How to Care for New Sod-5 FAQ

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Watering Sod

How much should I water new sod?

Consistent watering is the key to ensuring new sod can grow strong and healthy roots. Sod applied during the warm summer months should be watered throughout the day. Watering throughout the day will prevent shrinking drying. To ensure moisture, you should water your new lawn enough at least two weeks after installation. 

TIP:Always water the soil before installing new sod. This will prevent the soil from sucking moisture out of the roots and causing the sod to fail. 

How long should I water new sod?

   Once you have installed the new sod, your watering cycle will depend on the quality of your irrigation system, your soil type, and the climate in your area. New sod installed over clay soil will need to be watered at least four times daily. New sod installed over sandy loam will need to be watered at least seven times daily. Each watering should only consist of enough water to wet the roots. New sod cannot soak up much water at once, and too much water will cause root rot. You never want soggy soil under your new sod. Start watering early in the morning, just after sunrise, and space out your sessions to allow the roots time to soak up all of the moisture. Too much water will foster fungus under the roots, which can cause your new sod to fail.

TIP:: It is possible to overwater your new sod, which can happen very easily. It is better to water new sod in a short burst with less than large amounts of water at once. 

How long should you avoid walking on new sod?

   Of all the tips we have for caring for new sod, the most important is not walking on it too early. You should keep pets, children, and everyone else off newly planted sod until at least the first mowing. Watering the sod at regular intervals will help the roots establish themselves, and until they are firmly entrenched, your sod is vulnerable. Walking on the sod before the roots have taken cold can cause root failure or poor rooting.

How long does it take new sod to root?

   New sod roots are very short, so it is essential to treat them with care and ensure they are not overwatered. Usually, roots will start establishing themselves within a week of installation. It can take as long as two weeks to get underway. The climate in your area, the season you plant your sod, and your soil quality will all play a part in determining how long it takes for the new sod roots to take hold. Take care never to overwater the sod while it is in the rooting stage. Soggy sod can lead to root rot and eventually new sod failure. Instead, water the sod in smaller amounts several times during the day. As you get closer to the first mowing period, you should reduce the amount of water you apply to the new sod. If the ground is too soft during your first mow, you can pull the sod out by its roots, and you will have to start over with new sod.

When can I mow my newly installed sod?

We recommend waiting until your sod has rooted into the soil, usually between 10-14 days after being installed. An excellent way to test if your sod is rooted is the tug test. Lightly tug on a few areas in your yard, and if it doesn’t come up, you are safe. If it does come up, put it back down and wait a few more days. When it is ready for its first mowing, you must make sure that your blades are sharp. You can set your mower to the highest setting to ensure you will not be removing any more than 1/3 of the grass blade. 

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