You’ve just paid to have a beautiful new lawn installed or maybe you put in all that hard work yourself, but now how do you keep that sod looking so green?
The first 6 weeks after your lawn is installed is the most critical time. During this time the grass is re-growing its roots and establishing itself in your yard. Because the roots are so tiny and haven’t grown deep into the ground yet, you must make sure that the sod doesn’t dry out. It is difficult to over water newly installed sod. Keep it wet, not just moist and you will ensure it never dries out.
For the first 2 weeks after your sod is installed, water once a day for about 1 hour with a sprinkler. Make sure to move the sprinkler occasional to ensure all the sod gets watered, you don’t want to miss any corners or edges. To make sure your sod has got enough water, lift up a corner of the sod and poke your finger into the soil, the soil should be moist to 1″ deep.
After 2 weeks you can reduce watering to every 3rd day. At this point you should see healthy growth on your sod. After 6 weeks you can start watering only once a week. You should continue watering once a week until your lawn is a year old, this will ensure that the sod is well established.
Early morning is the best time of day to water. The water has time to really soak into the ground, instead of just evaporating in the heat of the day. Also, the sun will soon dry the water of the blades of grass reducing the risk of disease.
So, you’ve got this watering routine down, but now it starts to rain. What do you do? If it rains less than 3/8″ (10mm), continue to water as if it hasn’t rained at all. Anything less than this amount is NOT sufficient to water new sod.
Signs that your lawn is getting the RIGHT amount of water:
- The grass is growing and it’s growing evenly and thick
- The colour is a beautiful, bright grass green
- After 2 weeks it should be difficult to lift up a corner of the sod to check the moisture of the soil underneath, because the roots have started growing into the ground
- The ground is firm when you walk on it
Signs that your sod is being UNDER-WATERED:
- It’s not growing
- The colour will have changed to a blueish grey
- The grass begins to look wispy and wilted
Signs that your sod is being OVER-WATERED:
- The ground under the sod is soggy and spongy when you step on it
- There is standing water or puddles remaining on the surface of the lawn
- The colour has changed to a pale yellow and eventually to brown