The Q&A Archives: Fescue sod

Question: We just had sod and irragation installed and
want to know how to maintain it.

Answer: To help your new sod become well established, follow these guidelines:

The most important consideration is to keep the sod wet during the establishment period. During hot, dry weather, watering 2 or more times a day may be necessary. Check the sod daily by picking up the corners of the sod to see that there is sufficient moisture. Keep a close eye on the outside areas such as edges and areas that are hard to reach with the water supply.

One way to determine if the sod is drying out is to step lightly on the turf and if your footprint remains on the grass for more than a short interval, then the sod needs to be watered. After about 10 days, decrease the frequency of watering and increase the length of the water application. This promotes a deeper-rooted turf, which can sustain periods of drought with less long-term damage than shallower root systems. Different soil types have a great deal of input into determining how often to water (sandy soils will require more frequent irrigations than a heavy clay soil).

Your new sod lawn is usually in need of a mowing after 10 days to 2 weeks. At that time, make sure the lawn is not too wet to avoid rutting with the mower. The general rule is to never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf surface at any one mowing. Bluegrass should be mowed no lower than at a height of 2". It is best not to collect the clippings after mowing. Leaving the short clippings on the lawn allows the nutrients from the leaves of the grass to return to the soil.

Good luck with your new sod.

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