How Long Does Sod Take to Establish?
If you’ve just installed a new sod lawn, congratulations! Sod is a great way to get a lush, green lawn with minimal time. But there are a few things you need to do to make sure your sod thrives and establishes quickly. Before we get to the basics of new sod care, let’s get to the burning question — when will I be able to enjoy my new lawn?
New Sod Takes up to 3 Weeks to Establish Roots
Expect to spend anywhere from 14 to 28 days babying your new sod as it tries to root down into the ground. While some sod varieties may establish roots quicker, it is still best practice to care for new sod for at least 3-4 weeks to ensure optimal establishment and growth.
How Can I Tell if my Sod is Established?
Has it been 3 weeks, and you’re still not sure if your new sod has been rooted into the ground? It’s easy to find out! Firmly grab a small bunch of grass blades (they should be pretty long since you haven’t mowed yet) and pull straight up. We recommend doing this at the edge or corner of the yard. If a sizeable chunk of grass pulls up easily, your sod has not been established, and you need to troubleshoot the problem. Established sod will cling to the ground and not move when pulled.
New Sod Care Basics
Now that you’ve got your calendar marked, let’s talk about what you’ll be doing for the next 3-4 weeks while that sod is building roots.
It will be necessary to water your new sod on a strict schedule. For the first four weeks, water 1/2″ to 3/4″ daily, then every other day for the next four weeks. Then water according to your grass variety’s recommended watering schedule. Water requirements will vary depending on the time of year, weather, and more. Make sure you are compliant with your local watering restrictions as well.
Wait until your new sod has firmly rooted into the underlying ground — usually around 3 weeks. We do not recommend removing the grass clippings from the lawn unless they are clumping up and completely blocking the grass blades underneath. The grass clippings break down and provide essential nutrients to the growing sod. During that initial mowing, be careful not to scalp areas that may not have fully settled down from being laid. It’s always better to mow at a tall height to be safe.
Right after that first mow, after the grass has firmly established roots, apply a fertilizer made for your grass variety and climate.
Sod cut out of the field and placed in your yard will experience stress, just as any developing plant that has been transplanted. Sod is more vulnerable to fungus when it is under stress. You’ll be giving your sod more water during the establishment phase as well, and all that extra water promotes fungus growth. We recommend using a high-quality, dual-action fungicide on new sod to prevent fungus issues, which can destroy your entire lawn quickly.
It’s typically not a good idea to apply herbicides on new sod until it has rooted, which takes about 3-4 weeks. Only treat for insects as needed, based on previous issues with the site where the sod is laid. Follow the label directions for new sod.
The Best Sod in Tampa Bay
If you’re looking for the freshest, highest-quality sod in Tampa Bay, look no further than Council Growers Sod in southern Hillsborough County. We’ve been growing sod locally under the Florida sun since the early 80s, and farming in the area for decades before that. We deliver our freshly-cut sod right to your door, so it’s never sitting on a pallet in a store for a week drying out. Call us at (813) 633-8665 or order your sod online today!