|just had a new sod bermuda lawn installed. how often do I need to water it and when do I fertilize?|
|Your lawn should be watered immediately to moisten the soil and the sod. Water thoroughly, providing about an inch of water over the entire lawn. The sod will require consistent moisture for the next 7-10 days to ensure good, even root development. Water the lawn lightly to keep the sod moist at least twice daily; 15-20 minutes is sufficient. Once the sod has begun to "knit" to the soil surface, gradually increase the duration and decrease the frequency of your waterings until you are watering once a week for 45 minutes to an hour (long enough to provide one inch of water). This schedule can be adjusted for the weather, of course, with more frequent applications during the early stages if we experience hot, dry, or windy weather. Less water is needed during periods of rainy or cold weather. Watering is best done during the overnight hours. The hours between 10:30pm and 2:00am are best. This limits the amount of time the grass blades are wet, thus reducing the threat of disease establishment. Do not water from 6:00am through the remainder of the day. Watering during the heat of the day will not damage the grass, but too much of the water is wasted through evaporation loss before the grass ever has a chance to use it. Sod is a very perishable commodity. It can dry out very quickly in sunny, windy weather. Until the roots have grown down into the soil, it is critical that the sod not dry out. As long as this doesn't happen, your results should be excellent.
Bermuda thrives on fertilizer. You should apply fertilizer to Bermuda two to three times during the growing season. In April, it will start to come out of its dormant state. When it is about 50% green, apply a slow-release, high nitrogen fertilizer to your lawn. Make a second application about six to eight weeks later or as directed on the bag. A third application in another six weeks may be desired. Apply a "winterizer" to Bermuda in late October to prevent winter injury. To prevent winter weeds like poa annua, apply a crabgrass preventer to your Bermuda lawn in late September or early October. Apply it again in February to prevent crabgrass and certain other broadleaf weeds. A healthy, well-fed Bermuda lawn rarely has a weed problem. If weeds do develop, apply a lawn weed killer in June to control growing weeds.
Best wishes with your new lawn.