Sod turns brown due to some reasons like excessive amounts of water or not enough water, lawn disease, insects, inability to root, air pockets, an excessive amount of nitrogen in the soil, extreme temperature, too high or too low soil pH, lack of proper sunlight, over-fertilization etc.
Sod generally turns brown when it does not get sufficient water or when something prevents the sod from rooting properly. But there are some solutions by which we can bring our lawn back to its previous form.
In this article, I will discuss why sod is turning brown and will provide some solutions by which we can bring our lawn back to its previous form.
Sod is turning brown: Reasons and Solution
Here we will discuss some reasons responsible for turning the sod brown. Some reasons are:
1. Insufficient water
Insufficient water is one of the leading causes of the sod turning brown. In this case, grass becomes rough, dry and thin, and we can notice that the ground under the sod has become dry and dusty.
New Sod needs more water for root establishment and growth than the old turf. We should water the turf twice a day or daily for at least one week after the installation of the turf. But if the top half of the turf fails to soak up thoroughly, and still we are frequently watering, it can cause browning. An insufficient amount of water causes browning and can stop rooting and kill the new roots.
SolutionTo prevent the sod from turning brown due to insufficient water, we have to apply water at the recommended intervals and until the top portion of the soil is completely soaked.
Excessive amount of nitrogen in soil
If we apply fertilizers to the ground of the lawn after the installation of the sod, then there is a high chance that the new turf grass can turn brown. Developing roots are too shallow to absorb excess nitrogen infused into the soil through applying fertilizers.
Excessive amounts of fertilizers can burn the roots of the sod, and consequently, it can cause the blades of the grass to turn brown.
To prevent the sod from turning brown due to excessive amounts of nitrogen in the soil, we should not use fertilizers during the establishment period of the roots.
Poor installation of the Sod
Sod can become brown due to improper installation, and due to this reason, sod can lack contact with the ground, which is under the turf. The air pockets between the sod and the soil inhibit the roots from intake of nutrients and moisture, which gradually causes the sod to turn brown.
To prevent the sod from turning brown due to exposed air pockets due to poor installation, we should avoid DIY installation and contact a professional to install the sod properly.
Too High or too Low Soil pH
Too high or too low can turn the dos brown. During the soil preparation before the installation of the sod, some substances are used to increase nutrient content or decrease compaction. After using these substances, the pH level can change depending on the materials used in the soil.
These substances can make the soil too acidic or too alkaline. We should be careful while using substances or fertilizers to maintain the proper pH level.
Lack of sunlight
We have to place the sod on the grass, which gets sunlight throughout the day. Lack of light can cause the sod to turn brown.
While placing the sod, we have to make sure that the sod can get sufficient sunlight. Otherwise, it will turn brown.
Premature or early mowing can turn the sod brown. During mowing, the mower’s weight can stress the new sod, which will cause brown spots on the sod.
To prevent brown spots from early mowing, we have to make sure that we mow at the proper time to avoid this mistake.
Various pest or fungal infections can cause the sod to turn brown.
To prevent this problem, we should use pesticides to avoid infection and to stop the sod from turning brown.
Can Brown Sod be saved?
Yes, we can save the brown sod if it is not dead. If the grass is not dead or is not dried out completely, we can follow some steps to save the brown sod.
But we must remember that prevention is always better than cure. So to prevent the sod from turning brown, we should follow some steps like
- To prevent water deficiency, we should apply water at the recommended intervals, and we have to ensure that the top portion of the sod is completely soaked.
- Install the Sod properly because poor installation can cause the sod to turn brown. We should contact a professional to install the sod properly.
- We should avoid using fertilizers for the first two weeks after installation during the root establishment phase.
You May Also Read: Why Is My Grass Turning White? | Should You Water The Lawn After Applying Fungicide?
How do you fix Browning sod?
Here we will discuss some methods to fix the browning sod. Some methods are:
- Reviving sod which is browning due to soil compaction: compact soil is tough and causes poor drainage because the water flows away rather than being soaked in the soil. In order to prevent browning, which is caused by soil compaction, we should use a screwdriver or some sharp object to open holes in the soil, allowing the water to soak into the soil and in the roots.
- Reviving sod browning due to exposed air pockets: To prevent air pockets between the sod and the soil due to poor installation, we should lift the sod and fill the air pockets with compost or topsoil. This will create a path for the absorption of nutrients.
- Reviving sod browning due to early mowing: If premature mowing turns the sod brown, we should skip some scheduled mowing to revive the sod. This will allow the grass to grow and eliminate the adverse effects caused by premature mowing.
- Reviving sod which is browning due to pest infection: To prevent sod browning due to pest infection, we should contact the local agricultural office to get guidelines on the best pesticides to help stop browning due to pest infection.
frequently asked questions (fAQs)
What happens if my sod turns brown?
If your sod is turning brown, there is a lack of water supply, and some factors inhibit the roots from growing properly. This will make your grass dry and thin, and eventually, it will kill the grass.
Can sod turn brown from overwatering?
Yes, overwatering can turn the sod brown. Too much watering can harm the sod and can make it brown. Overwatering is more dangerous than underwatering.
How do I know if I overwatered my new sod?
If you overwater your new sod, the soil will become soggy, and rotting grassroots will be seen. These are the symptoms of overwatering, and if you notice these symptoms, you can know that you overwatered the New Sod.
How often should sod be watered?
We should apply water on our new sod twice daily for around 20 minutes per session.
Sod can become brown due to a lack of water supply and other factors that can inhibit the roots’ growth. Exposed air pockets, lack of sunlight, too high or too low soil pH, chemical exposure, too much nitrogen in the fertilizers, early mowing, soil compaction, pest infection and many more reasons cause the sod to turn brown. But if we take proper care, we can fix these problems and save the sod from browning.