A new sod lawn is not difficult to install, giving you an instant lawn – no waiting required! But your new sod will need a bit more diligence than an established lawn would require. For one thing, newly installed sod naturally lacks deep roots, which need time to become established. Correct watering, proper fertilizing and careful maintenance are important in order to guarantee that your new sod lawn will remain beautiful for the long term.
How to Water Your New Sod
- Newly installed sod needs more water than established grass because its roots require consistent moisture. In fact, new sod requires significantly more water than you may be used to providing.
- For the initial week to 10 days, new sod should be watered two to three times every day, for up to 10 minutes at a time. It should be enough to keep the top few inches of soil soaked.
- During the second week, water only once per day – soaking the top 1/4 inch of soil.
- After three weeks, water every other day, keeping the top 1.2 inch of soil soaked.
- Sufficient roots should be established after four weeks, so you can limit watering to once or twice per week.
- If temperatures reach 85 degrees during the first four weeks, increase watering to two or three times per day. Water the sod in the morning or the evening, when temperatures are cooler and the grass is less likely to burn.
Mowing for Best Results
- New sod should not be mowed immediately; in fact you should wait at least two weeks before the initial mowing.
- When the sod grass have reached a height of approximately 3 inches tall, you can mow one inch.
- Be careful to not mow too short. Check to make sure that your mower blade is sharp, and never cut more than one-third of the blade length.
How to Keep Your Sod Lawn Looking Great
Too much foot traffic on your new sod lawn may prevent the roots from taking hold as they need to. Limit walking for up to one month- or if you cannot prevent walking on the sod, walk in different areas so as not to compact the sod in one place. If your homeowner’s association allows for it, you may wish to stake off your lawn for the month in order to keep people from walking on it prematurely.
Fertilizing for Success
- Most sod is fertilized before being harvested and delivered to you, therefore fertilizing is generally unnecessary until about 45-60 days after installation.
- Fertilizing too soon can result in yellow areas. The new, shallow root system is not able to absorb the nutrients, causing nitrogen to seep into the soil.
- At approximately 45-60 days, you may apply a granular fertilizer with a nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium ratio of 16-16-16. Ask your sod retailer for the best ratios for application.
- Fertilizer should be applied when the ground is dry, and should be spread it evenly over the lawn.
- Water the lawn thoroughly after fertilizer application.Which type of sod is right for you? At Big Earth Landscape Supply, we sell several varieties of sod featuring grass which grows well in our Sarasota climate – including several types of St. Augustine and Zoysia sods, as well as Bahia and Bermuda grasses.Stop by today to shop for the best product for your lawn. If you have any additional questions regarding lawn care, tropical plants and trees, or even ornamental elements –Big Earth Landscape Supply is your one-stop shop. Shop our online store or stop by one of our 4 area locations. We’d love to help you.