Amazing Tips On How To Care For Your Sod Once It Is Installed

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Landscapers love to install sod after finishing a landscape project. It transforms the entire landscape from dirt to bright green grass. And you don’t need to wait for it to grow.

However, homeowners underestimate how much care is required to ensure that their sod grows for many years.


Watering your sod is the most important thing that you can do and underwatering is the number one cause of sod death.

Sod is an investment in your property. As landscapers, our goal is to protect your investment after the job is done. Here’s a guide to help you understand how much water your soil will need.

The first day of watering

To ensure root establishment and saturation, water your sod within 20 minutes of installation. The sod must be saturated to the point that there is no standing water. This usually takes about 15 minutes. If you step on the sod, it should feel spongy. To check the moisture level, you can lift a corner from the sod.

You can water smaller areas with a hose, while larger areas can use a sprinkler. Because the sod has a short root system and is unable to draw moisture from deeper soils, we recommend watering every three hours the first day. To ensure that you water every inch of the sod evenly, it is possible to need to move sprinklers around every hour. Also, be aware of areas near buildings and driveways that can reflect the sun more and dry the soil up quicker.

The first two weeks of watering your lawn

Your new sod should remain moist for at least 10 minutes every day after the first day. This is especially important during the hottest times of the day (9am-4pm). Stopping at 5:30pm will reduce the risk of fungus growth. Because the roots of the plant are short, they cannot take large amounts of water at once. This could cause them to die.

You can gauge if your sod is getting enough water by checking that it is not soggy or that there is no water standing underneath the sod more than a few moments after watering. If your sod is showing signs of shrinkage or turning brown, it may not be receiving enough water or sufficient frequency.

We suggest that you do not use the lawn for the first few weeks to ensure your sod has the best chance of attaching to the soil. You can simply put your sod back in the ground if it moves or rises.

Hynek Landscaping provides a fully automated temporary watering system that will water your sod. Paul invented Hynek Landscaping’s Thirsty Earth Temporary Irrigation System for homeowners who needed convenient watering for new sod.

Watering Sod Weeks 3 and 4

In weeks three and four, you can begin to taper your watering cycle by decreasing the number of watering cycles per day to 1-3 times per week. If the sod is healthy and green, you may be able to stop watering for a few days.

To check if the sod is established, lift a corner and feel for resistance. This indicates that the roots are able to withstand a longer watering schedule.

The remainder of the season

You want to encourage deeper roots by providing longer watering times and less frequent watering, starting in week 5.

After your sod has established, it is best to water your lawn in the morning. This will ensure that your sod has enough moisture throughout the day. A well-established lawn needs about 3/4 to 1 inch of moisture per week depending on the soil type. Rainfall or irrigation can help supplement this amount.

The last recommendation regarding watering is to be attentive to your sod and be open to changing if it is suffering from stress or dehydration.

When should you mow your lawn?

Your new lawn will be ready to mow 14 days after it has been installed or when the grass is more than 3.5 inches high. When you mow your first lawn, it is important to remember these key points:

  • To avoid tire tracks and sinking marks, reduce watering.
  • You should not trim more than 1/3 of the grass per mowing cycle.
  • It is recommended that you mow your lawn more frequently and maintain a height of between 2 and 2.5 inches.

Avoid heavy or prolonged use of your lawn for the first two weeks. This will allow the roots to become more firmly rooted in the soil.

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