The sod is still technically in the root establishment period and we may be cordoning off areas during this period, especially with wet weather. Construction on the project started later than we anticipated due to the community’s request to start after the Italian Heritage Festival. Based on our start date of June 17 it put our sod installation and park opening date at the start of the rainy season, which means the sod roots have not had time to fully establish and therefore to open up the soil beneath for proper drainage. Additionally, the sod mix, selected specifically for the water conservation, includes Bermuda grass that does go semi-dormant in cool weather, which means the root establishment is also goes semi-dormant. (Note that the semi-dormancy also means the lawn will turn brownish in color during the cool months). The turf will bounces back to green when it warms up and is a tough grass (as you know if you’ve tried to get rid of it in a lawn) which is why we are confident it will rebound in the spring.
These are the reasons that during and after heavy rain events you may some water pooling in the low areas of the lawn. To ensure the long term viability of the lawn Rec and Park Operations and Capital are closely monitoring the lawn and taking a conservative approach throughout the winter months, identifying conditions that warrant cordoning off portions of the lawn for periods of time.
We have a detailed management plan in place to begin in March, when the Bermuda grass is coming out of semi-dormancy and the soil has had a chance to dry out. This includes a process that will stimulate root establishment and therefore improve the drainage of water through the sod layer.