How to Fix Sod Not Taking Root (4 Reasons+Solutions)

You have installed new sods on your lawn. But, you suddenly notice them slowly becoming brown. You are suspecting that the sods are not developing roots.

So, why exactly is your sod not taking root in your lawn?

Sods can hinder developing roots for many reasons. They might be suffering from insufficient water or moisture. Sometimes the soil composition becomes too tight for the sods to penetrate their roots through. The sods might have a loose connection with the soil or are cut too much.

Whatever the reasons might be, we have the solutions for you. Got a few minutes? Dive right into this article to find out all the reasons and solutions behind this problem.

How to Know If Sods Are Not Taking Root?

sod not taking root

If you notice brown spots on your sod, it means that your sod is drying. This happens only when they have a shallow root system. However, it might not always indicate that your sods are dead. 

In case you noticed this problem within the first 6 weeks, you’re safe. It means that the sods are in a dormant stage.

So how can you be sure that the roots are causing the problem? Well, it’s very easy to find if the sods are taking root or not.

Gently lift the grass from one corner of a sod piece. If you encounter resistance, it means that the root system is fine and has developed properly. Conversely, if you’re able to lift the sod easily, it means the roots are not developed well. 

So, if this is the problem, take a look at the next segment. You’ll be able to find out what is causing this and how to fix it.

Why Are Sods Not Taking Root?- 4 Reasons & Solutions

Sods not taking root can be quite disappointing. There might be multiple reasons why this could happen. Luckily, we have listed the most prominent reasons and solutions to fix your problem. 

Without waiting, go through the points below.

Reason 1: Inadequate Moisture For Sods

If you aren’t watering your plants well, they will surely not grow roots. It is very important to water the sods properly when they are newly installed.


During the first week, water the newly installed sods at least once a day. This watering can revive the grass which has become dormant.

Reason 2: Compaction of Soil

If you are watering your sods properly, then there’s a problem with the soil. Check the soil beneath the sod. It should be a little loose and not too compact. 

Compacted soil sometimes cannot absorb adequate water. So, the roots are not hydrated properly even though you water them. They also lack the oxygen that the grass requires.


If you find the soil underneath your sod to be compacted, pull the sod up. Take a garden aerator (Plug or spike) and aerate the soil underneath. You can add 1 part of peat moss or perlite while aerating the soil.

We understand if you have confusion regarding buying garden aerators. That’s why we have listed some of the best garden aerators for you.

Both of these products are reputed for their quality over time. However, the ultimate choice is yours.

Reinstall your sod now. The roots should now be able to get adequate oxygen and water. So, they will be revived.

Reason 3: Floating Sods In Your Lawn

If you notice an indigent connection between the soil and the sod, you have floating sods. This can cast down the sod from rooting.


To integrate your floating sods with the soil, use a lawn roller. First, water your sods, then run a lawn roller or garden roller over them.  You can do this even before installing the sods!

This will establish a connection between the sod and the soil.

Reason 4: Cutting Sods Too Short

Grass blades carry out photosynthesis to produce food when they’re under the sun. The food is sent to the roots to nourish them. 

So, cutting the blades too short during the early stages can cause the sod to not take roots.


Avoid cutting your sods too short, especially in the early weeks. Because that’s the time they struggle to develop a root system. Trim the grasses in a manner where the grass-blades are visible and cover the soil underneath.

We hope that we could find you a solution to your sods not taking root. But, if your sods are dead before you even notice, you might have to reinstall the sods

We hope these tips work for you to keep a healthy root system. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can dead sods be revived?

Answer: As mentioned, sods do not die immediately. They stay dormant for 5-6 weeks. If they have crossed this timeline, they are most likely to be dead and not coming back. So, you’ll have to regrow your lawn with new sods.

Question: Does dog urine kill sod?

Answer: Yes, if you have a dog on your lawn, beware. You already provide a significant amount of nitrates in your lawn to fertilize the sods. So the nitrates in dog urine become excessive and cause the sods to die.

Question: Can you seed over dead sods?

Answer: No, you can’t seed over dead sods. Because, if you do, the seeds won’t be able to germinate. You need to perform heavy scarification before planting new seeds

Summing Up

If you’ve come across this whole article, you should probably have found your solution. We hope you won’t have to deal with sod not taking root anymore.

Here’s an extra tip to avoid this, fertilize your lawn after 5 to 6 weeks of installation. This will develop a continual rooting system and growth of the sods.

Best of luck developing your sods!

2 thoughts on “How to Fix Sod Not Taking Root (4 Reasons+Solutions)”

  1. Pingback: Why Are My Grapes So Small? (Here’s What To Do)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *