New Sod Care Instructions
After going through all the expense and effort to lay new sod, it is time to make sure it grows strong and stays free from pests.
Week 1 – Create a Consistent Watering Schedule
Water heavy the first irrigation cycle to wet the new sod and the soil profile to a depth of four to six inches. It is essential to keep newly installed sod wet the first week. Prevent your sod from drying out by making sure that it is thoroughly wet. I would advise watering 3 – 5 times a day for the best results. The best way to determine how well you are doing at keeping your sod nice and spongy on the first week is by lifting a corner of the sod to determine the depth of moisture. Walking on the sod will not harm it, but if you are sinking in, stay off, so you do not leave depressions.
Week 2 - Continue to Water Abundantly through the Second Week.
The second week is very similar to the first week, it is important to maintain an ideal watering routine. If you are experiencing too much excess runoff or puddles forming under the lawn, I would encourage reducing the watering time but maintaining the same quantity of times that it is watered.
Keep the new lawn moist during this time as it knits together. If allowed to dry out, new sod will shrink up, turn brown and die. If adequately watered, the roots of your new sod will penetrate the wet soil faster and root down quicker. At the end of week two, dry up the yard and mow it.
End of Week 2 – Get to Mowing!
Be very careful with the first time you mow so you do not pull up the sod. Set your mower at two to three inches and mow off one-third of the height. Mow at or above two inches for the first few times. Step down the height of cut by mowing every two to three days, lowering the cutting height each time. If your new lawn reaches over three and a half inches tall, mow off a third of the length even if it has not been two weeks and collect the clippings.
Week 3 & 4 - Reduce your Daily Watering Cycles.
Week 3 and 4 should be dedicated to transitioning and adapting your lawn to reduce water intake. During week three, start reducing watering to 1-3 times per day and skip a day between watering if the lawn is not drying out properly. By week four, your lawn should only be receiving water 1-2 times every other day. Congrats! after week four, your new yard should be ready to go 2-3 days between watering unless it is a time of extreme heat and wind.
Watering the First Season
It is ok to decrease the watering of your lawn after two months to see if you are overwatering. Your new lawn will use more water in the first growing season. As roots grow deeper over time, less water will be required. Deep watering cycles, less frequently, help sod develop a deep root system. Make sure to dry it out slowly, to the point where you start to see some brown spots. This will allow you to fine-tune the watering schedule. Increase the watering time to find the right amount. You will see stress first in areas that are receiving less water. Read More About Deep Watering
The Best Time to Water Your Lawn
Water your lawn in the late evening, night, and early morning when less evaporation occurs, and there is less wind. To reduce runoff on slopes and allow water to penetrate soils, cut watering times in half and run two irrigation cycles an hour apart. The soak and spray method allows the water to soak into your lawn, promoting deeper rooting and a healthier lawn. Read More About Established Lawn Care