Sod Care: Part 2 – Mowing

Beautiful manicured yard with properly mowed sod

Galay Landscaping

Galay Landscaping has been a premier landscape contractor since 2003. We have created luxurious easy to maintain landscape projects throughout Manitoba and North-West Ontario including the Winnipeg area and Lake of the Woods.


You’ve been watering your new sod religiously since it was installed and your hard work is paying off. The grass is GROWING! And fast! When should you cut it for the first time?

Mowing your new sod for the first time should happen once the roots have grown into the ground underneath the sod (usually 2-3 weeks after installation).

It’s very important that the roots have established before you mow. Or else, the sod pieces will be lifted up by the power of the mower and be ripped apart (not a good look for your lawn). To test if the roots have grown enough, grab onto a corner of a piece of sod and give it a strong tug. If it does NOT lift up, it’s ready to mow. If it does lift up, wait a few more days and test again.

Good Mowing Practices

Mowing sod with a riding mower

Once your sod is ready to cut follow these steps:

  • Step 1 – Stop watering a day or two before mowing. Having dry, firm ground to drive the mower over is ideal. (No one wants ruts in their yard)
  • Step 2 – Make sure your mower blades are sharp. This will ensure the grass is CUT, instead of torn.
  • Step 3 – Adjust the blade/deck height a little higher than usual for the first few cuts until the grass is better established. Once the lawn is well established, keep your grass at a height between 2 inches and 3 inches. But whatever height you prefer, make sure to NEVER remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one mowing.
  • Step 4 – Mow in the direction the sod was laid, rather than across it for the first few cuts to reduce stress on the roots. Once your lawn is established, alternate mowing directions each time to avoid grass clipping build-up.

Follow these tips and you should have a beautifully manicured lawn!

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