Sod Lawn Care Guide
Your new sod is beautiful! You can keep it that way by following the recommendations below. Care during the first 6 weeks is vital to the health of your sod. Watering is the key!
WATER YOUR NEW SOD TWICE A DAY FOR 15-20 MINUTES UNTIL ROOTING BEGINS!
WATERING - Day 1: For the next several weeks, plan on paying extra attention to your sod’s watering needs. Watering will ensure close contact between the sod roots and soil and will prevent your new sod from drying out. Once the sod roots have firmly grown into the soil, then less water will be needed. This usually takes a few weeks, so for the first month or so, your new lawn will need a little extra help from you to become established.
In temperature above 80℉, generally, more water is needed, and if it is below 60℉, less water is needed.
During the hotter months, your sod needs to be soaked with water as soon as it is laid. Water each zone as soon as it is laid. Test it by walking on it. If you make deep footprints, your sod has enough water.
If the soil is firm, or during the cooler months, determine how much to water your sod needs on Day 1 by lifting up a corner in several places and inspecting it for dampness. The soil on the back of the sod should be damp to wet. If it is not damp, water for at least 30 minutes.
WATERING - Days 2-5: Check your lawn at least once a day. More if it is hot or windy. Walk on your new lawn to inspect it. If the soil is soft and you make deep footprints or water has puddled in areas, it is too wet and you should stop watering for a while and then water less often with less water.
If the soil is firm and during cool months, left a corner of the sod in several places to make sure that it is damp but not dripping wet or dusty dry.
Also, monitor the color of your sod. Green is good. Blue-Green indicates not enough water and there will be problems in 12-24 hours. Yellow-Tan means the sod is heat/moisture stressed and will go dormant, but the roots and crown are still alive so if you water more, new leaves will appear in 7-10 days. Cracks that appear between rolls indicate that not enough water has been applied and you should water longer or more often.
WATERING - After day 5: You can water turf any time of the day but avoid watering in the late afternoon or early evening. Now you must reduce your watering habits or you will drown the new roots. Roots will not grow into waterlogged soils. Reset your timer if you have an automatic system.
MOWING may begin when the sod is firmly rooted (it won’t lift up when you tug on it). Your first cut should happen around 4” tall and make sure that your blades are sharp. We recommend mowing your sod to 3½” high and longer in hot weather. Let the clippings work into the grass. They return nourishment to the soil. If the clipping is sitting on top of the grass, mow again to mulch them in between the blades.
FERTILIZER will not be needed for at least 6-8 weeks. Long term, we recommend 4 applications per year: mid-April, crabgrass preventer & fertilizer; mid-late May, weed & feed with fertilizer; late June, fertilizer; and mid-late September, a winterizer fertilizer. PLEASE follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. More is NOT better! Heavier or more frequent applications may cause thatch and disease problems.
We hope these tips are helpful. Please call with questions – we’ll be glad to help!