Congratulations on your newly sodded lawn! If you are like most homeowners, you have entered into the “now what?” stage. You’ve just made a significant investment and want to do everything possible to have your new lawn root down and establish quickly. That attitude is terrific because the manner in which you nurture your new sod during its first six weeks is critical to its future health and appearance. Taking the right action steps in new sod care promises to pay long-term dividends. Learn how to care for new sod below.
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Fertilization is important to a new lawn. We recommend the New Lawn Starter Box from Lawnifi®, the best fertilizer for new sod. This fertilizer box consists of a state-of-the-art liquid fertilizer specifically designed to help your lawn establish a sustainable root system. Your new lawn is working hard enough to establish roots. As a new sod fertilizer, the New Lawn Starter Box provides it with the right amount of phosphorus and other nutrients your grass roots need to establish and thrive. To learn more, read When to Fertilize Newly Installed Sod. The New Lawn Starter Box from Lawnifi contains three bottles of liquid fertilizer. Follow the directions for best results.
During the first nine days, water twice a day—once in the morning and then again in the evening. Starting on day 10, you can reduce your watering schedule to once per day. This can be further reduced to once every other day on day 13 and again on day 16 to one inch of water per week. It is crucial that the sprinkler heads in each zone are checked to ensure that the entire lawn is getting covered. During each “watering session,” be sure to water for a long enough time to allow it to seep deep into the soil to be available to the root zone. For most irrigation systems, this requires a 20 minute cycle. Take rainfall into consideration and modify your irrigation schedule to save water (and money) and to not over water your lawn. For more information, read When to Water Newly Installed Sod.
Monitor your lawn regularly to make sure that it is not drying out. Check the edges of each piece as well as the overall perimeter of your lawn as these are the most susceptible to drying out. Provide supplemental, targeted hand-watering with a hose—especially throughout the first 14 days.
“When can I mow?” is a common question for all new lawn owners. You should mow as soon as your lawn has put down sufficient roots, such that you will have some difficulty pulling up individual pieces of sod. Quality sod laid during the active growing season that has received proper care and nutrition should be able to be mowed between 13–15 days after being laid. When you mow, be sure to set your mower to the highest setting so that you are only removing the tops of the leaf blades. If you start mowing and pieces of your new lawn start coming up, you either have your mower set too low, or your sod has not put down sufficient roots. Stop immediately and wait a few more days. To read more, visit When to Mow Newly Installed Sod.
To recap, use a fertilizer specifically made for new lawns such as Lawnifi’s New Lawn Starter Box to quickly establish healthy roots. You can begin a regular Lawnifi fertilization schedule a month after installation with Lawnifi’s liquid fertilizer program or Lawnifi Foundation.
New Lawn Starter BoxProduct on sale
Complete Program 9 Bottle Fertilizer Annual SubscriptionProduct on sale/ year
Water twice a day for the first nine days, reduce watering to once per day on day 10, further reduce watering to once every other day on day 13 and then transition to around one inch per week as your lawn needs it on day 16. Monitor your lawn to ensure that it is not drying up, paying close attention to the edges as these are the most susceptible.
Lastly, mow your lawn when it is ready. During the growing season, wait 14 days or so and then mow at the highest setting on your mower.
If you are still unsure of which grass you want to install and your yard and you’re still doing as much research as possible, the How to Choose the Right Type of Sod blog might be the information you need. Be sure to visit Establishing a Newly Installed Lawn for more information on establishment guidelines for the first 30 days after installation. After the first 30 days, you will want to transition your lawn to regular maintenance practices. Once your lawn has made the transition, Sod Solutions offers Homeowner Maintenance Guides organized by seasons for bermuda grass, bluegrass, fescue, St. Augustine and zoysia.