Thank you for letting Plano Landscaping transform your home’s appearance with your sod installation, aka, “insta-lawn”. These rules apply to St. Augustine(our most common), Bermuda, and Zoysia. In Plano, Texas we always recommend the hybrid grass, St Augustine – sun or shade tolerant.
Here are a few quick tips on after care for your sod from our sod specialist, Blake S. Enochs.
How Should I Water My New Sod?
First, watering sod is the most important thing you can do for your installation and underwatering is the number one cause of unsuccessful sod installs.
Sod installation is an investment into your property and in the DFW area, real estate is rampant. As part of The Plano Landscaping family, we want to help you protect your investment, even after the sod project is complete.
It’s important to understand how much water your new sod is going to need, so we’ve put together a quick guide for you.
Immediate After-Care Instructions for Fresh Sod Installed.
After the sod is laid, begin watering your sod within 20 minutes to saturate the sod roots and to promote root stimulation. The sod needs to be saturated to the degree that you see standing water on top of the sod (usually 15-20 minutes per area) or if you were to step onto the sod you would ‘soak’ your feet – it should feel spongy.
You may also lift a corner piece to see the depth of the moisture, make sure it reaches the roots and minimum two inches of soil underneath.
Smaller areas can be watered by hand with a hose and larger areas can be covered by Irrigation. Plano Landscaping sod installers recommend watering every day for 20 minutes for the first 21 days after installation.
You may need to reposition sprinklers every so often to make sure you’re hitting every area of the sod evenly and consider over-watering areas near buildings, driveways and sidewalks that often radiate the sun more and dry sod up quicker.
How should I water my New Sod Install for the first 14 days?
After the first day, your new sod should be kept thoroughly moist throughout the day, running sprinklers 20 minutes during the hottest parts of the day when moisture loss is highest (9am – 4pm), stopping by 5:30pm to reduce fungus growth.
Avoid giving your sod a ‘big gulp’, because the roots are short and cannot withstand receiving large amounts of water all at once – this may cause the sod to die as well by drowning the roots from oxygen.
To gauge whether or not you’re giving your new sod the proper amount of water, make sure that the sod is never soaking wet, soggy, or saturated. If your sod shows signs of shrinking or turning brown then it is not receiving enough water or enough frequency.
During the first few weeks, Plano Landscaping also recommends you minimize traffic to give your sod the best chance to secure itself to the soil. If any of your sod moves or comes up, just simply pack it back into the ground.
How do I take care of my New Sod after 21 days?
You can start tapering your watering cycles during weeks three and four by reducing the frequency to once per day for 15 minutes. You may also gradually start skipping a day of watering if the sod is staying green and healthy.
You can check to make sure the sod is establishing itself by lifting a corner of the sod and feeling for a resistance, which indicates the sod roots can handle a longer length of watering less times per day.
How to care for my Sod Install after the first 30 days?
By week 4 and beyond, you want to encourage a deeper root system by offering longer watering times, less frequently. They will become deeper because they will be “Reaching” for water.
Once your sod is established, early morning watering is ideal for your sod to retain moisture that can be used throughout the day, as this is when the least amount of evaporation occurs. An established lawn needs up to 1 inch of moisture weekly depending on soil type, which can be supplemented by rainfall or irrigation.
Plano Landscaping’s final recommendation for watering is to watch your sod closely and be willing to adjust if your sod is showing signs of dehydration or stress.
When should I mow my lawn after installing sod?
You can expect to mow your new lawn about 21 days after your sod installation or when your grass exceeds 3.5 inches tall. It’s important to keep a few key things in mind when you first mow:
- Reduce your watering to make sure you mow on dry turf to avoid leaving tire tracks or sinking marks.
- Do not remove more than 1/3 of your grass length per mowing cycle.
- It is recommended to mow your lawn more often and keep it at a height of 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
During the first two weeks, avoid heavy or concentrated use of your new lawn. This will give the roots an opportunity to firmly knit with the soil.
When can I apply fertilizer to my New Sod?
You must wait 180 days before any nutrient feedings to your newly sodded lawn. The soil attached to the sod pieces are rich in nutrients, as is the topsoil tilled into the soil. ANY fertilization will nutrient burn the grass blades.
THREE WORDS TO REMEMBER FOR YOUR SOD INSTALLATION: WATER, WATER, & WATER.