Essential Maintenance Tips for New Sod

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New sod can transform the landscape and increase the value of your home.

You may be wondering what to do if your lawn isn’t flourishing after you have laid it. Here are some tips to maintain a lush, beautiful lawn that thrives.

Tips for Maintaining New Sod

Three main tips are needed to maintain a new lawn: watering, fertilizing and mowing. The most important thing to do with a newly installed lawn, is to be patient and allow the sod to establish. It usually takes several weeks.

Fertilization

For a lawn to thrive, fertilization is vital. Fertilization establishes a healthy root system and keeps your lawn flourishing. For new sod to thrive, it is best to fertilize around the holidays of Memorial Day and Labor Day.

In the spring, you can apply another round. Apply sod in spring or early fall and fertilize your lawn on the next holiday. Spring would be Memorial Day, fall would be Halloween.

Watering

After installing new turf, water the soil for at least one inch. The soil should be between 3″ and 4 inches below the surface. If the weather is particularly hot and dry, you may want to water the sod immediately after it has been laid. Continue to water the sod two times daily in the morning, and again in the afternoon.

It is important to water the soil well until it is saturated. Windy conditions can cause sod to dry faster, so you should increase your watering if these conditions are present.

Do not water your lawn in the evenings as it can encourage fungus or disease. You can stop watering the lawn as soon as the sod begins to root into the soil. After a few weeks, you can start to water deeply but less frequently. This encourages roots to grow deeper and makes the turf more drought-tolerant.

Mowing

After installation, you should start mowing your lawn approximately one week later. This allows the roots to establish themselves and gives your lawn enough time. Use a walk-behind mower that has the cutting height set at 3 inches. Remember that riding mowers can be too heavy and that powered wheels can cause damage to new sod. So stick with push mowers.

Three weeks later, regular mowing may begin. This is when the sod has fully grown. Keep the mower blades razor-sharp and do not cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow.

Spring and fall are the best times to increase your mowing because that is when the grass grows most. The grass can be left on its own, or you can leave it in the cut. This will return nutrients to the soil.

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