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How to Mow New Sod

Using sod as opposed to seed for a new lawn might be more expensive, but sod will provide an instant lawn, ready for heavy foot traffic in just a few weeks. Sod will have great curb appeal and add value to your home. Another big plus is that sod can be grown easily on poor soils. Caring for your new sod may seem daunting at first, but with a few steps, you’ll mow your newly-laid sod correctly and be on your way to a lush, healthy lawn.

Wait about two to three weeks after the sod is installed before mowing it for the first time. You should begin mowing the new sod when the grass has grown to 4 inches tall.

Mow your grass sod according to the “one-third rule,” meaning cut only one-third of the length of the grass blades. For example, if you want to maintain the grass at 2-inches tall, mow when the grass reaches 3 inches.

Mow in different directions each time to help keep the grass blades growing as straight as possible.

Adjust your lawnmower properly and pay attention to the contours of the sod to avoid scalping. Scalping the grass sod will cause some very unattractive bare spots, damage the root system and possibly prevent the grass from growing back.

Mow the grass the following year in the spring before it begins to grow. Cut the grass slightly shorter than its normally-maintained height to remove dead blades of grass, leaves or other debris. Mow your lawn at regular height for the last mowing of the year.


Water your new sod within 30 minutes of installation, and up to three times daily for a period of two weeks. Keep traffic at a minimum on the freshly installed sod.

During periods of heavy traffic, or stress from heat, insects or disease, raise the mowing height of your lawnmower.


Don’t water your sod the day before you will be mowing. This will prevent the grass blades from matting. Also, keep your mower blades sharp to prevent tearing the grass and the grass tips from turning brown.

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