Winter Sod Care in Central Florida: Preparing for Cold Snaps

Posted by Joe Mouad on Dec 5, 2023 10:30:00 AM

While sod in much of the country spends winter in a deep sleep beneath a blanket of cozy snow, Florida sod stays awake, like a hard-working night-shifter powering through a challenge.

Sure, growth really slows down once the temperature dips below 50 degrees or so, but even if areas of Central Florida experience a freeze, most grass will survive. Freezes here don’t last long, so lawns bounce back once the temperature edges back up.

That means your sod lawn still needs some winter attention.

How to take care of sod in winter? Let’s take a look:

First, Can You Lay Sod in Winter?

You bet. In general, sod installation in Central Florida can happen most any month.

Because its roots are already developed, sod grass is able to establish itself in prepared soil in almost any season, as long as the ground isn’t frozen.

pallets of sod awaiting installation on a new central florida lawn

Installation from October through May is actually ideal for St. Augustine sod, the most popular grass variety in Central Florida.

One rule to follow: Avoid installing any sod if it’s colder than 25 degrees.

Watering New Sod in Cold Weather

Here in Orlando, water restrictions tell you exactly when to water, winter months included.

Outdoor irrigation is limited to one day a week during Eastern Standard Time (from the first Sunday in November until the second Sunday in March.)

You can water only if necessary and not between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This timing actually works out great. Even without Orlando water restrictions, the best time to water is between midnight and 4 a.m. for established landscapes and lawns.

lawn sprinkler heads irrigating a sod lawn

Orange County FL watering restrictions also state you can’t water for longer than one hour per irrigation zone.

Happily, Orange County understands your new carpet of beautiful sod needs extra water to get established.

Orlando water restrictions allow you to water new sod or landscaping on any day at any time for the initial 30 days after installation, and then every other day for the next 30 days.

Once your lawn is established, it doesn’t need much water in winter. Water just once every week or two. Water too much, and you encourage lawn diseases. Many fungi thrive in cooler temperatures and humid weather, making winter a prime time for lawn diseases.

Winter Sod Care: Keeping Things Tidy

When soggy leaves and other yard debris pile up on your lawn, it creates the perfect cozy home for pests.

Yard gunk during winter months can also suffocate your grass and prevent it from getting the air and sunlight it needs to thrive.

So keep things tidy out there. Rake up fallen debris so your lawn can breathe.

How to Take Care of Sod in Winter: Mowing

Leave your grass taller in winter months than you do in the summer. Taller grass protects the roots from the cold weather.

You shouldn’t need to mow more often than every three to four weeks.

Winter Sod Care: Fertilizing

We see you staring out at your not-so-green winter sod and saying, “hmmmmm.”

Resist the urge to fertilize. Yes, it’s tempting to want to green up your lazy winter lawn, but winter isn’t a good time to fertilize your Central Florida lawn.

Stick to spring and fall for fertilizing. You want to fertilize during your lawn’s active growing period when the grass can absorb the nutrients.

nice lawn and foundation planting beds in central florida

Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and money — and causing environmental concerns if the fertilizer runs off instead of sinking in.

October is the last recommended time to fertilize in central Florida. That last fall dose will give your lawn the nutrients it needs to thrive during the cooler months without causing any harm.

How to Take Care of Sod in Winter? Trust Ground Source

Go ahead and let your lawn doze in the winter, but don’t sleep on winter sod care.

Need sod installation in Central Florida? Don’t want to wait until spring? Give us a shout.

We’re sod experts, and we'll be with you every step of the way as you plan your perfect outdoor space.

Sod, irrigation, landscape design & more: let us transform your yard from an embarrassing eyesore to a place you'll want to 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 yard.

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