new sod turning brown

new sod turning brown

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saf88 – posted 13 May 2013 12:05

We just installed new sod 4 days ago and it is already turning brown. Sod preps included tilling, fertilizing, and leveling. We have been watering for one hour once a day(morning). I assume we have been over watering because when I walk barefoot on the sod muddy water squishes up.We have decided to stop watering until the soil under the sod rolls had dried(This is what I had read to do). A question I do have though, If the problem is indeed over watering and we correct it will the sod green-up again?

Spriteman – posted 13 May 2013 12:31

What part of the country do you live in? What kind of grass did you sow?

saf88 – posted 13 May 2013 14:25

I live in southeastern colorado, on the plains. We layed kentucky blue grass.

Spriteman – posted 14 May 2013 00:31

Hey Saf88 – sounds like you’ve definitely overwatered – but as you say if you stop watering for a few days it should dry out and green up and start growing.

Here’s a guide for watering that I found on the University of Rhode Island Landscape program website:


Correct watering after installing the sod is critical to its survival. The idea is to keep the soil under the sod moist as well as the soil that comes with each sod piece. This does not mean constantly wet and soggy. Usually 1 inch of water every 2 to 3 days applied in the early part of the day will be sufficient to keep the soil moist. Measure 1 inch of water by placing several straight sided coffee cans in the sprinkler output pattern. Check on the moisture conditions from time to time by lifting the corners of the sod pieces. If the sod/soil seems excessively wet by the second day then delay watering until the third day. Water only as frequently as necessary to keep the soil/sod moist, not soggy and wet. It is most important that you do not over-water and avoid saturating the sod/soil since this will prevent the sod from re-rooting and cause the roots to rot.

After the sod has knitted (rooted) to the soil (from 1-3 weeks) it is important to change the watering schedule. Watering should be done thoroughly to soak the root zone (top 4-5 inches of soil) but infrequently. Providing 1 inch of supplemental irrigation every 4-7 days (depending on soil, temperatures and rainfall) should be adequate for most lawns. There is no need for daily watering of a sod lawn.

Here’s the link in case you want to read the other sections –


Did you have the soil tested before you laid your sod? If not you could have a Ph problem with the soil – probably not – but it’s possible.

Let me know if this helps.


saf88 – posted 14 May 2013 09:27

Thanks so much for the information, it helped me tremendously. I did not have the soil tested but if the conditions dont improve i will definately get that done. THANK YOU!

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