New Sod Care
Install Your Sod Immediately and Begin Watering!
Do Not Wait Until The Next Day!
Sod is perishable and must be installed immediately upon receipt and followed by a deep watering. Heat can build up within a roll and cause damage to turf. Most successful sod installations are installed right after delivery to the jobsite. After rolling, begin irrigation deeply, six inches down into the soil until it’s soggy to walk on.
Week One: Keep Sod Wet
It is essential to keep newly installed sod wet the first week. Heavily water the first irrigation cycle to wet the new sod and the soil profile to a depth of four to six inches. As a general rule, keep sod and soil moist all throughout the day. As many as two to six sprinklings during the day (morning and afternoon) are required until sod begins to root. Adjust for location, sprinklers, and temperature. Once the lawn and soil are thoroughly wet, water three to five times a day, so the sod never dries out. Lift a corner of the sod to determine the depth of moisture. The new sod should feel spongy wet the first week. Walking on the sod will not harm it, but if you are sinking in, stay off so that you do not leave depressions.
Week Two: Keep Watering
The second week is similar to the first week, watering three to five times a day but reducing the watering duration if you are experiencing excess runoff or puddling. Keep the new lawn moist during this time as it knits together. If allowed to dry out, new sod will shrink up, turn brown and die. If adequately watered, the roots of your new sod will penetrate the wet soil faster and root down quicker. At the end of week two, dry up the yard and mow it. Mowing high is least stressful to the new sod. Never mow off more than one-third of the grass blade. Try cutting back frequency of irrigations just before the first mow to firm up the soil.
End of Week Two: First Mowing
Your new lawn will need mowing at the end of week two. Exercise caution the first time you mow so you do not pull up the sod. Set your mower at two to three inches and mow off one-third of the height. Mow at or above two inches for the first few times. If your new lawn reaches over three and a half inches tall, mow off a third of the length even if it has not been two weeks and collect the clippings. Step down the height of cut by mowing every two to three days, lowering the cutting height each time.
Week Three & Four - Reduce Water
Week three and week four is a transition period to reduce daily watering cycles and extend the days between watering. Readjust your watering clock or timer. Reduce frequency of waterings gradually after each mowing, while increasing minutes per watering. Deeper, less frequent soakings will help roots grow down deeper and establish more quickly into the soil. Pull or tug on turf to check rooting.
During week three, start reducing watering to one to three times per day and skip a day between watering if the lawn is not drying out. By week four, water one to two times per day. Fertilize your new sod lawn at one month to continue encouraging rooting and establishment. Use either Master Nursery Master Green Lawn Food or Master Nursery Formula 49.