Knowing the optimal time to install sod is crucial to ensure that the sod successfully establishes itself on your lawn. Here in Michigan, where we use cool-season sod, it's best to install it in the fall. Fall provides the optimal temperatures for your cool-season grass to grow and develop strong roots in your soil before your grass falls into winter dormancy. You can still install cool-season sod in the spring; however, you'll be cutting it a little too close to summer. If you wait too long to install your sod in spring, then the roots may not have enough time to establish themselves before summer and will require more water and care to survive the summer drought. You can install your cool-season sod in the summer as well, but it will have a hard time surviving without proper watering to keep it alive before the cooler temperatures hit. The only time you really shouldn’t install sod in your lawn is in the winter because the ground will be frozen.
In Michigan, fall is the optimal time to install sod.
The cooler fall temperatures in Michigan make it ideal for cool-season sod to grow and establish strong roots in your soil. Installing your sod early in the fall will give your grass enough time to pierce the soil and establish its roots before your grass falls into winter dormancy. Then when spring begins, your grass will be ready to grow again.
If you missed the chance to install sod in the fall, then spring is still a viable option.
If you missed the chance to install sod in the fall, spring is your second best option. The temperatures are still ideal in spring for your sod to establish roots in your soil and grow strong. However, you'll need to be mindful of the approaching summer. You'll want to aim for early to mid-spring to install sod, so it can take advantage of the cooler temperatures and successfully establish itself on your lawn before summer. If you wait and install sod late in the spring, it may not have enough time to establish strong roots before the summer months begin. Your sod can still survive, but it will require more watering and care!
Reasons You Should Avoid Installing Sod in Winter & Summer
In winter, you want to avoid installing any sod because the soil freezes. Your grass will not be able to pierce the soil and establish roots, which means it will not survive to see the spring. Even if the soil isn’t frozen when the sod is installed, your grass will not have enough time to establish strong roots before the soil does freeze. You run the risk of injuring your sod by winter desiccation, decreasing its chance of survival.
In summer, your cool-season sod can survive with proper care and attention, but it will require proper hydration during the summer stress period. This is because your sod hasn’t had the opportunity to establish a strong root system. You'll need to consistently water your sod each day to keep it from drying out. If your sod does survive the summer, then it can establish a strong root system as temperatures begin to cool down in the fall.
If you sod your lawn in summer, be sure to also water it during the mid to late afternoon hours to keep it from drying out during the hottest parts of the day.
Call us to schedule our sod installation service!
Installing sod is a great way to quickly establish a beautiful, green lawn. At Rose Landscape Services, we install cool-season sod on your property, which thrives thanks to the cooler weather here in Michigan. We offer our sod installation services to commercial and residential properties in Grand Rapids, Ada, Cascade, and the surrounding areas in Michigan. Give us a call at (616) 293-0361 to schedule our sod installation service!