With the last weeks of summer radiating their heat and sundown, all lawns are having a hard time. But if you’ve just put down fresh sod, you might be even more worried than usual about how well your new lawn is doing. Fresh sod is even more at risk of water loss than set grass, and understanding how to water it correctly is critical to ensuring it grows healthy and takes root.
Setting a Schedule
Ensuring that your fresh sod stays well hydrated but doesn’t become waterlogged can be a delicate balance. The moisture must extend to beneath the grass to ensure the roots are willing to grow. In general, sod should receive one inch of water every other day in the early stages. This is the perfect amount to ensure that it grows well and deeply. Watering should always be done early in the morning so that it has ample time to absorb before the heat of the day. Watering too late can encourage mold and fungus growth.
Check Moisture Levels
When possible, you should check your moisture levels every day, especially if you’re in a very dry or wet region to help adjust your amounts. If your sod is too wet, you can add more time between watering. If your sod is too dry, you may need to increase waterings.
Hot Climate Considerations
If as you are checking your sod, you notice that your every other day schedule is leaving your lawn too dry and there are signs of wilting you may need to upgrade your watering cycle. Once a day is often enough for the Maryland summer, but in hotter regions, you might even water sod twice a day.
Once Roots Take Hold
Once you are sure your sod has taken root, you can finally scale back your watering, although you should still monitor it carefully until your lawn has been in for a few months to a full year. Often sod takes up to three weeks to root to the soil, but it will remain tender for a while longer. That said, once the roots are in the ground an inch of water once a week should be enough unless the heat is intense. The goal is to water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
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