DENVER – Steve Korby, President of the Rocky Mountain Sod Growers, advises homeowners to consider Fall sod installations and proper Fall watering guidelines. 

“Many homeowners fear that it is too late to install sod,” notes Korby.  “Actually this is a great time of year to install sod and we want people to know the benefits.”

Fall sod installation is beneficial for many reasons including: 

– Water consumption is reduced due to cooler temperatures and potential for natural moisture,
– While the soil is warm and the nights are cool leaf growth slows down and root growth becomes very active,
– Erosion damage and pollution related to uncovered land is reduced,
– homebuilders can get certificates of occupancy as required,
– There is a 30% reduction in landscape water needs for sites that are properly prepared.

Sod will root into the soil within two to three weeks. Determine if the sod is well rooted by gently tugging on it. The new sod may be mowed as needed, even if it hasn’t rooted down. When the grass reaches approximately three inches tall, begin allowing the sod to dry out slightly so that the grass may be mowed diagonally to the direction in which the sod was laid. Catch the grass clippings. Then, resume normal watering procedures to permit the sod to knit down into the soil.

Once established, you can water less frequently. Develop a schedule that waters deeply to promote a well-established root system.

It is also important to understand Fall watering.  Outside watering is beneficial through November 15 so that plants can absorb enough water to survive winter dormancy. Research has shown that Kentucky bluegrass lawns do not require vast amounts of water. But it is necessary to water both bluegrass and fescue once every 30 days to survive dormancy and drought. Newly installed sod requires more water initially, but will do quite well over the winter months.

Understanding how much water landscapes actually require, and how to best deliver that water, is fundamental to both property owners and municipalities. The Rocky Mountain Sod Growers, comprised of experts in the field, want you to consider the important facts concerning fall watering and sod installation.

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By Stacy Cornay, Rocky Mountain Sod Growers