One of the great things about a new lawn made from sod is the immediate enjoyment factor. Homeowners can instantly take advantage of newly installed sod long before a lawn started from seeds. A lot of emphasis should be placed upon preparing the site for new turf. Changing and grading the soil, controlling weeds, and using appropriate installation techniques are all very important. But not taking care of the new sod defeats the purpose of having it in the first place. Protect and nourish your investment by tending to it and maintaining it.
One crucial element is irrigation. The sod will survive only if provided with enough water. Water the sod within 30 minutes of installation. Until the sod roots or until 1-3 weeks have passed, water the sod with about an inch of water every 1-3 days (depending on the weather). Keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet. You can determine when the sod has rooted by gently trying to lift a corner of one section. Once it has rooted, you can decrease the amount of watering. Give the sod about one inch of water each week thereafter. Don’t over-water the turf or water it for short intervals too often, because this may lead to disease or failure to root. After the first watering, once the sod has dried enough for you to walk on it, tamp or roll the whole sodded area with a lawn roller. This step is required to make sure that the sod is in contact with the soil surface, and it also eliminates small bumps and air pockets. You can mow the newly sodded lawn perhaps 6-7 days after installation (or as soon as the blades are four in. tall). Cut the grass to the recommended height (usu. 2.5-3 in.). Always sharpen the mower blades regularly. Never cut more than 1/3 of the height of the grass blades in one mowing. You may leave the grass clippings (unless they clump together). Either remove or break up any clumps of the grass clippings. This will enable the clippings to return nutrients to the dirt. Think about testing the soil, and plan out what kind of fertilizer you want to use. The sod will thrive with fertilizer after about 4-6 weeks of growth. Light foot traffic is not harmful to the sod. However, tread lightly on the surface if you must walk on it for the first few weeks. For that first month, try to avoid any heavy activity on the sod. Give it some time to flourish.