Installing sod will give you an instant lawn, but don't let its good looks fool you into thinking you won't have to take care of it. Mostly, you'll have to water, water, water your new sod to get it off to a good start.
Day of Installation
Insist that the installers start laying the sod the minute it arrives at the job site. Sod starts to dry as soon as it's cut, so you need to get it installed as quickly as you can.
Start watering the sod as soon as the installers finish laying each section. Don't wait to water until they've finished with the entire lawn.
Keep watering until the soil 6 inches beneath the sod is soggy. You'll know when you reach that point because the sod will be mushy when you walk on it.
For Two Weeks After Installation
Keep watering! According to Wegman's Nursery, it's nearly impossible to overwater new sod. You may have to water two to six times a day to keep the sod and the soil beneath it moist.
During this period, don't walk on the sod until after you mow it for the first time.
If you've installed sod in the spring, summer or fall, mow the first time about two weeks after installation. If you installed it in the winter, don't mow for at least three weeks. You may have to slow the irrigation for a day or so before you mow.
Mow high - don't cut off more than 1/3 of the height of the grass.
For Three to Four Weeks After Installation
Water less frequently, but for longer periods each time.
From time to time, pull up tiny plugs of sod to check on rooting progress.
Fertilize the sod at least once a month.
About this Author
Cheyenne Cartwright has worked in publishing for more than 25 years. She has served as an editor for several large nonprofit institutions, and her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including "Professional Bull Rider Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oklahoma Christian University and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Tulsa.