Sod Watering Guidelines
The relatively quick results of sod compared to starting a new lawn from grass seed makes it rewarding to see how quickly you can enjoy your new lawn. Sod is a great option but similar to new grass seed it requires lots of watering. Check out these tips on how to water new sod –
Watering is one the most important steps in establishing a new lawn from sod. New sod should be watered within an hour of installation.
The day your new sod is installed your goal should be roughly 1 inch of water. Ideally you want the soil to be moist at a depth of 3 or 4 inches below the surface. This may take longer than you think.
Try to keep the soil below the turf moist with frequent watering at 1/4 inch of water each time you run the sprinklers. If the weather is hot or windy you will need to increase the time and or frequency of watering.
When the roots start to take hold you can start to back off on the watering. This normally takes 2-4 weeks.
One way to check is to pull back a corner of sod and probe the soil with a screwdriver, it should push into the soil easily and show how far the moisture is into the dirt.
Morning is the best time to water the new sod. This is because the lower wind speeds in the morning won’t hamper the irrigation and also less water will be lost too evaporation. However, when establishing new sod the most important thing to remember is to keep the soil wet. After the sod has taken root and is becoming better established the watering frequency can be reduced to more infrequent and deeper watering.
It’s tempting to cut back on the water too soon when you see how green and healthy the new sod looks. However, it’s important to remember that the new sod needs to establish deep roots before it can strive on its own. Without an established root system, the sod is more fragile and will struggle to survive through changing weather conditions.
Watering tips for new sod
- Water in the morning
Morning water takes advantage of normal weather patterns, less wind means that evaporation concerns are minimized. Watering in the evening, especially when the weather is hot and humid can create an ideal environment for fungus that will harm your lawn.
- Avoid hand watering
when watering by hand it’s difficult if not impossible to achieve uniform and consistent watering. Leave the watering to a sprinkler or irrigation system.
- How much to water
When the new sod has become established reduce the watering to deeper infrequent watering. Deep roots equates to healthy turf and the roots will grow to where the water is.