New Sod Watering - Knowledgebase Question

Elkridge, MD (Zone 7A)
Question by maritzacosse
May 1, 2007
I'm having sod installed in my backyard - which is approximately 650 square feet. What is the best watering system to use for daily watering until the sod actually takes to the soil?


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Answer from NGA
May 1, 2007

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You'll probably get written instructions from the landscapers, but if not, here are the general instructions for newly installed sod:

After rolling, begin irrigation deeply, six inches down into the soil until it?s soggy to walk on.

FIRST TWO WEEKS AFTER INSTALLATION

? 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.

THREE TO FOUR WEEKS AFTER INSTALLATION

? Re-adjust 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.

? Fertilize your new sod lawn at one month to continue encouraging rooting and establishment.

Good luck with your new lawn!

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