The following information is provided as a general guideline. Remember that no two lawns are exactly alike and conditions can vary greatly from one area of your lawn to another.

Watering Your Sod:

Water, Water, Water!

Newly planted sod needs to be watered much differently than established lawns. It is highly recommended you have a sprinkler system in place before installing sod. Due to the increased water needs of the new sod, watering by hand or with a garden hose sprinkler will be very time consuming for the first few weeks.

Many factors will affect the water needs during the establishment and even after the sod is established. Areas of your lawn that are on higher ground and/or are more exposed to sun and wind will use significantly more water. Lower areas and areas that are well shaded and protected will not need as much water. Maintaining consistent moisture levels in all areas of the lawn will ensure proper establishment. In order to achieve consistent moisture levels, fine tuning of the irrigation system and close observation will be required for success.

  1. Immediately after all the sod is installed, water the lawn until it is good and soaked, usually 45 to 60 minutes. This is the most important watering because the ground is dry, the soil amendment is dry and the sod itself is dry. This initial watering is vital to ensure the sod and soil beneath are good and soaked.
  2. During the first 2 weeks, while the sod’s root system is being established, heavy watering is necessary. The new sod needs to stay moist 24 hours a day. We recommend watering a MINIMUM of 3 times per day for at least 15 to 30 minutes per zone (15 for pop up heads and 30 for rotary or oscillating heads). Variations in soil conditions, temperature and sprinkler type will affect the number of cycles and length of time that your sprinklers should run. The key is maintaining consistent moisture throughout the lawn and not allowing the lawn to dry between watering cycles. On hot days (90 degrees and over) or windy days you may need to water up to 4 times a day so that the sod is not allowed to dry out between watering. During the 3rd and 4th week you should be transitioning from heavy watering to a normal routine. Begin by eliminating one run cycle of the system every 4-5 days until you have reached one per day and then begin gradually eliminating days from the schedule until you have reached your preferred watering schedule. We recommend every other day schedule, watering early in the morning.
  3. It is important to note that areas of your lawn that are well shaded will use significantly less water so be careful to not overwater these areas. Overwatering will keep the sod from growing roots which will lead to dead spots.
  4. Watch your sod closely for signs of dehydration (not enough water). Signs include: a purplish tint, blades turn gray and footprints are left when walked upon, the sod rolls begin to shrink and gaps form between rolls, or grass blades turn straw in color. If any of these signs are prevalent, the sod is not getting enough water, increase your watering times! If you are not sure what is going on, please call us as soon as possible!!!
  5. If you are not convinced your issues are due to lack of watering, try this test. Place like-sized containers in the problem area and another in a good and green area. Water for 15 to 30 minutes then measure and compare both containers. If the problem area is not getting the same amount of water then your sprinkler heads and system may need adjustments.

Staying Off Your New Sod

In the first 3 weeks, any use of the lawn should be avoided to give the roots an opportunity to become established and to ensure the lawn will remain smooth. During the first 3 weeks the watering schedule is very aggressive and any traffic on the new sod can also create indentations because the sod and ground underneath are wet and soft. Dogs are very hard on a lawn and can spot the lawn if the dogs are allowed to urinate on the lawn. Yellow spots will occur and are hard to avoid. It is recommended if you want to keep your lawn nice and green to have a separate area the dogs can use.



The 1st mowing should occur after the first 2-3 weeks. Do not let the lawn get too long where the blades begin to lay down or your mower cannot handle the job. If this occurs within the first 3 weeks, it is necessary to stop watering for a period of time to allow grass to dry and the ground to firm up enough to be mowed. It may also be necessary to mow the lawn in two passes for the first mowing, you do not want to mow more than the top 3rd of the blade at one time. So, if it is very long, raise the blade on the mower and mow, then lower the blade (no shorter than 3 inches) and mow again. Mowing off too much of the blade at one time can cause shock to the lawn and may create a dead spot in the lawn. If the grass appears yellow after mowing you are cutting off too much.