How to Install Sod After a Hurricane


Hurricanes bring flying debris, floods and salt water any of which can damage your lawn beyond repair. However, just because your lawn looks water logged it does not mean that the grass is dead. Most varieties of grasses can survive up to 4 days underwater without extensive damage. Before you scrap the entire lawn, rinse it and allow it to dry for a few days to see if any grass can be saved. But keep an eye out for varieties of turf disease that can crop up in lawns that have been submerged for a prolonged period of time.

Step 1

Clear any debris that is strewn over or embedded in the lawn.

Step 2

Water the lawn thoroughly. Hurricanes bring in a lot of salt water and it is important to rinse it away as soon as possible. Use a garden hose to give the lawn three inches of water.

Step 3

Aerate the lawn with a core aerator by running the machine over the lawn in straight rows.

Step 4

Wait for the soil to dry out. The time that it takes will largely depend on the weather. If it remains sunny, the lawn should dry out in 2 to 3 days

Step 5

Use a shovel to remove every patch of dead grass in the lawn. Remove the dead blades along with their roots.

Step 6

Loosen the soil in bare patches to a depth of 4 inches by digging it with a hand trowel.

Step 7

Fertilize the entire lawn with 1/2 pound of nitrogen per square foot.

Step 8

Add a 1-inch layer of aged compost to the bare patches and till the soil again to a depth of 4 inches.

Step 9

Lay the sod. It is possible to lay any type of sod during any time of the year. But, if you want to increase the likelihood that all of your sod will survive, consider planting rye off season to prevent erosion. Then re-plant the lawn when it is right for the variety of your choice.

Step 10

Keep the sod moist until it establishes itself and produces new growth. The length of time can vary widely depending on the type of grass and the time of year, so use the length as a marker.

Things You'll Need

  • Core aerator
  • Nitrogen fertilizer
  • Aged compost
  • Shovel
  • Hand cultivator


  • Legislative Assembly of British Columbia: Cleaning up After a Flood
  • University of Missouri: Caring for Flooded Lawns
  • Louisiana State University: Hurricane Damage and Recovery
Keywords: hurricane sod, flood sod, sod lawn hurricane

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.