Bermuda Sod Care

Overview

Bermuda grass is a heat- and drought-tolerant grass, a fast grower and forms a dense turf that is resistant to wear and tear. Bermuda grass does need to be well-edged in order to prevent it from spreading into and overtaking other areas, such as flower beds and gardens. Planting Bermuda sod, rather than seed, minimizes the potential for problems with germination and produces an established lawn more quickly.

Preparing the Ground

Prepare your yard for sod installation by breaking and loosening the soil. Level the yard and remove rocks and other debris from the planting area. Because sod is installed with a layer of soil, lower the soil level about 3/4 inch below the top of curbs and walks so the sod will be even with them. For best results, apply a complete fertilizer to the area, spreading it and working it into the soil with a rake. If you're installing the sod during a hot, dry period, moisten the planting area before laying the sod down.

Laying Sod

Once the soil is prepared, lay the sod sections flat, being sure to push the edges tightly together. Do not allow the edges to overlap, or you'll make the turf uneven and make it more difficult for the sod to root. Some sections of sod may be faded or discolored; this is a result of stacking the sod when it's harvested and the color will even out after a few days if you water regularly.

Watering

When you've finished laying the sod, water it thoroughly and keep it watered just enough to stop it from drying out for the first seven to 10 days. After this initial period, give your sod an inch of water every seven to 10 days. You can measure the amount of water you're giving your lawn by placing a can or other container in the middle of the area covered by the sprinkler.

First Mowing

Your sod will need at least a week to root together and begin to root down into the soil. By about the tenth day after planting, you can allow the sod to dry enough for mowing. Your mower should be in good condition with a sharp blade on the highest setting to avoid pulling the sod away from the soil surface and causing damage.

Care of Established Sod

Your Bermuda sod will take about two months to anchor itself firmly to the soil and form a good root system. At this point, it will benefit from core cultivation. A core cultivator pulls cores of sod and soil to the surface, and you should perform this procedure every spring and fall. Fertilize your new lawn six weeks after planting and every six weeks during the growing season afterward. To prevent killing your Bermuda sod, avoid herbicides entirely during the first year and use them only for spot treatments as a last resort after that.

Keywords: Bermuda grass, planting Bermuda sod, laying sod

About this Author

Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer living and working in Minnesota. She began freelancing in 2008. Mansfield's work has appeared in online sites and publications such as theWAHMmagazine, for parents who work at home, and eHow. She is an active member of Absolute Write and Writer's Village University.