Fall is great for New Sod – The time to install sod, shrubs and seed is now.

Fall is great for New Sod – The time to install sod, shrubs and seed is now.

Posted by Jonathan Manning, CLT - B.S. Horticulture, Colorado State University in Winter Watering

Fall is great for New Sod – The time to install sod, shrubs and seed is now.

By:Jonathan Manning, CLT
A Better Garden Maintenance, LLC
Denver, CO

The summer is winding down and fall is on its way, yet now is a perfect time to think about next year. In the fall you should take time to make sure your contract for lawn, sprinkler and garden maintenance is in order, get new shrubs installed, get a lawn sprinkler system installed and even get a new sod lawn installed. Any and all of these items are great things to have performed in the Fall. The thing to remember, any plants installed in the fall must be hand watered throughout the winter months. During Denver’s fall and winter months, plants are still active and need water.

Plants being active during the winter in Colorado is actually a good thing. During the fall in Denver, the above ground temperature drops dramatically while the soil temperature is buffered. The protected soil still has the trapped energy of summer to allow roots of plants to continue to grow during the winter and spring. In winter wheat, the process of roots growing laterally is known as tillering. Colorado farmers plant wheat plants in the fall to allow better establishment of the “stand,” by tillers, for the next seasons crop. This is great since the newly installed sod is looking to establish roots. By planting in fall, you reduce the immediate heat stress conditions and encourage good rooting of the freshly laid lawn in Golden, Littleton, Arvada or Greenwood Village. Whichever city you live in, it is a good time to plant in the Denver Metro Area.

Yes, the hose needs to be dragged, a water trailer utilized, the irrigation system reactivated to water your new or established plants. The alternative option is to pay someone to perform the services above, which are offered by A Better Garden Maintenance, LLC., over the winter months for your newly installed plants & established plants. Anytime the winter temperatures are above 40 degrees farenheit with no snow on the ground, it is recommended to water all plant material(sod, perennials, shrubs, sod & turf areas). It is recommended to deeply water to allow deeper penetration and deeper establishment of roots.

There is something more important to root establishment in newly planted areas then just watering. The ability for the roots to grow though the soil and the ability of the soil to hold water is important as well. This is increased by ammendment of the soil by adding composted manure and rototilling. Various cities require a different number of yards of composted manure per thousand square feet. I recommend and install approximately five (5) cubic yards composted manure per thousand square feet. This is done prior to grading the areas which will have sod installed. It is important to make sure the grading is done correctly(away from the house, proper drainage, etc.) and is smooth without rocks or large chunks/clods of dirt. When installing sod, it should be layered with the second row of sod being a half piece off laterally to prevent gaps and the help prevent the sod from rolling.

Watering is the best way to prevent gaps and rolling of the newly installed sod. The soil below the sod needs to be saturated to not shock the sod. As soon as the sod has been installed the areas should be watered and then placed on a regular schedule to water the sod at least three to four times a day for the first three to four weeks. After that point the regular irrigation schedule should suffice but should not be depended upon. If the plants look stressed, water should be applied.
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If there are any questions or if you would like to get an estimate for sod, sprinklers, or maintenance give me a call (303) 433 – 3750 or send an email to abettergarden@abtrgarden.com .

31 Aug 2009 1 comment

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