How to Care for New Sod: When to Water, Fertilize and Mow New Sod


Caring for New Sod


When you decide to invest in a new lawn for your home, it's important to provide proper care to ensure success. If you want a lush and healthy lawn that will last for years to come, you'll need to know how to care for new sod, when to water new sod, when to fertilize and more.

Here are some tips from our experts at Sod Pods! 


When to Water New Sod?

To ensure your new sod is healthy and thriving, it's essential that you water it regularly. The best way to do this is by saturating the lawn daily for the first two weeks after installation. Watering frequency will vary depending on your climate, but generally speaking, most lawns need about 1/2" of water per week during summer months and 1/4" per week in winter months (or less). You should also make sure not to overwater or underwater; if there's standing water on top of your lawn, then you've gone too far, and an immediate sign of stopping watering!

If possible use a sprinkler system instead of hand-watering so that all parts of the yard get evenly soaked without having to go back over them multiple times, like when using a hose with nozzle attachment. Not only do sprinkler systems help spread water evenly, but they can save countless hours standing around holding a hose. Who doesn't love to save time? We do!


How to Water New Sod?

When you first install your new sod, it is critical that you water it deeply and frequently. Watering in the morning and evening is best for most lawn types, but if your area gets very hot in the summer months or if there's little shade on your property, then midday watering may be better for you.

Watering new sod deeply means that at least 6 inches of soil should receive water at one time--this will ensure that all of the roots get wet and stay moist until they've had time to establish themselves in their new environment. You can use an irrigation system designed specifically for this purpose; however, if you don't have access to one already (or don't want to install one), then simply use a sprinkler or hose with a nozzle attachment so that only small amounts are released at once into smaller areas.


Watering Tips For New Sod?

Sprinkler System - It is crucial to water your new sod properly. The best way to do this is by using a sprinkler system that will water all areas of the lawn evenly without damaging any part of it.

Water Early - Watering early in the morning (6-8 am) is best because it helps prevent evaporation throughout most of the day. It also allows enough time for any excess moisture on top of your soil surface from rainfall or previous watering sessions before temperatures rise too high during midday hours which can cause scorching damage if left unattended for too long, especially when temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher!


How Long Before Walking On New Sod?

It is important to wait until the grass has taken root before walking on it. For example, if you step on sod that has not yet been rooted, you may cause it to die or become damaged. Ruining new sod roots by walking over the grass may not seem like an immediate reason, but after walking across several times, you will start to notice the area not growing as much as other spots, thus leading those grass sections to brown and eventually die.

Another piece of advice is you should wait until your sod is green and growing at least 2 inches tall. The roots will have time to develop into a strong network of threads that help support the plant as it grows taller and heavier in size.


How Often Should You Water New Sod?

The best way to care for new sod is to water it daily. Watering is crucial because it helps the roots establish themselves in the ground, and it will make sure that your new lawn becomes established as quickly as possible.

Watering your newly installed sod will also ensure that it takes root successfully, which means less work later on when you want to mow or fertilize your lawn.


How Do You Know If You Need to Water New Sod?

  • Use a moisture meter on your lawn. These handy tools can measure how much water is in the soil at any given time, so if using one doesn't make sense for whatever reason (you don't have one or don't want to spend money on one), then move on to another option that does work for you: checking the color of your grass!

  • If it's green and healthy looking, then no worries--it doesn't need watering just yet! But if there are brown spots appearing where you know there shouldn't be (especially around newly laid sod), then those areas are probably dryer than others and should be watered immediately before further damage occurs.

Is There a Way to Tell If Your Sod Is Watered Enough?

Look for the following signs of drought stress:

  • Browning or yellowing of the grass. If you notice that your grass has turned brown, this could mean that it's getting too much water. Grass will turn brown if it doesn't get enough oxygen in its roots; therefore, if you notice this happening on your new sod lawn, then you should reduce how often and how much water you're giving them until they start growing again.
  • Cracks in the grass--especially along edges (like sidewalks) where they've been exposed to windy conditions while drying out--are another sign of over-watering because they are caused by rapid evaporation during hot weather periods when temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius). The best way to prevent cracks from forming under these conditions is not only by reducing watering frequency but also by adding mulch around these areas so there isn't as much air movement between soil particles which promotes faster evaporation rates than would otherwise exist without any mulching being done at all!

  • Stems may feel soft or spongy instead of firm when touched lightly between thumb/forefinger; this means roots may have died due either too much moisture combined with heat stress OR possibly insufficient nitrogen fertilizer application rate per unit area covered.

Briana Harris

Briana grew up surrounded by agriculture which helped her to develop a love for the industry. While attending the University of Florida, she pursued degrees in both marketing and agriculture to help farms thrive in business and connect with consumers. Briana was drawn to Bethel Farms in 2019 because of their innovative spirit and family-like culture. Briana is an active gardener and enjoys creating new ways to incorporate nature in and out of homes.   

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