Are you preparing a new lawn? If you are, then you should definitely install a sod. Sure, it might take some time and extra attention for the sod to grow properly, but you’re also going to be assured of a terrific lawn.
So, how exactly should you tend to your sod? Is it as simple as watering it every morning until the lawn is good enough for mowing? Well, we’ve compiled essential information to help you learn how to care for new sod. From watering cycles to fertilizer application, we’ve got you covered.
One of the reasons behind the slow process of growing new sod is it has shallow roots. Thus, the roots need a lengthy amount of time to be firmly ingrained in the soil.
Therefore, it’s important to practice adequate watering, fertilizing, and maintenance. If you fail to do these things properly, things can go awry after the sod installation.
A newly installed sod can perish quickly if it gets regularly stepped on. It needs to stay undisturbed in the early stages so the roots can be established in the soil. Walking on it will leave depressions in the area.
You should completely avoid walking on it for 10 days or even longer if possible. You can only walk on it at least three weeks after the sod application. However, you still shouldn’t put much pressure on it, especially if it’s either excessively dry or incredibly wet.
Try not to walk on the same section of the sod every time you do tread on the area. Likewise, it’s a smart decision to cover the area with some sticks and tape to let others know that you have newly installed sod.
You should lightly water the ground before you install the new sod. In particular, the water should reach both the sod and at least two inches of the soil. Dry soil won’t do your new sod any good because it will take away the moisture. So if you apply even just a little bit of water into the soil to provide a cooler temperature, the roots of the new sod won’t be prone to shock.
Now, during the first two weeks of installation, you should water the new sod at least three times a day or five times at maximum. Each water application should reach a depth of four inches to six inches.
To check whether you should water the sod more than three times on a given day, you should lift a section of the sod to check how deep the moisture is in. It is crucial for the new so to be damp during the first week. If the weather becomes blazing hot, you can activate the sprinklers to ensure the sod doesn’t shrink and die due to excessive drying.
On a related note, newly installed sod shouldn’t be drowned in water. While it should remain moist for better establishment, the sod should not receive excessive amounts of water. If it does, the roots will lose significant amounts of oxygen.
To prevent over-watering, you should know the type of soil in your lawn. With clay soil, the best strategy is to water the new sod four times with each application lasting five minutes. On the other hand, sandy loam soil requires five watering applications with a duration of seven minutes each.
If you are unsure of the soil type or you lost count of the time, you can check if you watered too much by observing the area after the irrigation. If water under the sod stands for more than a minute or the soil feels soggy, then you’ve applied too much water.
Now, while we did say that the sod should be watered several times a day, you should discontinue watering if it’s already night time. Specifically, you don’t have to water it anymore if it’s already past five-thirty PM. If you do, your sod can have fungus problems that will affect its growth.
If all goes well in terms of watering the new sod, the roots should grow properly. In as early as a week up to two weeks, they will be established in the soil. To check this, you can try to pull up a part of the sod. If you sense a bit of resistance, then the roots have been thoroughly established.
Lawn owners should keep in mind that the sod being installed is already fertilized. In fact, the fertilizer is enough to keep the sod healthy for at least a month and going for as long as 60 days. Thus, you don’t have to worry about buying a fertilizer early on.
If the sod receives too much fertilizer while the shallow roots are still working their way into the soil, it can’t absorb enough nutrients. Then, the yellow patches will appear and allow nitrogen to be wasted and go down the soil.
After at least a month since the installation, however, you should apply some fertilizer by using lawn spreader to help the roots become further established in the soil. In particular, a granular-type fertilizer containing potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous would work best.
Likewise, always remember to fertilize the area only if it’s dry. Also, don’t forget to evenly distribute the fertilizer. Lastly, irrigate your property after applying the fertilizer.
In conclusion, the installation of new sod will require your being patient and precise. From the frequency and amount of irrigation to the right time to fertilize, it is important to understand the needs of newly installed sod.
If you have any questions regarding our post, feel free to drop a comment.