A lush, green lawn is the desire of every homeowner. Achieving that goal with seed can be really tough, which is why you’ve decided to lay down new sod. However, while sod can instantly transform your yard, you can’t just set it and forget it, you must water it. Sod does need to be carefully maintained – especially when it’s first installed – otherwise, it won’t take. By “take”, we mean the roots need to literally take hold of the underlying ground. In other words, the roots have to grow into the soil, which will not only prevent it from shifting but will also feed your turf the nutrition it needs to thrive.
How Often Should You Water New Sod?
Consistent watering is one of the most important things in order to maintain your newly planted sod and ensure that it takes. But how often does it need to be watered?
That can be a tricky question to answer, as there are several factors that will need to be considered, including
- Weather conditions
- When you’re having your sod installed
That said, however, newly laid sod needs to be watered on a regular basis. Use the following tips to create a watering schedule that will ensure your sod becomes a solid, dense, green, and lush ground cover.
Why Watering is Important
After the sod has been installed, it needs to be watered with ample amounts of water. Why? Well, because sod is a plant, and like any other plant, it needs to be watered to stay alive and thrive. Regular watering will allow the sod to develop a strong root system.
It’s important to note that there are several different types of sod. While each type of sod requires water, the watering requirements vary depending on the type. Moreover, your sod’s watering needs will rapidly change as it grows and adapts to its new environment. That said, you should take the time to research the type of grass you are installing or ask your landscaper so that you are familiar with how many times you should water it per week.
Water Before Planting
Watering should start before your sod is installed. The soil beneath the sod should be well-soaked prior to sod installation. This helps to ensure that the plant matter has a moist surface to which it can adhere.
For the best results possible, start watering the soil about a week before installation, and water it as deeply as possible. If this isn’t possible, at the very least, make sure that you give the sod a good, deep watering immediately before it is set to be laid.
The First Day
Arborists recommend at least two people help with sod installation. One person should water the sod immediately after it has been laid while the other person(s) is installing the remaining lawn. The person watering the grass should follow fairly close behind the installer(s), watering each new area right after it has been installed.
If the above-mentioned scenario isn’t possible, you’ll want to water the sod soon after it has been installed. It’s important to note that weather conditions should be taken into consideration when determining how long after the sod has been installed it should be watered, as well as the frequency of watering after installation.
For example, if conditions are hot and dry, it should be watered within 30 minutes after installation. The newly laid sod should be given a deep watering, at least twice.
If, however, it’s cool and mild, you can wait up to an hour to water the sod. Either way, newly planted sod should receive three to four inches of water right after it has been installed.
First Two Weeks
The second-day post-installation and then for two weeks thereafter, your goal should be to keep your new lawn consistently moist with regular watering cycles. Doing so will likely require watering multiple times a day; however, take outdoor conditions into consideration.
For example, if it’s raining, you can skip the manual watering. However, if it’s dry and hot, you’ll need to water the sod more often.
Post Two Weeks
Two weeks after the sod has been installed, it will have started to develop a hearty root system (as long as it was properly watered), and will now need less water. On the 15th day after installation, you can start watering just once a day for about 15 to 20 minutes. If there’s steady rain, you can skip watering, so long as the lawn receives plenty of moisture. If, however, it’s dry and hot, you may need to water longer.
Additional Information: Establishing Lawns From Sod
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