Watering lawn is similar to our own watering needs. Too little water and we die, too much water and we drown. Lawn watering needs are no different. Finding that essential balance is crucial to establishing a luscious green lawn. Fine tuning your irrigation system can be complicated, which is why we have made an easy bullet pointed list to aid you in finding your lawn’s watering “sweet spot.”

Landscaper applying turf rolls in the backyard

New Sod After Care and Maintenance

Sod Care – Weeks 1 & 2 

The key to establishing new sod is properly watering it for the first month.

  • Properly watered sod encourages quick root growth and soil penetration
  • During hot weather, sprinklers should run approximately four times a day.
  • Consider watering your lawn in the evening or early morning, as these times of day experience less evaporation
  • For the first two weeks, water to a depth of 4” to 6” (until spongy to the step)
  • Test if watering is sufficient – lift a corner of the sod to check for above depth
  • By the end of the second week, reduce watering time enough to mow without creating a muddy mess

Sod Care – Weeks 3 & 4

These weeks are used to transition from frequent watering to decreased cycles per day and increased days between watering.

  • Week three
    • Reduce watering to one to three times per day
    • Skip a day between watering if the sod becomes to saturated
  • Week four
    • Beginning of week four: Water one to two times every other day
    • By the end of week four:
      • Reduce watering to every 2 to 3 days
      • Lightly apply fertilizer at 5 to 7 pounds per 1000 square feet

Sod Care – Weeks 5+

Over the course of the year, grass will root deeply into the soil, allowing an overall reduction in watering.

 

  • New lawns need additional watering for the first growing season especially the first 6 months
  • Beyond week five you will need deep watering but less frequently

(This promotes root growth downward; developing a deep root system which will eventually use less water)

 
 

Sod Care Expert Tips To Consider

Fine tune your irrigation system by adjusting heads and nozzles, checking for proper coverage.

While learning the perfect moisture balance, you may stress the lawn a little (especially attempting to dry it out for mowing). This is perfectly normal and should not destroy sod. Simply increase watering time in small increments to gain turgidity.

To reduce erosion, divide watering times in half; running the irrigation cycle for the first half of the time and one hour later cycle through the remainder of the watering time. This allows dense or compact soil to absorb more water.

 

Now that you have a good idea how to care for your new sod, learn even more! Check out these helpful blogs on fertilization, aerating and how to mow perfectly. If at any point you have questions about your sod watering or after-care feel free to contact us.