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Why is my Sod Turning Brown

Why is my Sod Turning Brown


Why is my sod turning brown maybe because of drought.  Most Jacksonville and St. Augustine grass sod species have a level of drought tolerance once established.  St. Augustine grass, Bermuda grass, zoysia grass, centipede grass, and Bahia grass will slowly turn brown when stressed for water.  The individual grass blades will fold in half vertically then intermittent spots will become dry and crunchy giving the sod an overall brown appearance.  Established grasses will recover quickly once the sod grass is watered regularly.  Unfortunately, if the dry folded grass of new sod is not watered immediately it will not recover and die very quickly.  It is important to follow the directions for newly installed sod given to you by your Jacksonville sod installation professional after your sod has been installed.


Why is my sod turning brown maybe because of dormancy.  Warm season grasses like bahia grass, zoysia grass and st augustine grass will go dormant in the winter and turn brown.  The percentage of brown versus green will be determined by the cultivar of grass, how long the turfgrass has been established and how low and long the temperatures get during winter months.  It is important to still water your lawn during the winter months to prevent killing the turfgrass.

Take-All-Root Rot

Take-All-Root-Rot is a fungus type disease which effects the roots of warm season grasses when there has been an abundance of water and the grass is not able to dry out between watering.  Heavy rains contribute to the onset and spread of the disease.  It will turn the grass brown and it will rot.  There is no method of recovery from this disease and maybe why my sod is turning brown.  Turfgrass does not recover from Take-All-Root-Rot and will need to be replaced.  Jacksonville Sod Service can provide an estimate for new sod installation in St Augustine Florida and in the Jacksonville area.

Sod Is Not Rooting

Sod Is Not Rooting

After the first 7-10 days from the date of your new sod installation, there should be some resistance when you grab a piece of sod and attempt to pull it up.  If the new sod pieces come up with out resistance there are a few things that could be happening if your new sod is not rooting.


Watering new sod is the most important factor when trying to get the new sod pieces to become established and start growing your beautiful new lawn.  If your new sod blades of grass are consistently vertically folded in half this is a sign of dehydration.  The sod grass is preventing water loss and using its energy just to stay alive which may be why your sod is not rooting.  Be sure to follow the watering instructions for newly installed sod given to you by your sod installation professional.


Hard compacted clay pan or hard soil will prevent the tiny delicate new sod roots from being able to penetrate the soil and why your new sod is not rooting.  Aeration should have been done before laying the new sod if it was necessary after a soil inspection.  You can aerate the soil after the new sod has been laid. Keep in mind removal of the sod and soil plugs will be challenging because it is difficult to rake sod which isn’t attached to the ground.


Nitrogen based fertilizers should not be used on newly installed sod for the first 30 to 60 days.  If nitrogen was put on your lawn in the first 30 days it will turn yellow and burn the new roots.  However, a lawn starter fertilizer 18-24-12  or an application of phosphorous can be applied to encourage new root growth quickly.   These treatments can be done yourself when following the manufacturers instructions or hire a spray professional who specializes in sod grass chemical treatments.

Take All Root Rot

Take all root rot is a fungus which establishes itself on the roots of sod grass which is onset by overwatering.  Overwatering your newly installed sod is damaging and it’s effects can not be reversed.  The fungus had usually been active for 2 -3 weeks before any signs above ground are noticeable.  The roots will be very short and turn black depriving the plant from water uptake and eventually dying and why your new sod is not rooting.


If you have installed your warm season turf grass in winter know that these grass species go dormant during the colder months and why your sod is not rooting.  Grasses like Bermuda and zoysia will turn brown and stop growing in a cold climate taking them longer to root in if installed during this time.  Be patient with your new sod and continue to water, fertilize and care your new sod as instructed until it takes root.

Jacksonville Sod Service is a sod installation company located in Jacksonville Florida.  We also do sod installation in St. Augustine Florida. Please contact us for current Jacksonville sod prices, available Jacksonville sod for sale and the sod prices for delivery or a free estimate for sod measurements and sod installation.

Why is My Sod Turning Yellow

Why is My Sod Turning Yellow

Many new lawns are installed using a species of grass in the form of sod.  Sod grass is grown and cut into rectangles then laid on previously prepared soil in a brick pattern.  When complete the yard looks like a finished lawn but new sod can take up to 5 years to become completely established.  Why is my sod turning yellow is a question with several possible answers.  A close inspection of your newly installed sod grass or your established lawn will determine the cause so a viable solution is found.


Why is my sod turning yellow is because it may getting too much water. New sod requires more water than an established lawn to help establish its roots, but the watering schedule should gradually decrease.  Newly installed sod watering instruction given to you by one of our sod installation professionals should be followed as directed.  Time of year, light and soil conditions and weather patterns are all important factors in determining your specific watering instructions and to prevent overwatering.

Pet Urine

Why is my sod turning yellow may be because of an animal.  Pet urine will burn new sod and established lawns because of its high nitrogen content. This can result in my sod is turning yellow or brown in patches. Hand water in these areas to dilute the urine. Over time, the new grass will grow normally, and your lawn will regain its green color.

Poor Soil Quality or Location

Grass near trees or shrubs may yellow or stop growing over time as the trees grow in size. The tree roots of established trees and shrubs will win the battle for soil nutrients which makes it difficult to establish new sod in these areas.  Grass also needs 6 or more hours of direct sunlight to establish itself even when installing a more shade tolerant cultivar and poor location may be the answer to why is my sod turning yellow.  Instead of laying new sod in shaded areas consider shade tolerant plants and mulch, paver paths and patios or a rock garden.


New sod should not be fertilized for at least 30 to 60 days after installation. Fertilizing newly installed sod before this time will turn sod yellow.  Most sod is fertilized prior to harvesting and adding more can lead to nitrogen burn. Water the yellowed areas to dilute the nitrogen levels and do not fertilize your new sod until at least 30 days have passed since installation.


Overwatering, especially during the cooler months can cause the onset and spread of grass born disease and fungus which may answer why is my sod turning yellow.  There are several types of funguses which will cause yellow patches of grass in your new sod lawn and cause it to die.  Hiring a spray company professional will be able to access the type of disease and implement a regimen of fungicides to kill the disease and encourage new green grass to grow in its place.