Care for New Sod Lawns
1. Maintenance Practices (0-10 days):
Water each day for at least 15-20 minutes in each area of lawn (according to how much water your sprinkler emits.) Watering a second time each day is recommended if the temperatures are over 18 degrees Celsius and sunny. It is important to get the water through the sod and into the soil below the sod. Check to make sure you are watering enough by pulling back the corner of the sod in several places throughout the lawn to make sure the soil below is moist.
Do not fertilize or mow the lawn yet.
2. Maintenance practices (10-21 days):
Water every other day for approximately 30 minutes. By watering for longer periods of time you are encouraging root growth deeper into the soil. Check to make sure you are watering enough by tugging lightly on the sod in several places through the lawn to make sure the soil is moist. The sod should be difficult to pull up – do not force it up. The root system is establishing and should not be pulled from the soil. Just tug lightly to assure good rooting. If the lawn is not rooting you may not be watering enough.
Before watering the lawn, cut the grass as needed. Do not remove more than a third of the grass plant at one time while cutting. In general keep the lawn at 3.0 -3.5 inches during the establishment. If the lawn is too wet to cut, do not water for one more day and then cut the lawn.
3. Maintenance Practices (3 weeks and beyond):
You may begin to cut the lawn as needed. The lawn should be fairly well rooted and can take normal wear and tear. Water the lawn approximately twice a week making sure to apply 1 inch of water each week. Use a pie or tuna tin or similar container to measure your irrigation by placing it in the path of the sprinkler. This should amount to watering 30 min per area twice a week.
New sod lawns should not be allowed to go dormant during the summer for at least 2 summers AFTER initial installation summer. I.E Lawns installed this year should be watered through the next two summers.