WATERING AND MAINTAINING YOUR NEWLY INSTALLED SOD
Within half an hour after installation, water the lawn to the point of soil saturation. (Lifting up the corner of a piece of sod and sticking your finger in the soil is the best test for saturation).
1-Water daily to maintain soil moisture. It is crucial that the soil remain heavily moist to moderately wet during the first week in order to allow the roots to penetrate into the soil.
2- Try not to walk on the lawn unless absolutely necessary
3- The grass may be cut (cut only 1/3 of the length of the grass blade) at the end of the first week or once the grass blades have reached a length of 3 inches, but it is generally safer to wait until 2 weeks' time has elapsed.
1- Maintain soil moisture in order to allow roots to establish. Less water is required during the second week (depending on weather conditions), but the soil should not be allowed to dry out. Soaking the lawn every 2 days should maintain the proper level of moisture for the second week.
2- Maintain reduced level of traffic on the lawn area.
3- At the end of this week, mow the lawn and continue to mow as usual for all subsequent weeks (remembering not to cut off more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade).
1- Water thoroughly once per week for the third week and all subsequent weeks. (About 1" including rain) *Note: Some heavy momentary rainfall may deceive you into thinking that your lawn is getting the 1" of water per week it needs, but the fact is that soil can only absorb water so fast, and what it cannot absorb is lost to run-off.
2- You may also water twice weekly for less time, but more than twice weekly will not allow the soil to dry and will encourage root rot.
3- Maintain reduced level of traffic on the lawn area until the end of week three if possible.
Fertilize 2 to 4 times per year with a 25-5-15 NPK (ie: Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium) or similar ratio fertilizer that has at least 50% slow release nitrogen. Apply approx. 3 kg per 100 sq. metres (5-7 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.) with a spreader.
TROUBLE SHOOTING TIPS
Sod not rooting?
Most sod varieties will begin to root within 10 to 14 days. Check watering schedule and adjust to deeper, less frequent soaking. Excessive shade will slow down rooting.
Blueish-grey spots on lawn or footprints show after being walked on?
Drought stressed spots in the lawn will show up if the grass is dry. Be sure to check the sprinkler coverage and make sure all areas of grass are receiving enough spray from the sprinkler heads. Also, increase the time and or frequency of the sprinkler program until the stress spots disappear.
These are a common temporary nuisance after sod installation. They typically occur because of the compost mixed into the soil at preparation. As the irrigation gets deeper and less often, mushrooms will dry up and wither away.
Edges turning brown and /or gaps between rolls?
Sod is shrinking or has pulled up at the corners. This is due to lack of irrigation. Increase minutes per watering and frequency to minimize gaps. Also, hand watering will help shrink the gaps. Press down the edges with foot after watering to help straighten curled edges.
Article written by horticulture specialist