Sod installation is an excellent way to improve the appearance and health of your yard. It also represents a significant investment, so you want to be sure you do everything just right to ensure the success of your new grass. In this article, we will share some smart tips for special care and watering of new sod.
Before laying out your new sod you must carefully prepare the area where it will go. Begin by tilling the soil to a depth of approximately five inches. Smooth the soil and make sure that the surface angles downhill from your home. This will prevent having water back up around and under your foundation when you water and/or when it rains. If there are low spots in the soil, fill them in with some sandy loam. Once all this is done, add an application of slow release fertilizer. Don’t water the soil at this point. Wait until after you have laid the sod.
Sod Watering Tips
When you do put your sod in place, you should water it within half an hour of putting the first piece in place. This may mean you will need to do your sod laying in shifts or keep a sprinkler running as you work to water along behind you as you go. Your first watering should be very generous. You should have a sprinkler set on low watering each area for a couple of hours before moving on. An underground irrigation system will make this initial watering much easier and much more thorough because it will make it possible to deliver water at a higher gallon per minute (GPM) rate than simply using a sprinkler.
Once your sod laying is all done, you should continue to keep your new sod well-watered. Early morning watering is best. Watch closely to make sure your sod does not dry out. If your area is very hot and dry, you may need to follow up with an afternoon watering. Follow this generous watering schedule for the first couple of weeks or until you are sure the sod has firmly gripped the soil. Once this happens, you can reduce your watering schedule to alternating days.
Mowing on Sod
Once your grass has taken root, you can start mowing with a push mower. Do not use a riding mower until your grass has been in place for several months and is very well established. You should mow fairly high and infrequently at first. Don’t remove more than a third of the grass blade, and only mow every couple of weeks until the grass is fully established.