So, you’ve laid your sod, and your lawn is looking breathtakingly amazing, but without proper care and maintenance, it will not stay lush green and beautiful for long.
You cannot rely on mother nature to provide your grass with nutrients and water and handle the weeds and pests, so you need an effective new sod care regimen.
New sod is vulnerable, so you must take care of it properly to give it the best chance to survive and mature, giving you a full, healthy lawn.
You will also need to fertilize new sod weeks after installation to help the roots keep growing and aid the healthy growth of the grass.
However, it’s not just about watering, mowing, and fertilization; it’s about knowing when and how to do it.
Without much fuss, let’s explore new sod care timeline to help you take good care of your new lawn.
How To Care For New Sod
After installing new sod, the important work of taking care of it begins to make sure the sod keeps growing.
The way you take care of your new sod will change in phases since as the grass matures, its requirements will also change.
With that said, let’s see how to take care of new sod at different stages after installation
First Two Weeks After Laying Sod
Immediately you have laid your sod water it thoroughly, then keep watering for the first 7 days after installing sod, with the amount of water you will need to supply to your yard depending on the weather and drainage.
Water your new sod 2 to 3 times a day, making sure the entire yard is completely soaked.
Poke into the soil using a screwdriver or a spike to gauge if your lawn has received enough water. Watering your new sod can be slightly tricky because while you must ensure the water reaches the soil beneath the sod, you risk overwatering your lawn.
Instead of sprinkling your lawn lightly, give it a good soak to allow the water to get into the topsoil. Moreover, stay off new sod during this period because the root system hasn’t been established yet.
The root system will start establishing itself 7 to 13 days after installation. You can lower watering the lawn to once a day, preferably in the morning but make sure you give it a good soak to ensure the water penetrates the soil.
You can test the roots of your sod by gently pulling it. If the sod is difficult to remove, it has developed its roots, and if it comes off easily, it hasn’t established a robust root system yet.
If you notice parts of your new sod turning brown, you are likely underwatering it, or you installed it in sections with shade. Make sure your grass receives ample sunlight and moisture, especially when it’s still young.
Read more: Can sod grow in shade
Your sod will also be ready for mow 14 days after laying it down but don’t do it if the roots are not firmly on the ground yet to avoid pulling out the grass.
Additionally, ensure you only remove a third of the grass blades.
Three to Four Weeks After Laying Sod
You can begin watering your sod normally after three weeks have elapsed, which means ensuring your lawn receives 1 to 1.5 inches of water every week.
Furthermore, your yard will be mature enough to be mowed regularly.
When Should You Fertilize New Sod?
You should fertilize new sod 4 to 6 weeks after installation to allow your new sod to grow roots in order to take in the nutrients.
Feeding your yard early is a waste of time since the sod will not have the means to absorb the nutrients.
The best time to fertilize new sod is late spring through to early fall. Make sure you apply enough fertilizer but don’t overdo it (follow the manufacturer’s instructions), and water the lawn immediately after fertilizing.
The fertilizer applied to the sod prior to harvest time by the supplier should sustain it until the root system grows.
New Sod Care In Winter
Before installation, lightly till the area and lay the sod tightly together, but don’t fertilize it because it has a poor root system, and the grass will not be growing in winter.
When it comes to sod care in winter, you will want to water the lawn well repeatedly to prevent desiccation.
However, leaving the sprinklers running for extended periods isn’t necessary because there are no deep roots to absorb the water.
You should also restrict your kids and pets from playing on the lawn until a minimum of a month has elapsed after the dormant grass turns green. Generally, minimize foot traffic until your sod takes root.
Additionally, avoid weed killers that will affect rooting
New Sod Problems
While sod offers an instant way of greening up your lawn without waiting for grass seeds to germinate, this method has its share of problems if mishandled. These are:
1. Poor Soil Preparation
You cannot skip the preparation and expect your sod to take root and grow into thick, mature grass.
Give your sod the best chance of establishing itself by tiling the soil and ensuring its level, removing debris, and adding inorganic and organic matter.
2. Using Old Sod
Installing your lawn with sod harvested several days or weeks before the d-day isn’t an excellent idea.
The best sod to use to increase the chances of creating a green, lush, healthy lawn is one harvested a day or two before installation.
In addition, the sod should match the soil conditions and sun and shade situations. Moreover, ensure the sod you get is ideally suited for your lawn soil.
3. Laying The Sod Incorrectly
The sod must come into contact with the soil during installation to ensure it can grow roots. Floating sod has little chance of growth, so prepare the ground well, ensuring you remove any leftover vegetation and debris in the process and lay down the sod properly.
4. Delaying Watering
Since sod is not watered after leaving the farm, it will arrive at your lawn when it’s already stressed from lack of moisture.
Avoid stressing your sod further during installation by watering it while you lay it down.
To summarize everything.
New sod care:
- Immediately you lay your new sod water thoroughly for about 45 minutes.
- Water twice per day for the first 2 weeks.
- After two weeks, mow for the first time to encourage roots to grow strong.
- Week three to four water once per day.
- Stay off new sod until after the first mowing.
- Fertilize new sod 4 to 6 weeks after installation.
- Pay attention to signs of pests and disease.
New sod care entails handling the sod carefully, not stepping on it, mowing correctly, watering appropriately, and fertilizing when the time is right. In addition, you should pay attention to signs of pests and disease.
I hope this guide provides you with the necessary information to care for your new sod properly.
Hey there, I’m Derek Schew, a writer for Lawnholic.com, where we cover everything and anything related to lawns. As someone who’s spent countless hours tending to my own lawn, I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others achieve the perfect yard. From lawn care tips to product reviews, I’m committed to providing our readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information available. So whether you’re a seasoned lawn enthusiast or just getting started, I invite you to join our community and discover the joys of a lush, green lawn.