When it’s time to install new sod, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the best way to ensure your new lawn is able to flourish. From moisture to aeration, our experts answer your most frequently asked questions about new sod maintenance and weigh in on various techniques that are proven to help your yard stay lush and beautiful for years to come.
Consistent watering is the key to ensuring new sod is able to grow strong roots. If sod is applied during the summer, it should be watered throughout the day in order to prevent shrinking and drying. Your lawn should be watered enough to ensure moisture is always present for at least two weeks after installation, and you should continue to water it for an additional two weeks to prevent it from drying out.
New sod should be watered for a minimum of 45 minutes immediately after installation to allow both lawn and soil to gather moisture, which will help with the rooting process. During the first couple of weeks following installation, each watering session should last approximately 15-20 minutes at a minimum of two times per day.
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Your new sod should root within 10-14 days of application. This is also when you should mow your new lawn for the first time after laying sod. Be sure to set your mower to the highest setting possible in order to avoid cutting it too close to the root. Take care not to walk or run on new sod, as this can prevent the fragile young roots from developing properly. If you have pets, try to prevent as much contact with the newly installed sod as possible.
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If your schedule allows, watering your lawn in the morning or late evening is ideal. Watering your lawn in the afternoon during the warmest part of the day can cause the water to evaporate rather than being absorbed. A lack of moisture can prevent soil from retaining essential nutrients your lawn needs. If budget allows, consider investing in a timed sprinkler that can be set to distribute the optimum amount of water at the ideal time of day.
Absolutely! New lawns thrive with the application of quality fertilizer, which works to help create and maintain a sustainable root system that will keep your yard lush for years to come. Liquid fertilizers tend to work best for new sod, since they are able to penetrate the surface of the soil to help condition the area beneath the surface.
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In order to help fertilizer reach the roots deeper beneath the surface of the ground, we also recommend aerating your lawn within six months to a year of laying new sod, and then one to two times per year after that. Aerating your lawn essentially creates holes in the soil that allow water, fertilizer, and other nutrients to reach the roots of plants and grass in order to help your lawn and landscaping remain green and gorgeous. Regular aeration will also prevent soil from becoming compacted, which can prevent moisture and nutrient absorption.
In the days leading up to installation, it can be tempting to overwater your lawn in preparation for installation, but this can actually prevent a successful installation, since muddy grounds provide difficult work environments that can lead to inadequate sod jobs. A good rule of thumb is to keep your lawn moist, but not soaked. Watering your lawn for 10-15 minutes three times per day should enable you to provide enough moisture without overwatering.
Using a lawn roller can help your lawn take root. Shortly after installation, use a lawn roller to level the newly installed sod and to ensure each patch is firmly placed as close to the soil as possible to allow moisture to travel beneath the sod and to minimize the amount of space between the new roots and the earth in which they’ll need to grow.
It’s a good idea to wait at least five weeks to mow your lawn after installation in order to avoid cutting the new sod too close to the root. You can also cut back on watering sessions in the days leading up to a mow, but remember to keep your yard moist to enable strong root growth.
MidSouth Irrigation and Landscape installs new sod throughout Memphis and the MidSouth. Our lawn and landscape experts will ensure your new lawn is properly installed, and we’ll even provide watering and fertilizing recommendations to help you care for your beautiful new lawn.
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