When To Mow New Sod

Sharing is caring!

Mowing your new sod too early or waiting too long can impair the proper growth of your grass. It’s common to be worried when it comes to sod first mow because improperly doing it can destroy the sod.

One of the most important things to know is when to mow new sod.

You should wait a minimum of two weeks before mowing new sod to allow sod to grow to an appropriate height and take root.

Generally, you should mow your new sod 15 days after installation but tug your grass lightly to ensure it has taken root before mowing.

When cutting your new sod for the first time, use a higher mowing height to make sure you leave enough leaf surface to facilitate sufficient photosynthesis.

Without much ado, let’s explore everything you need to know about mowing new sod for the first time.

When To Mow New Sod

when to mow new sod

You should wait at least two weeks to mow new sod to allow sod to take root; remember that mowing before the grass takes root can cause damage.

Your grass will likely be longer than usual during the first cut, but that shouldn’t worry you much.

It would be best not to mow more than 1/3 of your grass height, so set the lawnmower height high to leave enough grass blades for photosynthesis.

Chunks of sod shouldn’t come up when mowing, and that will happen if your sod has shallow roots.

Postpone the first mow if you notice chunks of sod, or ensure you raise the lawnmower blade to the maximum height.

You can treat your grass normally after the first mowing session- walk on it, among other activities.

Read more: Is it good to water grass after mowing

What Happens If You Mow Sod Too Soon?

You risk damaging your grass by mowing your sod too soon. New sod takes time to establish a root system, so you must give your lawn ample time for the roots to grow and the grass to sit firmly in the ground.

If you mow your new sod too soon, the grass that has not established its roots will be pulled into the lawnmower blades.

They will be mangled and shredded, gouging holes in your lawn and creating an unpleasant rugged appearance.

Lawn recovery from premature mowing will take a long time, and you may need to lay extra grass plugs or sod to repair the harm.

How To Tell Your New Sod Is Ready For Mowing

The rule of thumb is to mow your new sod after it takes root, but how can you tell your grass is firmly rooted.

The best way to test your new lawn’s readiness for mowing is to grab a bunch of the grass and tug on it.

If it’s resistant to being pulled and hangs on, it’s firmly rooted and ready for first mow.

However, if it pulls out easily, the roots haven’t been established fully, and your lawn needs more time before it’s ready to be cut for the first time.

Read more: Sod Not Taking Root

What Direction To Mow New Sod

Besides knowing when to mow new sod, it’s also essential to understand how to do it correctly. The mowing direction should be perpendicular to the one you used to lay the sod.

In addition, you shouldn’t cut your grass in the same direction consecutively to avoid leaving marks, so change the mowing pattern 90-degree during every mowing session.

Consider throwing in various patterns like diagonal patterns, straight patterns, and contour patterns.

Mowing across the grain helps blend the seams in your sod. Avoid cutting parallel to the lines of the sod until they have entirely knitted.

How To Mow New Sod

Generally, sod’s first mow is pretty straightforward, but you can easily mess it up if you don’t know what to do.

Once the two weeks have elapsed since installing sod, and you have ascertained that your lawn is ready for its first mow, you can cut your grass.

However, make sure you prepare for it well, including not watering the lawn a day before mowing to prevent the grass from matting.

You must also ensure the mower blades are sharp to keep the tips of your grass from turning brown and avoid tearing your grass.

Additionally, cut only a 1/3 of the height of the grass blades and cut in different directions every time to help your grass blades grow as straight as they can.

Moreover, the lawnmower blades should be set high, and take heed of the sod’s contours to prevent scalping your yard.

Mowing Height For New Sod

The recommended height of mowing varies with every grass type. For instance, bunch-type sods such as ryegrass and tall fescues generate enough leaf mass to allow cutting new sod at 2-3 inches.

On the other hand, grasses like fine fescues and Kentucky bluegrass cannot generate enough leaf mass when mowed too low, so you need to cut their new sod about 1.5-2 inches.

Below is a table of the appropriate mowing height for new sod from different types of grass

Grass TypeRecommended Height Before MowingRecommended Mowing Height
Zoysia1.5 to 2 inches1 to 1.5 inches
Kentucky Bluegrass3 to 3 ¾ inches2.0 to 2.5 inches
Bermuda1.5 to 2 inches1.0 to 1.5 inches
Fine Fescues3 to 3 ¾ inches2 to 2.5 inches
Bahia3 to 4 inches2.0 to 3 inches
Bermuda1.5 to 2 inches1 to 1.5 inches
Ryegrass2 to 3 ¾ inches1.5 to 2.5 inches
Centipede2 to 3 inches1.5 to 2.0 inches
Tall Fescues3 to 4 ¾ inches2 to 3 inches
Bentgrass0.5 to 1.5 inches0.25 to 0.75 inches
St. Augustine3 ¾ to 4.5 inches1.5 to 2.0 inches
Buffalograss3 to 4 inches2 to 3 inches

What Happens If You Don’t Mow New Sod?

Mowing your new sod is a vital part of lawn maintenance that aids the growth of your grass and ensures your yard is aesthetically appealing.

Below is what happens if you don’t mow your new sod.

1. It Makes The Grass Unhealthy

Failing to mow your new sod at the opportune time and then attempting to correct the mistake by taking out 1/3 of the entire grass blade height is problematic.

It leads to a drop in the root systems’ growth rate, resulting in a weaker lawn that’s more susceptible to diseases and pests.

Not mowing new sod also encourages the growth of weeds which will compete with your grass from nutrients, thus hampering the health and growth of your grass.

2. It Makes The Lawn Unappealing

Unmowed lawns have tall, overgrown grass comprising grass blades of varying heights, translating to an unsightly appearance.

Moreover, the grass blades will take a weed-like look when the seeding period arrives, and your lawn won’t be aesthetically appealing.

You could also incur fines if you keep your grass too long in a locality that mandates keeping the lawn at a specific height.

Mowing New Sod Bag Or Mulch

Generally, it’s recommended to leave grass clippings to mulch to benefit your yard and the environment rather than bagging them.

The grass clippings will give your grass enough potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen nutrients once they decompose.

The grass clippings can give your lawn nearly a 1/3 of the yearly feeding requirement.

Benefits of Mulching Instead Of Bagging Grass Clippings

1) It Kills Weeds Naturally

Regular lawn mowing and mulching help create a barrier to prevent weed seeds from taking root.

2) It’s Less Time Consuming

Mulching saves you the time you would have otherwise spent collecting, bagging, and discarding the grass clippings. Unlike bagging, with mulching, you only need to cut the grass and leave the clippings behind.

3) It Hydrates Your Lawn

Grass clippings have about 80% to 85% water, and it helps quicken decomposition and hydrates your lawn. Therefore, mulching instead of dumping the grass clippings provides moisture to your yard.

4) Provides Natural Fertilizer

The nutrients- nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in grass clippings are re-introduced into the soil when you mulch. On average, a season’s worth of grass clippings returned to the yard gives 2.6 lbs of potassium, 0.7 lbs of phosphorus, and 4.8 lbs of nitrogen.

5) Fewer Clippings Dumped In Landfills

Mulching is excellent for the environment since it reduces the amount of grass clippings that end up in landfills. Besides saving you disposal fees, it eliminates plastic use from bagging.

Mowing New Sod Bag or Mulch?

You should bag when mowing during the cooler seasons because low humidity and temperatures will make grass clippings decomposition challenging.

In addition, bagging is ideal in residential settings because the clippings stick to shoes, stain clothes, and even transfer to houses.

It’s also best to bag if your lawn is exposed to a disease or take an extended period in between mowing.

Also read: Can you be fined for not mowing your lawn

Final Remarks

You should have an easier time turning your lawn into a lush, green paradise now that you know when and how to mow your new sod.

Create a lawn maintenance regimen that will suit your grass and make working on your lawn convenient and enjoyable.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment