the sooner your fresh sod goes from the farm to your soil, the better, so it doesn’t dry out. The same day is best.
4. You Might Have a Yard Drainage Problem
If you live in a newer Orlando neighborhood, chances are there are drainage problems around your house.
You might need to address that before planting sod in Florida.
Drainage here in Orlando is a continuing problem as the city grows.
Most of the dry areas have already been developed, so many of the houses in newer neighborhoods have drainage problems. The already-wet ground can’t absorb extra water due to its clay content.
The good news is there are several solutions, from catch basins to French drains to the NDS EZ-Drain.
If you have puddles that don’t evaporate, your grass stays saturated long after the rain stops, or water pools on your driveway, patios, or sidewalk after it rains, better look into a drainage solution as preparation for laying Florida sod.
5. Meet the Sod Webworm (Actually, Try Not To)
If you’re laying sod in Florida you need to know about the biggest insect bad guy causing new sod problems around here — the sod webworm.These pests lay their eggs in the sod, and when they hatch, the larvae devour your grass. Then, brown spots.
Here at Ground Source, we only buy sod from farms that use an expensive webworm preventative, to keep the sod free of the damaging pests.
6. Laying Sod in Florida? Some Timing and Temperature Tips
In general, you can lay sod in Florida most any month.
Because its roots are developed, sod grass is able to establish itself in prepared soil in almost any season, as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
But keep in mind the hotter the weather, the more important it is to follow proper watering.
Zoysia sod is actually happiest if it’s at least 80 degrees, but it will still establish at lower temperatures, at a much slower rate. March through October is the best time of year to install Zoysia.
October through May is ideal for St. Augustine sod. It’s a little finicky during the rainy season June through September, but will still establish just fine, assuming you don’t receive an excessive amount of rainfall in a short period of time.
Avoid installing any sod if it’s colder than 25 degrees.
Need Tips for Laying Sod in Central Florida? Trust Ground Source
Each step in sod installation is important, from choosing the type of grass to expertly preparing the site to properly laying down the sod.
The best way to avoid bad sod installation mistakes is to hire a professional with years of experience laying sod in Florida.
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