How to Maintain New Sod Lawn


A sod lawn is created by laying down a fully established living grass carpet over bare soil. The lower layer of the sod is top soil, which adheres to the prepared soil area in your lawn once the root structure advances. Sod lawns do not require an aggressive maintenance plan; you simply need to water them to stimulate root growth into the existing soil bed. Install the sod immediately after purchasing it to prevent drying and damage to the grass. If the installation of your new sod lawn is inevitably delayed after you have already purchased the sod, store it in a cool, shaded location and keep it moist.

Step 1

Water your newly laid sod three times per week if you planted it in the cool spring and fall months. Water it daily if you planted it in the hot summer months. For the first 7 to 10 days, apply 1 inch of water to the sod lawn every time you water it, to make sure the water reaches down to the root structure.

Step 2

Let the sod dry slightly approximately two weeks after installation so you can mow it.

Step 3

Mow the sod lawn down to a height of 3 inches once it reaches 4 to 5 inches in height. Mow the sod on weekly, as it will grow quickly from the aggressive watering. Make sure your mower has a sharp blade and is set to the highest setting to prevent sod damage.

Step 4

Rake grass clippings after mowing or use a grass bagger attachment on the lawn mower. This will prevent thatch buildup in the sod.

Step 5

Fertilize the newly laid sod six weeks after laying it down. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer at a ratio of 16-16-16. If you install the sod lawn in fall, fertilize it the following spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Sod
  • Hose or sprinkler system
  • Mower
  • Rake
  • Nitrogen-rich fertilizer


  • Landscape America: Sod Installation and Care
  • The Sod Shop: Sod Maintenance
  • Bachman's: New Sod Care
Keywords: sod maintenance, installing sod, sod lawn care

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.