Everyone wants to have lush green lawns with no brown patches or dead grass. Most homeowners spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on installing new sod and maintaining it. However, all that money would go down the drain if the new sod doesn’t anchor to your lawn and grow naturally. The first few weeks are crucial and you need to make sure your sod receives proper care during this time.
What is Sod?
You can’t take care of or maintain the sod if you don’t understand what it is and how it functions. Here are some things you should keep in mind before you carry out the sod installation:
- Sod contains live grass plants complete with a small carpet of dirt. These plants are anchored to the dirt and continue to thrive even when they’re not placed on the ground.
- The roots of the existing grass grow beyond the mud that came with the sod. Those roots sink into the lawn’s soil and anchor to the ground when the nutrition in the sod dries up.
- If you take proper care of the grass at this stage, it will grow healthy and provide the beautiful green lawn that you always wanted.
As you can see, the sod starts off as a temporary installation on the lawn surface. However, after proper care, the roots sink deep and the grass will become a permanent addition to your lawn.
How To Take Care of the Sod?
The grass is cultivated specifically on the sod and by adding it to your lawn, you change its environment. While most grass types are resilient, they can be damaged by the process. That’s why you need to take the steps mentioned below to encourage growth:
- Handle Sod Carefully – Sod can be damaged during transportation and installation process. It’s important to handle the sod carefully and place it on a prepared ground. Professional landscapers will make sure the ground has good quality soil that would provide ample nutrition. They will also water the surface before the sod is laid on top of the wet ground. The moisture content along with loose soil will create an ideal environment for the roots to grow.
- Don’t Step On the Sod – This is one of the most common mistakes people make. They forget they have sod installed on the ground and trample on it carelessly. That can kill the grass before it has the chance to grow and thrive. After you’ve installed the sod, make sure you, your pets, your children, and your guests don’t step onto the grass. You can walk on it after a few weeks of enough watering and proper growth.
- Fertilize the Sod – Once the sod is installed, you need to fertilize it. That provides the sod the nutrients it needs to grow and spread its roots. For the best results, you need to apply the fertilizer approximately 2 weeks after the sod is installed. Make sure you use natural fertilizer rather than a chemical one. Such fertilizers can cause harm and compromise the lawn’s health. You should also fertilize the lawn once a month. That will ensure your sod receives as much nutrition as it needs to thrive and grow.
- Check For Signs of Disease – The grass is at its weakest at this stage so it’s vulnerable to diseases, pests, and fungi. You should check the sod for signs of these problems within three days of installation. If you see signs of disease and fungi, apply good quality fungicide to the sod. Most professional sod installers will provide recommendations to help you choose the best option.
- Mow the Sod – Even newly installed sod needs to be mowed. This process ensures your grass looks neat and trim. It also encourages growth and provides nutrition. The grass clippings from the mowing process fall to the ground and create a layer of thatch. This thatch provides a lot of protection to the new grass. Cut the grass up to ½ inches in length. If you cut too close, the delicate roots and shoots at the bottom will be damaged. This can ruin your entire lawn and flush your money down the drain.
How to Water the Sod?
Your grass will require some amount of water to survive the first few months of growth. Your watering schedule largely depends on the time of year the sod is installed. This will help you determine how much or how little water it needs. Too much or too little water can damage your sod and ruin your landscape. Here’s how you can determine your watering schedule:
- For Sod Installed in Hot Weather: If the sod is installed in above 80°F weather, you need to water two times in a day for the first 3 days. This will ensure the sod bed doesn’t dry out. After the three days, you can supply water once a day for a week to 10 days. After this initial change, you can water the lawn for every other day for a week followed by every third day.
- For Sod Installed in Cold Weather: If your sod is installed in less than 80°F weather, you can change the water schedule to two times a day for 3 days. You can then water your lawn once a day for the next 4 days. Once the first week has passed, you can water every other day, followed by every 3rd day in the following week. You can then supply water to the lawn once every 4 days.
You need to adjust the water quantity according to the frequency of the process. If you water often, you should reduce the amount of water applied to the lawn. We recommend ½ inch of water. When you don’t water the lawn frequently, you should increase the amount of water you apply and soak the sod. We recommend you apply around 1 inch of water at this time.
If you keep an eye on the saturation of the ground underneath the sod, you should have no problem. These steps will ensure your lawn thrives and is healthy.