How Long Does It Take for Sod to Take Root

If you want a verdant green lawn, you have two options. Either you sow the seeds and wait for the grass to occur or lay down ready-to-go sod.

To that end, laying turf is the fastest and easiest way to plant a new lawn or patch areas of your existing grass plot. Sod enables you to immediately enjoy the results of the natural germination process without nearly as much effort and waiting.

Learn how long it takes for sod to take root + other tips!

But how long does it take for sod to take root? The Arizona sod experts at Evergreen Turf have your answers.

How Long Am I Waiting, Exactly?

Although sodding is much faster than the natural lawn seeding and growing process, it isn't instantaneous. Technically, once it’s been installed, sod should begin to take root within 10-14 days. And with the right balance of sun, air, and water, your sod will fully take root in 2-6 weeks.

That said, the rooting timeline doesn’t have a clear and easy answer.

To provide a more accurate estimate, you need to first ask a follow-up question—which type of roots?

There are two stages of rooting that take place after you lay sod:

Stage 1: Shallow Roots (10-14 days) – With the right preparation, your sod can start to establish shallow roots in about 10 to 14 days. The key to ensuring healthy shallow root formation is to start watering your new grass immediately after the sod is placed and continue to do so daily for the next week. This is an extremely sensitive stage, therefore, you should avoid walking on the sod or mowing the lawn during this period.

Stage 2: Deep Roots (30-45 days) – Deep roots take longer to develop. If you treat the turf properly, a deep root system should fully take root in approximately 30 to 45 days. After the shallow root systems have matured, you can start watering the turf less frequently. Irrigating the turf with plenty of water every other day encourages the sod to send out deeper roots tasked with locating moisture.

After the initial installation is completed, the turf won't be ready for outdoor activities—not for a few weeks at least. If you use the new sod too much—and too soon—you could prevent the roots from developing.

RELATED: How to Prepare Soil for Sod in Arizona

Factors That May Impact Root Development

The numbers discussed above are general appraisals. Various factors can impact the speed and health of root development. If you want the best results, keep the following elements in mind:

Seasonality– Sod tends to perform better in warmer weather. During the summer, the sod’s shallow roots should develop in one to two weeks. But during the winter, they may take twice as long to grow.

Type of turf – Certain grasses will only grow properly in the right climate conditions. Also, different sod grass varieties may require more or less maintenance. For instance, Midiron sod requires less upkeep than Tifway 419. As a result, certain sod varieties will take longer to develop roots or they may not develop at all if they’re incompatible with the local climate.

Quality of sod – Along these lines, certain sod farmers use higher-quality inputs and implement better harvesting practices. Ideally, your sod provider should only work with farmers that wait to harvest until after the order is made. On-demand harvesting ensures that the sod is fresh and of higher quality—which fosters root development.

Soil conditions – For root systems to develop, the soil must be properly prepared. Ideally, the area where the sod will be placed should be:

Tips for Laying Sod

Want your sod to be healthy and develop its root systems as quickly as possible? Here are some before and after tips you should keep in mind:

#1 Prepare Your Soil Ahead of Time

If you want strong root growth from your sod, your first task is to prepare the soil for rooting. The majority of grass species like well-drained and slightly acidic soil.

Prior to laying your sod, be sure to till in any needed additions to your soil, such as:

Taking these measures will give your sod fertile grounds to spread its roots. Once your yard is tilled, even out the ground with a light raking and then water the area. Sod contours to the ground, so make sure that there aren’t any low areas where water could accumulate.

By following these preparations you can encourage your sod to start taking root within the first two weeks.

#2 Lay the Sod Immediately

Whether you plan on laying the sod yourself or hiring a gardener to do it for you, you should make sure that it's laid the same day it's delivered.

Sod will typically only survive for 24-36 hours on a pallet. The longer you wait, the higher the likelihood that it dehydrates and becomes unusable.

#3 Use a Lawn Roller

Immediately after your sod has been laid, you can settle and firm the surface by running over the turf with a hand-pulled lawn roller. By carefully rolling the sod, you can ensure that the new sod and topsoil adhere to one another. This process also removes air pockets, which can stymie root growth.

#4 Fertilize the Sod

To promote healthy shallow and deep root growth, you should fertilize the sod six weeks after installation. This tip has been known to cause some problems, so read carefully!

Many people make the mistake of overfertilizing their sod.

To ensure that the turf remains healthy, you should only fertilize it approximately three to four times during its growing season.

Practically all fertilizers will contain a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The fertilizer's label will typically show three numbers that represent the percentage of these elements within the package.

Different fertilizers will be more effective during various times of the year. That said, on an annual basis, you should consider the following fertilizer schedule:

#5 Water the Sod Properly

Sod needs to be watered with a certain volume, at the proper time, and at the optimal frequency. Botching any of these variables could negatively impact root development.

Before you lay your sod, consider these watering strategies:

High-Quality Sod in AZ—Evergreen Turf

If you're meticulous and attentive, your turf should take approximately two weeks for shallow roots and six weeks for deep roots to develop. With proper preparation and care, your sod will look beautiful and healthy from the outset, especially if you use a high-quality product.

That's where Evergreen Turf can make the difference.

We're the source for the highest quality sod in Arizona.

Are you looking for Phoenix sod, Tucson sod, Mesa sod, or Tempe sod? Then you’re in luck. Here, we offer an expansive selection of sod grass varieties perfectly suited for Arizona's climate. Whether you want to sod a backyard or an entire golf course, our premier commercial sod services can put the finishing touches on your green dream.

If you need sod (or have any questions regarding this piece), contact our team today.


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