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How to Take Care of New Sod

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017

After installing new sod, follow certain steps to properly care for the lawn to ensure strong root development. The sod must establish itself onto the soil beneath it and the roots must penetrate down into the soil to create a strong, healthy lawn. Wait at least two to three weeks before walking on the new sod. Proper watering, mowing and fertilization of your new sod are crucial to lawn establishment and growth.

Water your new sod immediately after it’s installed. Use a sprinkler or spray-nozzle attachment on your hose to water the sod and the top 2 inches of soil beneath the sod, ensuring even and thorough water distribution.

Water your new sod lightly for five minutes about four to six times each day during the first two weeks. Watering lightly but frequently will help the roots get both the oxygen and water they need to develop.

Cut back on watering for two days before mowing the sod for the first time. Your first mowing should occur about two weeks after installation.

Mow your new sod with your lawn mower set at a slightly higher setting. Aim for cutting no more than 1/3 of the total grass height at one time.

Water the sod less frequently but for longer periods after the first two to three weeks. Gradually reduce the watering frequency to one or two deeper watering sessions each day during the first growing season.

Feed your new sod at least four to six weeks after installation. Apply a 25-3-6 NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) lawn fertilizer according to the directions on the package.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Sprinkler
  • Spray-nozzle attachment
  • Lawn mower
  • 25-3-6 NPK lawn fertilizer

Tip

  • If you notice gaps between the rolls of sod, it probably is shrinking due to a lack of water. Increase the duration and frequency of watering your new sod. If possible, use the spray-nozzle attachment on your hose to target the gaps and water these areas thoroughly.

Warnings

  • Avoid watering your new sod in the late afternoon, because it won't have enough time to dry in the sun and could promote fungal growth.
  • Always wear gloves and eye protection when using fertilizers or mowing equipment. Don't use chemical weed killers or herbicides on the sod during the first year.

About the Author

 

Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.