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Sod Lawn Care

Care for New Sod Lawns

Your new lawn has been carefully installed, and needs proper continuing maintenance, particularly in the next several weeks, to ensure the success of the installation.  Please follow the watering and care instructions below for the next several weeks.
Please NOTE:
  • You may walk on the lawn to move sprinklers, but keep non-essential foot traffic to an absolute minimum during the initial establishment period.
  • If the edges between the sod pull apart or are separating, you are not applying enough water.  The sod is shrinking and pulling apart.
  • Do not water at night or late in the evenings.  New seedlings are susceptible to diseases, which are encouraged by prolonged periods of being wet.
  • Make sure to water along pavement surfaces when the temperature are warmer, as the sod will literally bake next to the hot surface during the establishment.

Maintenance Practices (0-10 days):

Water each day at least 15 to 20 minutes in each area of lawn (according to how much water your sprinkler emits).  Watering a second time each day is recommended if the temperatures are over 65 degrees and sunny.  It is important to get the water through the sod and into the soil below the sod.  Check to make sure you are watering enough by pulling back the corner of the sod in several places throughout the lawn to make sure the soil below is moist.
Do not fertilize or mow the lawn yet.

Maintenance Practices (10 to 21 days):

Water every other day for approximately 30 minutes.  By watering for longer periods of time, you are encouraging root growth deeper into the soil.
Check to make sure you are watering enough by pulling back the corner of the sod in several places throughout the lawn to make sure the soil is moist.  The sod shouldn’t be difficult to pull up-do not force it up.  The root system is establishing.. and should not be pulled from the soil.  Just tug lightly to assure good rooting.  If the lawn is not rooting, you may not be watering enough.
Before watering the lawn, cut the grass as need.  Do not remove more than a third of the grass plant at one time while cutting.  For instance, if the grass is 5 inches tall, do not cut below 3.5 inches in height.  In general, keep the lawn at 2.75 to 3.5 inches during the establishment.  If the lawn is too wet to cut, do not water for one more day and then cut the lawn.
Do not apply fertilizer to the lawn yet.

Maintenance Practices (3 weeks and beyond):

You may begin to cut the lawn as needed.  The lawn should be fairly well rooted and can make a normal wear and tear.  Water the lawn approximately twice a week making sure to apply 1 inch of water each week.
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