Post-Installation Sod Care
You will be watering your newly installed sod 2-4 times per day up to four weeks. Water new sod within 30 minutes of installation. Apply at least 1” of water so that the soil beneath the turf is wet. Ideally, 3”-4” of soil beneath the surface should be saturated, but not soggy. The ground beneath the turf must have moisture for the turf to survive. Be sure the water is being fully absorbed by the turf but is not flooded. It is difficult to say how long the first watering should be, as this depends on the size of the newly sodded area.
Newly installed sod needs watered twice a day for the first two weeks. Watering should be done in the morning and afternoon, not the evening. A third and fourth watering may be needed during hotter months (temperatures of 80 degrees or more). Watering multiple times a day may need to be extended to four weeks during hotter months as well. Daily waterings should be typically 15-20 minutes per zone, or however long it takes for the turf to be saturated but not soggy.
Checking for Root Development
7 to 10 days after installation, check for root development by firmly grasping the grass blades with both hands and lifting vertically. When the sod resists being lifted, usually in 10 to 14 days in optimal weather conditions, the frequency of watering can be reduced. However, when frequency of watering is reduced, the amount of water that is applied during each weathering should be increased.
During week 3 you may start watering your lawn once a day, weather depending. Remember to increase the amount of water applied since you are reducing frequency.
During week 4 you may start watering your lawn every other day, weather depending.
Proper watering techniques are critical to the success of your sod!
- Make sure that water gets to all areas of the lawn, regardless of the type of irrigation system you use. Many sprinklers miss corners and edges which are particularly vulnerable to drying out. Areas near building also dry out faster because of reflected heat.
- Avoid hand watering as it does not provide uniformity.
- In-ground irrigation systems require professional installation, routine adjustments, and proper maintenance. Be sure your irrigation system is properly working before sod is installed.
- Best watering times are typically between 6a-2p.
- Watering in the evening is discouraged. Leaving the lawn damp overnight can promote pests, disease, and fungus.
- Infrequent, deep watering is better than shallow watering. Roots grow only as deep as the most frequent available water supply.
Your new sod can be mowed once it is rooted, typically 2-4 weeks after install. Avoid using a riding mower for the first mow, as it is too heavy and the wheels may tear up the newly installed sod. Be sure to set the cutting height as 3 inches or higher. For best results, never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade per mowing and maintain sharp mower blades. Cutting frequency will need to be increased during the faster growing seasons of spring and fall. Grass clippings may be left on the lawn to return nutrients to the root zone.
Not Watering Enough
If you start to see large gaps forming between your rows of sod, or if it’s pulling up at the corners, it’s a good sign that you’re not watering enough. This is a sign of shrinkage, and that means your new lawn is drying out. If you’re just seeing poor results in one area, it’s a good indication that this area isn’t getting watered, and some adjustments are required. Look for grayish spots on the lawn or any areas that aren’t recovering from being stepped on as well. These are early indications that your lawn isn't getting enough water.
Watering too Much
While your new lawn needs plenty of water, it is possible to overdo it. Too much water can lead to rot and actually prevent root growth. If your lawn appears to be holding water, or if you’re seeing evidence of puddles in your lawn, you need to stop watering and give it time to dry out. If the ground feels spongy or if water squeezes up when you walk on it, you’ve gone too far and need to adjust your watering program to give your lawn time to drain out a little. Look for any dark brown discoloration or signs of rotting grass as an early indication of overwatering. Fortunately, turfgrass is bred to be tough. If you adjust your watering program at the first signs of over/under watering, your grass will easily recover.
The success of sod primarily depends largely on the customer and watering. Therefore, we do not offer a warranty on sod.