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How to Water New Sod

Laying a new sod lawn is an exciting experience for most homeowners. In one fell swoop their lackluster lawn is almost magically transformed into a lush, green carpet, the envy of all who see it. The trick, of course, is in keeping that new sod lawn looking pristine for years to come. And the secret to that is proper watering right from the start. Choose from either of two watering programs, largely depending on whether the temperature (especially for the first 4 weeks) is above 80 degrees F or below 70 F.

Water your new sod lawn twice a day for the first 3 days if temperatures exceed 80 degrees F or water twice daily for the first 2 days if the temperature is under 70 F. Water using a sprinkler and water for 20 minutes or until you have applied approximately 1/2 inch of water to the lawn. You can determine how much water you have applied by placing a small, low-sided can (such as an old tuna can) on the lawn and measuring how much water fills the can.

Sprinkle once a day for the next 9 days. Put 1 inch of water on your lawn during this period. Water in the mornings before the heat of day.

Continue sprinkling every other day for the next 10 days, putting 1 inch of water on the lawn each time.

Water twice a week after 4 weeks unless the soil is drying out too much between waterings or the lawn appears to be wilting or showing other signs of stress. Extremes of heat or hot dry winds can require more frequent waterings.

Keep your lawn moist but not soggy for a minimum of 12 months, until your lawn has a sufficient chance to establish a deep root system.


Your new sod lawn can be mowed approximately 24 days after planting, provided that the grass has grown to a height of at least 4 to 5 inches.


Never mow your new sod lawn shorter than 3 inches.

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