How to Take Care of New Sod & Seed
Way to go! You just got yourself a new lawn. But now how are you supposed to take care of it? The goal is to keep your new lawn moist for the next 3 to 5 weeks. The keyword being moist. You don’t want standing water, squishy sod and dry brown spots are bad. You’re going to have to find a happy middle ground when trying to make your lawn survive. First things first, if you have a sprinkler system and plan on setting and forgetting it that will not work. Ideally, you could do that but your lawn will be needing more attention than that to flourish. Here below are some guidelines to follow, keep in mind not all areas of a lawn follow the same rules. For example, the shaded areas will need less water than areas with full sun. Temperatures and rainfall will also be a factor in this. Items to keep in mind, brown spots will appear 3-5 days in, that is the time to make tweaks or your grass/sod will die. Once it’s dead it can’t be watered back to life. As we mentioned before, temperatures factor into how much you’ll want to water your lawn. You’ll want to use some common sense. If it’s 95° vs 60° degrees, new sod/seed will need to be watered 3x a day with 95° degrees but may only need watering 1x a day with 60° degrees.
AT THE BEGINNING
Timeline: 3-4 week window
- For new seed and sod – water 2-3 times a day.
- If using a sprinkler system:
- Mist Zones (small) – 5-10 minutes
- Rotor Head (big) – 15-25 minutes
- Avoid watering in the middle of the day as much as possible.
- Don’t be afraid to shut the water off for a day to let roots work downwards.
WHEN YOU’RE READY TO MOW
Timeline: New sod – 4-5 week window | New seed – 4-8 week window
- Shut off water 2-4 days ahead of 1st mowing to allow your lawn to dry out
- Once sod cannot be pulled up it is ready to mow. Bag it and mow on the HIGHEST level possible.
- Seed is ready to mow basically when you can’t stand it. The longer you can allow it to grow without cutting it, the better chance for success it’ll have.
AFTER YOUR FIRST MOW
Timeline: 4-7 week window
- You should be able to go to water 1x a day or 4x a week.
- At the 7-week mark, you should start to transition to a longer, deeper watering less frequent with the end goal of watering only 1x a week giving your lawn 1 inch.
Important Items to Consider if You’re Using an Irrigation System:
- Not all irrigation systems are created equal, some will miss more spots than others.
- Heads can be adjusted and added if needed.
- May need to alter the timing on certain zones.
- Less time – if shade or northside of house.
- More time – if sun or southside of the house
- If it rains, shut it off!
- Rain sensors are not dependable. They’ll still go off if it rained the previous day, causing your lawn to be overwatered.
- A wifi controller can benefit your lawn, you have the ability to delay watering for a set number of days, as well as automatic seasonal adjust. Your sprinkler system won’t go off when it’s raining out again!