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Post-planting Care for Sodded Areas

New sod is perishable and must be installed immediately to insure a successful installation.

Sod should watered thoroughly during the first 3 weeks and during hot dry periods it must be watered 2 times a day. Avoid traffic on a newly sodded lawn, especially during the first few weeks.

Cut back on watering just before the first mowing. This will firm up the soil for mowing.

First mowing should be approximately 14 days after the sod has been installed. In the winter you may need to wait longer for the roots to establish prior to mowing.

Never mow off more than 1/3 of the blade. Mowing high is much less stressful on new sod.

Fertilize the new sod at the appropriate time for already established lawns. Preferably in the fall for most cool season lawns.

Mow at the appropriate time to remove only 1/3 of the grass blade at any one time.

After the sod has thoroughly established itself by rooting into the soil, a core aeration will increase the number of deep growing roots.

Troubleshooting problems

If sod is not rooting: Most sod varieties will begin rooting within 10 — 14 days. Check watering schedule and adjust to a deeper, less frequent watering. Shade will slow down the establishment of the roots.

Bluish gray spots in the sod: Sod may be stressed because of lack of water. Increase watering and check or adjust sprinkler coverage.

Gaps between rolls: Sod is shrinking due to lack of water! Increase watering and frequency to minimize gaps. Hand watering the gaps will increase root growth and close the gaps.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a condition of the frequent watering schedule and are a temporary nuisance. As watering gets deeper and less often, mushrooms usually dry up and wither away.

St. Augustine Sod

On St. Augustine sod, the top will brown out just a little due to shock, but you should see small white roots begin to develop in 4 — 4 days (pull a corner of a piece of sod up to check). Find a "starter" fertilizer, a 10-20-10 formulation, and put it down lightly, according to the directions.