Tips For Keeping Your Sod Healthy In The First Month

Posted on: 24 January 2018


The finishing touch on a new landscape design is the sod. Sod is usually installed after the mulch beds are in, the shrubs are planted, the patios are installed, and the trees are placed. Grass comes last because it is more delicate and because it fills in the blanks after every other design element is in place. 

After the grass is installed, many people make the mistake of feeling like their landscape is done and no longer needs attention. However, if not properly cared for during and directly after installation, sod can die, leaving you with a lawn that requires professional remediation or even replacement.

These tips can help you keep your sod alive during the first month. 

1. Don't skimp on prep.

Sod needs a nice base of soil to knit down solid roots. You should never install grass over a bare, hard earth that has been packed by construction vehicles. Sod also does best if the base soil is rich in nutrients. Be sure you also order and spread a nice thick layer of top soil directly before installing your sod. Don't lay the soil too soon, or it runs the risk of becoming packed or running off in a rain storm. 

2. Water.

It may seem like a basic care step, but many people underestimate how much water new sod actually needs. Most sod rolls or layers are dried out a bit as they sit waiting for installation, and water can help the roots begin to recover and knit down right away. Directly after installation, the grass should have a long, deep drink. Watering your sod deeply helps to promote deep root growth. Shallow, frequent watering promotes shallow root growth, making the grass more susceptible to disease and drought. 

3. Keep people from walking on the grass.

It might seem cliche, but excess foot traffic does cause stress to grass, and it does make it more difficult for grass to "bounce back" after the shock of transplant. After the sod has been installed, keep kids and pets off the grass until you can no longer discern the different squares of sod. Not only will rough foot traffic on the sod harm the grass, but it can also pull up the edges of sod squares, keeping them from knitting down uniformly. Uneven or patchy grass can be the result.

For more information on custom landscaping and design, contact a professional in your area.