Sod – Fertilized Too Early

Q: I am new to Georgia, from northern Illinois, so I need to relearn lawns and gardening. Our homebuilder put in bermudagrass sod in early February. I fertilized at the end of March. What do you recommend for a new lawn in April ?

A: Due to the 2007 Easter freeze and your early lawn feeding, you may have patches of dead sod this month. Warm-season grasses like bermudagrass, centipedegrass and zoysiagrass began turning green much earlier than normal this spring. The green-up depleted their carbohydrate reserves. The recent cold weather shocked the grasses back into dormancy, but now they have fewer reserves to send out new shoots. Since your sod was laid in February, it has hardly any deep roots in which to store carbohydrates. If you have dead spots, there’s not much to do about it other than plug healthy divots of bermudagrass into the dead areas and let it spread and cover them by July. Do not fertilize again until late May. Extra fertilizer won’t help the grass recover.

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