Prepare the area
If at all possible, install a permanent underground irrigation system and check the water application is uniform. Most sod failures are due to improper coverage of irrigation. Eliminate draining problems by having soil slope away from foundation, etc. Rake and smooth the soil and remove rocks and roots prior to laying sod. Water the prepared area and provide a moist base for the sod.
Laying the Sod
Install your sod immediately upon delivery. Sod should be laid within 24 hours of delivery. Begin watering the sod within 30 minutes of installation. Don’t wait to water the sod until you are finished with the entire project. Sod requires contact with the soil and moisture to survive.
- Handle sod carefully to avoid breakage.
- Fit sod pieces together snugly, with ends touching.
- When needed, trim sod with a sharp knife.
- Water as you go. Thoroughly water the sod.
- An application of fertilizer 6 weeks after laying sod is recommended. Sod comes fully fertilized. New roots need to grow into soil. Fertilizer can burn the new roots and prevent the sod from rooting in.
- Begin mowing sod when roots are established. Root establishment takes approximately 2 weeks.
- Stay off of your sod for at least 14 days. Control pets. Urine spots and foot printing on new sod can cause permanent damage.
How much, how often?
Proper watering is essential to the establishment of your new sod.
- Check your local requirements regarding watering regulations.
- During the first week, keep the sod and soil beneath thoroughly moist.
- Frequency and length of waterings will depend on how warm, how windy and how rapidly the lawn dries out following each watering. The goal during the first week is to keep the sod and soil beneath moist all the time. A general guide, water twice a day during the first week.
- Watering times should be 15 to 20 minutes (3/4”-1”) per watering. These numbers may need to be increased during very hot weather.
- If water starts to collect, or if local weather conditions provide rain, cut back a bit on the watering time.
- Reduce watering during the second week, gradually allowing the soil to firm up.
- After 3 weeks, your sod should be established.