New sod is the fastest way to install a lawn. It gets shipped in rolls that your lawn care or landscaping contractor places on your property.
When new sod is first laid on the ground, it almost looks like a jigsaw puzzle. When you know how to care for it properly, it’ll quickly turn into a beautiful lawn.
Here are the steps to follow to have the best experience.
Step 1: Water the Soil
Before the sod gets installed, the soil should get watered thoroughly to have a successful experience. Taking this step ensures the ground won’t remove the existing moisture from the root base, which often causes the investment to fail.
Once you have the sod laid, your watering pattern depends on the soil type, irrigation system, and local climate. If you have clay, it needs at least four watering sessions daily. When there is sandy loam as the base, it could require seven or more waterings per day. Each one should consist of enough moisture to wet the roots.
Step 2: Avoid Walking on the Sod
You cannot walk on the sod too early if you want it to have a successful installation. That includes any pets, kids, and wildlife to the greatest extent possible. Everyone should avoid the grass until it reaches the point where you need to give it the first mowing.
Continue to water the sod at regular intervals to help the roots establish themselves to give the lawn a firm foundation. Until the base gets firmly entrenched, the grass remains vulnerable.
Step 3: Don’t Overwater the Sod
If you soak the sod too much, the roots can eventually rot. That causes the area to fail, which means you’ll need to pay for another installation.
Having too much water on a new lawn can also develop fungal infestations under the roots, also causing failure to happen.
The best practice is to stop watering the new sod in the evening, right before the sun sets. That’s because the water doesn’t soak into the roots as effectively during the overnight hours.
Step 4: Fertilizer
New sod should get a healthy dose of fertilizer about five weeks after the installation work is complete. Giving it this extra root nourishment encourages the grass to establish itself and support future growth cycles. The type to use depends on the sod variety at your property, along with the soil’s basic needs. It’s usually better to use a liquid-based product for better root and soil penetration. Your local lawn care company or service professional can recommend specific products or perform this service on your behalf.
Step 5: Aeration
When your new sod has had about six months to establish itself, you can have it aerated for the first time. After that, it only needs this service about once per year unless you use your lawn heavily.
By taking care of your new sod, you’ll be working to create a lush and healthy lawn to use in a few weeks. Be patient with the process, and you’ll be rewarded!