Caring for Your New Sod Lawn
So, you have just installed a fresh new sod lawn. That's great! Now what do you do?
Your Arizona sod lawn requires proper care, maintenance, and upkeep if you want to see it grow into the lush and healthy image you have in your head. These post-installation tips should help get you on your way to a happy lawn:
O to 10 Days
- Water for 2-3 times per day for 5-10. Mid-summer may require watering 4-5 times per day.
- Check your moisture level by pulling back the corner of the sod in several places across your lawn to ensure that the water is penetrating through the sod into the soil.
- Increase frequency or length of watering if your moisture tests reveal dry soil.
- Keep non-essential foot traffic off your lawn, and walk on it only to move the sprinklers and perform essential maintenance.
- Use a new lawn starter fertilizer before you install your sod
- Do not mow your lawn.
10 to 21 Days
- Water daily for 10-30 minutes to encourage root growth deep into the soil. (every sprinkler system is different)
- Perform moisture level checks frequently, but do not force the sod if it's difficult to pull up. Resistance means the lawn is rooting well. If it's easy to pull up, you may need to increase your watering.
- Cut the grass before watering, but do not go remove more than 30% of the leaf at one time. If you grass is 3 inches tall, don’t mow below 2 inches. If it is 1.5 inches, don’t mow below 1 inch.
- If your grass is too wet to cut, skip watering for a day to let the water absorb into the sod and soil, then check it again tomorrow. If it's dry, proceed with your normal mowing regimen.
- Do not fertilize your lawn.
3 Weeks Going Forward
- Cut the lawn as needed.
- Water two to three times per week, applying 1" of water weekly.
- Measure your irrigation by using a small container (such as a pie tin) right in the path of the sprinkler. Use this equation to compute your total water: Amount of water (in inches) x number of times you water weekly to total 1"
- Apply a balanced turf fertilizer 3:1:2) six weeks after installation using a rotary spreader.
- Avoid herbicides when it's hot and dry and wait until cooler temperatures are prevalent.
Tips, Tricks, and Helpful Hints
- While your new Arizona sod lawn is still within its initial establishment period, keep non-essential foot traffic away from your turf. People should only be walking on your lawn when they're moving the sprinklers or performing other essential maintenance tasks.
- You'll know you need to apply more water if the edges can be easily separated. This means the sod is shrinking and pulling apart within its structure.
- Water early in the evenings at the latest to avoid prolonged periods of wetness, which can make your new Arizona sod lawn susceptible to diseases.
- Your new Arizona sod lawn requires special attention where it's placed against paved and concrete surfaces. Our climate's hot temperatures and scorching sun will literally bake fresh sod when it's against hot surfaces, so be sure to provide extra attention and water well where the pavement meets the grass blades.
Still trying to decide which Arizona sod lawn will fit your home and lifestyle best? Check out our Evergreen Turf Lawn Selector to help you make a well-informed decision.