How to Care for a Sodded Lawn

Overview

Sod is a type of grass that is grown on specialty farms. The sod is sliced in a thin layer underneath the roots and placed in sheets or rolls and taken to the installation site. Installation is done immediately to ensure the health of the grass. Sod is typically harvested eight to 10 months after it has been planted and is grown locally in the area that it is installed. Sod is easier to plant than seed because it has already been established, but there are still some steps to take care of the sod once you have it installed.

Step 1

Water your sod immediately after it has been planted. Water your sod two to three times per day. The ground should be moist but not saturated. This will help spread the roots and set the sod into place. Water every day for the first week and a half and give it just enough water to keep it moist. After the initial period you should water your sod at least once per week with at least one inch of water. You will not need to water the soil after September but should begin watering again in early spring.

Step 2

Avoid walking on the sod until the roots have grown firmly in place. Walking on the sod can move the sod around on the soil. Keep pets off of newly planted sod as well. If you allow a pet to dig on the sod it will cause permanent damage and leave an area that is void of grass.

Step 3

Fertilize with a 10-10-10 fertilizer six weeks after the sod has been in place. Follow the directions on the fertilizer and use a rake to spread the fertilizer into the soil. Apply the fertilizer every six weeks during the summer growing season and begin fertilization the next year starting in May or June.

Step 4

Set the blades on your mower at t2.5 to 3 inches from May to September during the growing months. Begin lowering the blades from mid September until November until you have lowered the blades to a height of 1.5 inches, which will encourage the grass to go dormant.

Step 5

Leave the grass clippings on the top of the sod so that they will decompose and add to the nutrients in the ground.

Step 6

Wait at least a year before you apply herbicide. If you try to get rid of weeds too soon you could end up destroying new grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Rake
  • Mower
  • Herbicide

References

  • Care of Sod Lawns
  • Landscape America: Sod Installation and Care
Keywords: planting sod, care for sod, caring for lawns

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree has a master's in business and is working on a master's in journalism from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Society for Porfessional Journalists and has been writing for five years. Works include publications with Hall County Crime Examiner, Player's Press and The Gainesville Times.