The Q&A Archives: sod

Question: Hi
We are moving into a new home next week,and they r laying fresh sod for our lawn.
As we r 1st time home owners please tell me what I should do after the intial 2 weeks of sod care to make sure I am set for the winter.
Plus any tips on basic weed control would help.
We don't plan to do any planting or gardening except lawn care till next year.

Answer: Congratulations on your new home! Sod is relatively easy to care for:

Proper watering is essential to establishment (rooting) of your new sod. It?s nearly impossible to over water new sod! As a general rule, keep sod and soil moist all throughout the day. As much as 2 to 6 sprinklings during the day (morning and afternoon) are required until sod begins to root. Adjust for location, sprinklers, and temperature.

Stay off new sod until after the first mowing. Try cutting back frequency of irrigations just before the first mow to firm up the soil.

First mow is approximately 14 days after installation except in winter which will require a longer time before the first mow.

Mowing high is least stressful to the new sod. Never mow off more than one-third of the grass blade.


After the sod is rooted, you can gradually decrease the number of watering sessions, but increase the amount of water. For example, after it is rooted, water it twice a week for a half hour for two weeks and then go down to once a week for forty-five minute sessions. You should keep a regular watering schedule like this for your sod lawn for at least one full summer season to ensure that the roots go deep and stay healthy. If your lawn is installed late in the summer, water regularly until the weather cools and start up again as soon as possible the following spring.

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.

For chemical fertilization, only fertilize new sod in the fall if it was installed in the spring or early summer. Since yours was installed in late summer/early fall, you can feed with a slow release fertilizer in November. When spring arrives you'll want to put your lawn on a regular feeding schedule: April, June, September and November.

When applying the chemical fertilizer, apply it to dry sod and then thoroughly water the sod to allow for maximum absorption of the fertilizer.


Sod not rooting? ? Most sod varieties will begin to root within 10 to 14 days. Check watering schedule and adjust to deeper, less frequent soaking. Excessive shade will slow down rooting.

Bluish-grey spots on lawn or footprints show after being walked on ? Drought stressed spots in the lawn. Try increasing minutes per watering and check or adjust sprinkler coverage.

Mushrooms? ? Temporary nuisance, usually growing in compost mixed into the soil at preparation. As waterings get deeper and less often, mushrooms usually dry up and wither away.

Edges turning brown and/or gaps between rolls? ? Sod is shrinking or has pulled up at the corners. Due to lack of water! Increase minutes per watering and frequency to minimize gaps.

Also, hand watering sod will help shrink gaps. Press down edges with foot after watering.

Hope this information is helpful!

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