How to Care for Sod
Caring for sod requires three basic components: Watering, fertilizing, and mowing. It’s an easy process—all you need to do is time everything right, and you’ll get your sod off to a great start. We’ll show you how.
When to Water
Newly installed sod needs lots of water from the time you install it until it is well established. The first watering should come as soon as the sod has been laid—not the day after! That’s because stacked or rolled sod tends to dehydrate and to heat up, which stresses the grass. Give it a good watering using sprinklers for at least 20 minutes, and make sure to water again twice daily for 20 minutes each day for the first 14 weeks after installation. Watering times should be in the morning and late afternoon.
Fertilizer will help the sod establish a strong, healthy root system. About one month after the sod has been installed, use a granulated fertilizer marked 18-24-12, or use a good organic compost.
When to Mow
One of the most important facets to caring for your new sod is to minimize traffic once it has been installed. This means avoiding walking across it—or letting pets play on it—and avoid mowing it until it has developed a good root system. Usually, you will be able to mow about three weeks after it has been installed. If you installed it over the winter, wait three to four weeks after new growth begins.
As you can see, caring for sod is easy. The most important things are to keep it watered and to minimize traffic until that first mowing.