Tips on Caring for New Sod

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Installing new sod is an investment in your house that will increase its value and give it curb appeal. Maintaining that investment is always a good idea. In this post, we’ll discuss our recommendations to help you get the most out of your new sod:

Establishment and Healthy Roots

The two most important elements in determining the long-term quality and performance of your warm-season sod are installation and maintenance. Harvesting and relocation are extremely demanding on any grass, and precautions should be taken to minimize future physical stresses in particular. No walking, driving, or putting any pressure on the newly laid sod is the rule. Soil prep and limiting time between harvest and installation are vital. Luckily, we deliver your new sod direct to your door on the day of harvest, so it never hangs around too long in a warehouse or retail floor. Your new sod can provide you with years of enjoyment by taking care of it properly.

Water Requirements

It will be essential to water your new sod on schedule. For the first four weeks, water 1/2″ to 3/4″ per day, then every other day for the next four weeks, and then resume your normal watering routine. Watering requirements will vary based on the time of year, weather, soil type, amount of shade, and other factors. You will also want to consult with your local government about any restrictions to watering, such as assigned watering days for your home’s address or restricted watering times. It is always best to water your lawn in the early morning.

Disease Control

Sod cut out of the field and laid in your yard will experience heavy stress. Sod that is under stress is more prone to fungus and other diseases. You will also be giving your sod more water than it is used to during this period, so be prepared for that as well. Another reason your fresh lawn may be prone to disease is because of the additional moisture. We recommend using a high-quality dual-action fungicide as a result of this. Your lawn care professional should use or sell you something from John Deere Landscapes or Bob’s Bug Blasters, for example. When it comes to pesticides, as with any equipment used on grass, follow the directions on the label and ensure that the product is intended for your kind of grass.

Mowing Guidelines

Only begin mowing your new sod after root establishment, which takes about 3 weeks. When it is time to mow, be extra careful to not cut your new sod too short (also known as scalping). Scalping will sever the grass blade crown and potentially kill the grass entirely. Another rookie mistake with new sod is not adjusting your mowing height for variances in the sod height. Some new sod pieces may sit up higher than others and need more time to settle. Cutting these high areas at the same deck height as the low areas will scalp the high spots, leading to sod death.

You also don’t want to prevent the grass and roots from getting plenty of sunlight, so never let clumps of grass clippings sit on your lawn. Rake them up and use them as mulch in flower beds instead.

Once your sod is fully established (about 8 weeks after laying) you can begin mowing on the schedule recommended for your grass variety.

Fertilizer

Apply a fertilizer specific to your type of grass once it has established roots, which is generally after three weeks. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and your local fertilizer restrictions when developing a fertilization schedule.

Weed Control

Do not use herbicide on new sod until it has rooted to the underlying ground, which requires at least 3 weeks. Only use an herbicide that is proven safe for your grass variety and effective at eradicating the specific weeds in your lawn.

Pest Control

Only apply pest control as needed. Carefully examine product labels and follow directions for freshly planted grass, as well as your specific type of grass.

The Best Sod in Tampa Bay

When you’re ready to lay the highest-quality sod possible, contact Council Growers Sod at (813) 633-8665 to have our locally-grown sod delivered directly from our farm to your door. You can also check out the varieties we offer, get info on sod care, and even order online right on our website.