Why Brown Sod Isn’t Necessarily Dead Sod

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If you’ve recently laid down new sod, you may have noticed brown spots appearing when the temperature drops. If it’s the first time you’ve ever laid sod, you might mistakenly think that this brown sod is dead, but that’s not the case! Brown sod is not always dead sod.

Your Sod May Go Dormant Due to Cold Temperatures

Brown sod usually indicates that the grass has gone dormant for some reason. Dormant simply means the grass is conserving its resources to stay alive during a time of stress. At this time of year, that stress is usually cold temperatures.

However, cold temperatures seldom hang around too long here in Florida, so if cold is causing your grass to turn brown, don’t worry. You should see it perk back up a few days after warmer weather returns.

Other Causes of Brown Sod

If cold weather isn’t the culprit, there are other reasons sod may turn brown, including:

  • Heat stress can also cause the grass to go dormant. Florida sees several months of extreme heat each year. Abnormally hot weather can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the sod if it persists for a month or more.
  • Fungal infections are quite common in Florida lawns. Fairy rings, dollar spots, and grey leaf spots can take over an otherwise healthy lawn, causing brown blotches or patterns where they live. You should waste no time dealing with fungi. If allowed to spread, a fungal infection could require a total lawn replacement.
  • Pest infestations are another common cause of brown spots in lawns. Chinch bugs, grubs, and fire ants can all cause brown sod spots. Just like fungi, pests must be dealt with quickly to avoid costly consequences.

What to Do if Your Sod Turns Brown

If your new sod starts turning brown due to cold weather, you may be tempted to try fertilizer to fix the problem. Don’t do it! Fertilizer will do nothing for your sod at this time of year and may actually attract pests or promote fungus growth. Be patient, ensure your sod is properly watered, and wait for warm weather to return.

Buy High-Quality Sod in Tampa Bay

Are you looking to lay new sod or repair areas with brown patches? Council Growers Sod in Hillsborough County grows all the varieties that thrive here in central Florida, cuts it fresh to order, and delivers it directly to your door. Call us at (813) 633-8665 or order your sod online today!