Keeping a lawn watered is an essential process that helps the lawn stay healthy during the growing season. When establishing new sod in a lawn, it becomes even more important. Establishing a new sod lawn isn’t terribly difficult, but it needs the right amount of water at the right times to ensure it grows well. While your sod expert can provide custom instructions for taking care of your new sod, here are some general water guidelines you can follow.
Prep the Ground Before Sod is Laid
The ground at the foundation of the new sod should be adequately prepared prior to the installation of the sod. Mark all sprinkler heads with flags, paint, or stakes so the installation team knows where they are. If the sod isn’t going to border a physical barrier, mark where you want the sod to be cut. And consider adding a starter fertilizer to the ground prior to sod laying – this will put in extra work along with the water that you’ll be giving the sod.
The First Day
After the sod has been installed, you’ll have an important watering task ahead of you. The first watering will be about 30-80 minutes long in total. This time will depend a lot on external factors – how hot is the weather? What kind of sprinkler system are you using, and what is its output? What kind of soil are you growing the sod on? Is there any wind that could affect how much water is making it to the soil? If you’re laying out a lot of sod, you should consider watering the lawn in larger sections as the sod is being laid out, then go back to the first sections at the end of the day if they have dried out.
The Next Couple of Weeks
Once the first day is over, you’ll want to keep the sod watered evenly during the next two weeks. The amount and the frequency of watering will depend on your irrigation system and soil, but it’s important to note that it is possible to overwater new sod. This needs to be avoided, as it can lead to the formation of harmful fungus and root rot. Simply water it just enough to stay moist – usually around 2-4 times per day.
After 12-13 days, you’ll want to shut down your irrigation system for the next couple of days to allow the soil to dry out a little bit. The soil at this point should be good to walk on – once this is confirmed, you can start to mow the new lawn.
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