Lawn Care Tips: Quick Guide To Watering New Sod

The proper watering of new sod for your sod, with a simple schedule.

When you have new sod installed in your yard, it is important to start, and keep faithfully, a proper watering schedule right away, to ensure survival and lasting beauty for your new lawn. Immediately after the sod has been laid, you should begin by watering it twice per day for fifteen to twenty minute time blocks, which should give the sod about an inch of water per session. This schedule should be maintained for at least one week.

After one week, the sod should be watered once daily for fifteen to twenty minute time blocks. This schedule should be maintained for two to three weeks, or until the sod becomes rooted in the soil. The main rule is that the sod should not be allowed to dry out at any time before you see that it is firmly rooted.

The ideal time to water your lawn is during the late night hours (about 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.) and not during the day. At night, less of the water is evaporated and the sod will be able to use the water more efficiently. If this might be a difficult time to water, given your particular schedule, you could get by watering during the day. But, you should try to keep it to dawn or dusk hours (6 a.m. to 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and you may have to water longer than the previously suggested fifteen to twenty minute time blocks. Just be sure the sod is moist to the touch, but not muddy, as it is possible to over-water your sod.

Once the sod has become firmly rooted in the soil, you can gradually decrease the number of watering sessions, but you should then increase the amount of water used. For example, once the sod is rooted, you can then water it twice a week for a half hour at a time and then go down to once a week for a 45 minute time block. The sod will be receiving the same amount of water, but more mature sod can hold more water and use it more efficiently. And, as the sod grows longer, the concern for over-watering decreases.

This watering schedule should be kept for at least one full summer to ensure that the roots go deep and stay healthy. If your lawn is installed late in summer or early in fall, water regularly as suggested above until the weather starts to cool and start up again as soon as possible the following spring.

Be aware that the weather will affect the way you care for your sod. Use common sense when watering as compared to weather patterns. For example, if there is at least an inch of rainfall on a particular day, you won't have to water the sod that day. Likewise, if the weather is very hot and/or very dry, keep a twice weekly watering schedule until the weather is cooler and/or more humid.

Also be aware that chemical fertilizers should be applied to dry sod, and thus, you will want to apply it at the end of the season.

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