There are two primary concerns when laying sod in an area where the previous lawn has died. These concerns are especially important for dog owners.
The first concern is determining what caused the previous lawn to die? If It was just neglected and there are not any underlying soil conditions laying new sod will be fine. But what about situations where the lawn died from an unhealthy soil from over applying fertilizer or from dog urine?
If a harmful soil situation is not addressed before laying the sod, it will become stressed and likely die off like the previous lawn. I have talked to a number of dog owners that have replaced the lawn in an area available to their dog 2-3 times.
Let's address the health of the soil before laying new sod. Health biology is the soil's immune system. Adding a biological concentrate like RestoreClay or LawnMutt will start to correct most unhealthy conditions in the soil. I encourage anyone that is thinking about laying sod to address the soil's health before investing time and money.
Use the existing lawn as a gauge for the health of the soil. When you see the existing lawn start to look green and healthy it should be safe to lay new sod. You may find that by improving the soil's health, the existing lawn will recover and not need to the replaced.
Just a quick side note: Nitrogen overdose results in an overall browning of the lawn. This happens more often than you may think. It may look like the lawn needs more Nitrogen, but adding more will likely cause the lawn to completely crash.
Please contact me if you have question or concerns about your soil. I can be reached by replying to this email.
The second concern is for dog owners. New sod is just a pretty green carpet on top of the soil for the first few months. The short roots are very susceptible to dog urine damage and need time to get established.
Will LawnMutt protect new sod from dog urine damage?
LawnMutt is very effective at improving the soil ability to metabolize and filter the harmful effects of dog urine from damaging your lawn. But these processes happen in the soil and until the sod is successfully rooted it will likely be damaged by dog urine. The best option for dog owners that want new sod is to keep your dog off the newly laid sod.
That disclaimer aside, LawnMutt is one of the best soil amendments available to help new sod deeply root itself in the soil where it will be protected from urine damage. Applying a few applications of LawnMutt and giving your sod a few months to get established will pay big dividends in the long term.
LawnMutt is a long-term management tool. It does not change the grass or the urine but instead changes the soil.
Tip for new sod: If your dog does urinate on the new sod the best option is to grab the hose and wash the urine off the sod roots and down into the soil.
If you think new sod is in your future and you have challenging soil conditions I am confident we can help.