Sod is a popular and reliable solution for growing a lawn overnight, but it does require more TLC than a traditionally-grown lawn does. Since new sod has shallow roots, it needs proper fertilization, watering and maintenance to establish with your yard’s soil and remain lush and green.
The First Two Weeks
The most important thing when establishing new sod is keeping it properly watered. Right after installation, you should water the sod very thoroughly so that it feels spongy when you press your shoe in the surface. The entire surface should be kept wet to a depth of 4”-6” and watered 3-5 times a day over the course of the first week or two. To see how deep the moisture is, you can lift the corner up.
You should avoid walking on the sod as much as possible during the first week so that you do not leave impressions on the surface and prevent it from taking root in your yard. What happens if your sod dries out? It will shrink, turn brown and die. After the first two weeks, you can allow the sod to dry out enough for mowing.
The Third and Fourth Week
Next, you will transition from watering multiple times a day to watering multiple times a week. Over the course of the third week, water the yard 1-3 times a day and skip days in between if the sod isn’t drying out. Once week 4 rolls around, you can water 1-2 times a day every 2-3 days.
The Rest of the Spring
Your lawn will need extra hydration during its first growing season. As the roots deepen, your sod will need less water. As a rule of thumb, you should water new sod less frequently and deeply.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mow
Typically, a lawn with new sod will need to be mowed at the end of the second week or once grass gets taller than 3 ½” inches. Before mowing, you should make sure that the sod is dry to the touch and that it does not sink when you put pressure on the surface.
Expert Lawn and Sod Care from JFC Grounds Maintenance
Choosing to partner with a grounds maintenance company for the spring season is a great idea, as the sod care that you complete while your sod is new will dictate the beauty of your lawn forever (or until you put down new sod!). Give us a call today at (410) 655-2887 to learn more about our planting, grounds maintenance and lawn care services.