New Sod Care - Knowledgebase Question

Mc Kinney, TX (Zone 7B)
Question by duende3606
April 17, 2005
We have new sod in a new house and are wondering how much we need to water it with our sprinkler system (never had a system before). Also, what about fertilizing it. It's bermuda grass


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Answer from NGA
April 17, 2005

0

Stuart,

Good lawn care can be summarized in three cultural practices: mowing, watering and fertilizing. If you will do these three properly, your lawn will be the best on the block!

Frequent mowing is better than infrequent mowing. Mow on a 5-7 day schedule, removing no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade with each mowing. For example, a semi-dwarf bermuda would be mowed to 1 1/2 or 2" when it reached 2 or 2 1/2".
While many homeowners like to water 15 minutes a day, your turf will benefit from a good soaking applied less often. For the first few weeks after planting water daily with a light irrigation to help the new grass get established. Then start to back off to where you apply 1/2 to 1 inch of water once or twice a week. Eventually once a week should be sufficient. A coffee can makes a good rain gauge to test out how long it will need to be run to apply an inch. Frequent wetting promotes disease problems and a shallow rooted turf. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings and the grass will develop a deep root system and do much better.

Fertilize with no more than 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen in spring after you have mowed the grass twice, and again in fall (around late September or early October). Apply a product with a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients as this is roughly the ratio of nutrients grass takes in. So, for example, if you purchased a 15-5-10 fertilizer (15% nitrogen), you would apply about 7 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .15 = about 7). If you purchased a 21-7-14 fertilizer (21 % nitrogen), you would apply about 5 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .21 = about 5).

Concentrate on the above 3 cultural practices and you will be amazed at the results.

Thanks for the question. Please stop in again soon!

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