The fastest and easiest means of growing a lawn is by sodding. An average new sod lawn can take just a few hours to install. The thing that matters most, however, is its care. From the point of installation, and the first few weeks into a new lawn, regular maintenance takes precedence.
Installation and care also depend on other factors as well. For example, it’s quite crucial to know what season of the year, and the kind of soil you are working with. If what you have on your hands is, in fact, dry soil, then even more effort must be factored in.
On the other hand, much cooler temperatures, easily allow your new lawn to take root much faster because of the soil’s ability to retain moisture.
The following are some of the very important steps you can apply.
When And How Much To Water
The first two weeks of irrigation are quite crucial.
SOD can only survive in an environment with sufficient moisture. Even so, the amount of water depends on the season when you are installing your lawn; so that you do not under /over water the landscape.
Once you have installed the brand new sod, you need to water it quite thoroughly on that first day. Then depending on the pressure, and how much water the sprinkler projects, you need to water the lawn for at least 30 minutes each day, for the first 10-14 days.
In climates that are much drier, with temperatures above 65 degrees, you can take it a notch higher and do the irrigation two times in a day. Basically, it is to ensure that the new sod lawn does not dry out for lack of moisture.
It’s also quite essential that the water goes deep into the soil. Care must be taken though, that in as much as the place needs to be moist, it should not soak at all. It’s because too much water can rob the soil of its oxygen.
From day 10, you can try and test how much the new sod has taken root. It can be done by lifting a corner section of the new lawn. You definitely see that its firm and doesn’t come off quite easily. It also means that the roots have sunk in well, and the sod is growing.
This allows you to transition into a period where you can use less water, feeding the lawn with just an inch of water on a weekly basis. You need to ensure that every patch of soils soaks in about 4 inches of water.
Watering is best done either in the morning or evening hours when temperatures are cool. It allows the soils to retain as much moisture as possible. Care should also be taken not to step on the new sod lawn as you can easily cause soil depression and eventual soil compaction.
When to Cut
Cutting of the lawn can be done whenever it attains 4 inches of height. This can range from 3 weeks, and beyond after installation. But you also need to know which type of grass you are dealing with, as each species has its recommended height at which should be cut.
For example, some types require that you trim at about 2 to 3 inches of height. Nevertheless, common sense should apply, such as ensuring that the lawn has actually taken root before you attempt to cut.
The mower blades should also be sharp enough while making sure that you just shave off 1/3 of the top section. Also, any clippings need to be left on the ground to rot and serve as manure for the growing lawn.
When It’s Safe to Walk On
When it comes to new sod lawn care, traffic along the installation area needs to be greatly minimized especially in the first 3 weeks. You basically need to stay off the lawn as much as you can to avoid situations where you are leaving deep depressions in the ground.
Such can cause soil compaction, and affect moisture distribution. In this case, all heavy activity on the lawn needs to be restricted for the first one month after installation. Once you are sure that the roots are firm in the soil you can safely walk, and do any other activity on the lawn.
Signs of Trouble and How to Resolve
There are some common problems which you need to quickly take care of. For example;
Too much water gets the soil to be soggy, which in the process denies the roots the much-needed moisture. The sod then begins to turn color, rot and die. The immediate sign that there is a problem is that of an unsightly yellow grass.
If you lift a section of the sod, you see that it’s loose, and kind of unlively; the patches can be brown and soft. If it’s around 2 to 3 weeks after installation, you need to quickly replace that patch as it’s quite difficult for rotting sod to recover and germinate.
Walking on your lawn before it sets can cause soil compaction. The soil underneath becomes unusually hard, such that water and manure/fertilizer cannot reach the growing roots. The roots in that section are therefore weak, and can’t sustain a proper lawn. The best solution is call in soil experts to do aeration.
You can create a magnificent sod a lawn in a matter of weeks. All it needs is proper and dedicated care. From giving it sufficient water, keeping off from walking on the fresh new sod to knowing the right height when to cut you can have the best lawn ever.
You also need to be quite alert to any signs of trouble. Timely intervention can you save a lot of costs in repair or replacement. The time of year when you are layering your new sod lawn is your best guide.
If the temperatures are cool you need to go slow on overwatering, so that you do not leave the ground all damp. On the other hand, if the temperatures are hot, you need to give your lawn sufficient amounts for it to thrive.