How to Care for New Sod (with Charts)

Published Categorized as Lawn Care
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INSTALLING new sod is fascinating to gardeners who want to make their lawns look awesome. However, caring for a new lawn is a challenging thing. Hard work and patience are among the qualities you need to cultivate. This article discusses how to care for new sod by answering 10 frequently asked questions.

1. When to Water My New Sod?

You should begin watering your new sod within 30-45 minutes of installation. Applying at least one inch of water on the new sod helps to set a conducive environment for the sod to start taking root.

Aim at making the soil beneath the sod as moist as possible. Generally, 3-4 inches of the soil beneath the new sod should be wet immediately after installation. 

2. How Much Should I Water New Sod?

Water is life. With that in mind, you should give your new sod sufficient water. Watering your new sod at least twice a day (in the morning and the evening) helps it take up nutrients from the soil throughout the day.

However, if you install sod during the summer, then watering it at least three times a day is a good idea. It is important to apply sufficient water to your sod within the first two weeks of installation. You should continue to water the sod for another two weeks until the sod adjusts to the climate.

3. Should I Fertilize New Sod?

 care for new sod

Fertilizing new sod is important for root formation, building a strong root system, and healthy sod. The fertilizer should be rich in phosphorous and apply it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.  

4. How Soon Can You Fertilize New Sod?

The right time to fertilize new sod is 30 days after installation. Remember, you only need to apply fertilizer when sod has developed root to take in fertilizer nutrients from the soil. You should not feed your grass too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer because it can burn the grass.

5. How Long Does It Take for New Sod to Take Root?

Generally, it takes 10–14 days for new sod to take shallow roots, but it can take up to 6 weeks for the sod to grow deeper and stronger root system. You can read the full answer to this question in this article.

6. How Long Does Sod Last Once It’s Cut?

Cut sod lasts 36 hours during the summer but about 72 hours during the winter. Get more by reading the article: How Long Does Sod Last Once It’s Cut.

7. When Can You Walk on New Sod?

The right time to walk on new sod is two weeks after installation because walking on it before two weeks have elapsed will crush the tiny, weak roots that would have formed. Get more in this article, including what happens if you step on new sod before it roots.

8. When to Fertilize New St Augustine Sod in Texas?

The right time to fertilize new St Augustine sod in TX is three weeks after the grass turns green and when you predict there will be no late frost. One pound of nitrogen in soluble form per 1000 sq ft every eight weeks is ideal. 

Alternatively, you can apply 11/2-2 pounds of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer per 1000 sq ft every 10 weeks.

9. How Do I Know If My Sod Needs Water?

To test if your new sod needs water, peel back the corner of your sod, using a screwdriver, and press into the soil to test if it pushes easily or hard. If the soil is moist, the screw should push in easily, suggesting the soil has water. 

However, if it is hard to push in the screwdriver, the soil is dry and needs a lot of water. You need to water your new sod daily within 14 days of installation.

10. How Long Can Sod Go Without Watering

If pressed with a tight schedule, it shouldn’t take 3-4 days without watering your new sod. If sod goes for four days without water, it will soon turn brown, become thin, and eventually die.

New Sod Care Cheatsheet from Day 1-Day 365

Follow this new sod maintenance cheat sheet to grow a lush lawn; everyone will be amazed to see:

Care for New Sod: Watering

Care for New Sod: Mowing

Mowing is integral in maintaining a lawn, and knowing when to mow your grass will go a long way. I have prepared a guide to help you do that.

Care for New Sod: Fertilizing

While fertilizer is important to grass, the timing and choice of fertilizer matter a lot. If you introduce nitrogen-rich fertilizer early, you will likely burn the grass. However, introducing the right amount of fertilizer when the grass needs it most will help boost the sod’s health.

So, it’s crucial you know the right time to fertilize your sod, and the following chart will help you:

Care for New Sod: Weeding

Weeding is, and should be, an ongoing process in gardening. For your lawn to remain healthy, weed out any weeds that find their way into the yard. Doing so will help you have a lush lawn just as you want it.

Here are the 5 weeding steps, plus a pro tip to help you know when and how to weed out your lawn: