New sod can provide a green lawn right away instead of planting seed and waiting for it to grow. With sod, you must provide the correct amount of water so that the roots take hold and grow. After the sod is established in the ground, you can begin to walk on the sod. There is a strict schedule for watering the sod that must be completed before you start walking on the grass, mowing it or fertilizing it.
Avoid walking on the new sod, except for placing the sprinkler, until the first mowing,
Place an empty vegetable can on the lawn. When it fills with 1/2 inch of water each time during the first week's twice daily watering schedule, you have given the sod enough water. When you do the lawn watering once a day, you need to give the sod one inch of water daily.
Water the grass for the first week twice a day if the weather is warm (80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), for the first three days and once a day for the next nine days. Skip one day and water once on the next day. During the third and fourth weeks, water once every other day. For cool weather (70 degrees Fahrenheit or lower), water twice a day for the first two days and once a day for four days. For the second week, water every other day and twice a week for the third and fourth weeks.
Mow the sod when the grass has grown about 4 or 5 inches tall. Use a lawn mower with a sharp blade. Leave the blades of grass at least 3 inches long so that the grass roots will grow deeper in the ground and establish a good root base.
Fertilize the new sod after 60 days or in September if the sod is planted during the summer. If the sod is planted in the fall, fertilize in May. Use a nitrogen-high fertilizer such as a 16-16-16 (nitrogen-phosphates-potassium). Water the sod after fertilizing or fertilize just before a good rain.