Brilliant, new green sod is one of the fastest ways to revitalize the curb appeal of a home. But new sod is a lot like any other type of new plant: It needs special care to take root and continue to grow. Here are some tips for letting your new sod establish itself and start to grow. Follow these tips if you want your sod to last a long time to come.
Water Your Sod Thoroughly Every Day
While most grass doesn’t need to be watered every day, new sod should be kept as saturated as possible. New sod doesn’t have the deep rooting system of old sod, and so it can dry out quite quickly. It’s difficult to overwater new sod. If your sod gets dry during the day, wet it down thoroughly. You may need to water your sod as much as five times a day. Having a timed sprinkler system will help. If your sod dries out, it could brown and die. In that situation, you’ll need to replace it all over again.
It is possible to “drown” new sod, though it’s rare. If you’re watering your sod and see water standing at the surface, it’s likely that the area isn’t draining anymore and that you may be at risk of overwatering. Hold off on watering again until the soil is damp but not wet. Try not to water during the peak hours of the day because this can lead to losing water to evaporation, but likewise don’t water in the evening — this can cause fungus-related issues.
Keep Kids and Pets Off the Sod
Your new sod shouldn’t be walked on for the next two weeks. While you may be able to introduce some light traffic in the second week, try your best to limit any walking around on the new sod as much as possible. The new sod has to develop a rooting system and will be quite fragile until it does so. Imagine it like a carpet over your ground: The roots are working hard to break into the soil beneath. Any walking creates disruption and prevents the sod from adhering.
Don’t Mow for At Least 14 Days
Your first mowing shouldn’t be for at least two weeks. When you mow for the first time, make sure to mow high. High-mowed grass may not be as pleasant to walk on, but it does allow the grass to grow a little healthier and establish its root system. You can start to mow lower once the grass has been established. Mowing low right away is going to stress out the grass and cause damage.
Ween the Sod Off Frequent Waterings
After your sod has been established for a couple of weeks, you can slowly reduce the amount of watering you do. Don’t just cut it off immediately, because that will be too much of a shock to the sod. Instead, slowly taper off the amount that you’re watering every day, then skip to once every other day until you’re finally watering it as is appropriate for your area. Regardless of how long you water for, make sure you water deeply, as this is what leads to healthier grass and healthier plants in general. As your grass grows, you will start to water it progressively more deeply, but less often.
Fertilize Your Sod After a Month
Fertilizing once a month can encourage your sod to continue to grow throughout the growing season. You shouldn’t fertilize your sod immediately, because it can overtax the sod. But fertilizing your sod after it has been established will help it grow faster and greener. Pay attention to the color of your grass. If you experience a color change after fertilizing, overfertilization may have occurred. Use fertilizer that is specifically made for grass lawns, as it differs in content from general fertilizer.
Check the Sun
If you experience overcast conditions or if your sod is in shade, it may take more time to root. Sunshine is incredibly important for reliable growth. While you can’t produce more sun for your grass, you may need to take care of your new sod a little more while it continues to establish itself. This is one reason why it’s important to select the right sod type, because some types of sod perform better in the shade.
Part of taking care of your new sod is continuing to maintain it once it’s established. While most sod is quick-growing and hardy, it still does need basic care to remain thick and plush. Contact Main Street Mowing today to start mowing your lawn to perfection.