Proper Care of New Sod

Overview

Laying sod is a quick way to get a lush, green lawn. However, without proper care and maintenance your sod may not properly root and can wither and die. After you finish laying the sod, prepare to spend at least a month tending to it carefully to make sure it takes roots and grows properly. After this initial investment of time and energy, you should have a picture-perfect lawn.

Step 1

Roll over your new sod with a lawn roller half-filled with water once you are finished laying it. This will push it firmly against the soil underneath so it can begin to take root and establish itself.

Step 2

Water the new sod immediately after you have laid it and rolled it with a lawn roller. Watering sod is the most important factor in helping it become established. For the first two weeks, the sod should be kept moist at all times. To do this, you may need to water it two to six times a day, depending in the heat and humidity levels. As a general rule, make sure new sod gets at least 1 inch of water per day for the first two weeks after it is laid.

Step 3

Mow your new sod after about two weeks. For the first mowing, set your lawn mower on its highest setting. To check to see if your sod is ready for mowing, try to lift a corner piece up. It should not be mowed until you cannot easily lift the sod off the soil underneath.

Step 4

Continue to mow your lawn regularly for another two weeks. Water the sod less frequently, but for longer durations. This will allow the roots to grow more deeply and become better established.

Step 5

Fertilize your new lawn about one month after the sod was laid. Use a grass fertilizer and carefully follow the label directions for information on how much to use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use crabgrass and weed killers in the first year after laying new sod.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn roller
  • Lawn mower
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Wegman's Nursery: New Sod Care
  • "All About Lawns: Planting with Sod"
  • "Landscape America: Sod and Sod Installation"
Keywords: new sod care, caring for sod, watering sod

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.