There seems to be some confusion about whether its too late in the season to plant turfgrass. Fear of freeze damage is the main concern.

Well, if planting sod in the fall were a problem, the golf course superintendents and landscape contractors would be in real trouble since they plant and transplant solid sod year-round, including through the winter as long as the ground isnt frozen.

So yes, planting solid sod can be done any time of the year, but fall is the very best time to plant warm-season grasses like St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia, as well as cool-season grasses such as rye, fescue and bluegrass. It is too late in the season to plant Bermudagrass seed, and St. Augustine and Zoysia arent planted by seed.

Now that we have that straight, lets talk about how to best do the planting.

Remove existing grasses, weeds, debris and surface rocks. Rocks down in the soil are no problem and actually aid positive drainage. Till to a depth of 1 inch and rake into a smooth grade. Deep rotor-tilling is unnecessary and a waste of money unless the soil is heavily compacted.

Adding a thin layer of compost 1/4 to 1/2 an inch thick is OK to do, but its really better to wait and apply the compost and other amendments (lava sand, Azomite and whole ground cornmeal) on top of the sod after planting. The addition of topsoil or sand isnt needed.

Its a little late in October, but ryegrass seed can be planted as a winter over-seeding crop now. But I dont do it; its too much trouble. If you decide to, scalp the turf area and catch the clippings. After spreading the seed at about 3 to 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet, thoroughly soak the ground, then lightly water the seeded area at least twice a day. Fertilize with organic fertilizer sometime around the first mowing. Continue light watering until the grass has solidly covered.

Spot sodding is not my favorite way to go because it is too slow to establish, but it can be done by planting 4-inch-by-4-inch (or larger) squares countersunk to be flush with the existing grade.

For solid sod or spot sod planting, organic fertilizer should be applied immediately after planting at the rate of 10 to 15 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Solid sod blocks should be laid joint to joint after thoroughly wetting the top and bottom of each sod piece. After planting, the sod should be tamped down by using a roller full of water. This helps smooth out and level the sod. But more important, it removes air pockets that result in yellow spots. Small areas can be tamped by foot.

Mow your new sod whenever it needs it.

Read this article:
You can plant turfgrass in the fall - The Dallas Morning News

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October 10, 2020 at 9:23 am by Mr HomeBuilder
Category: Grass Seeding