Watering New Sod

Important! Begin watering new sod within 30 minutes after it has been laid. This initial soaking followed by proper watering until it roots into the soil is vital to the success of your new lawn.

how to water new sod

How much water?

Freshly laid sod should be thoroughly soaked. Lift a couple of select pieces to check your watering. Make sure the sod is wet underneath – the soil should be moist 4 to 6 inches deep.

For the next two weeks – or until the sod has rooted – water to keep it moist. Pay close attention to edges, corners and areas near buildings – these spots tend to dry out quickly and may need additional hand watering. Check it twice a day during the first two weeks.

Water new sod to keep it moist but not wet or mucky. More is not better, water-logged soils will stunt grass growth.

After the sod has rooted, keep it watered enough to promote healthy growth. This is usually 1 inch per week.

Sprinkler watering lawn

Pay attention to weather and grass color

When it is hot, dry or windy you will have to water more frequently. For example, in the spring and fall you might only have to irrigate every other day compared to 2 or maybe even 3 times a day in hot, dry summer conditions.

Tip: if the new turf gets dry and turns brown, it is probably not dead but has just gone dormant. Give it a good soaking and then keep it moist. In a couple of weeks it should green up.

Tip: water slopes and hills in frequent cycles to avoid runoff.

The color of the grass will also give you clues.

  • Green = Good
  • Purplish-blue = Wilting/dry
  • Yellow/tan = Waterlogged

Once the turf is firmly rooted, water to encourage healthy growth and deep rooting.

New sod lawn

Best Time to Water

The most efficient time to irrigate is in the early morning. Temps are usually cool and winds are calm in the early morning and this reduces the amount of evaporation. Watering in the evening creates a wet environment that favors turfgrass disease.

sod rolls
These tips for watering new sod have been adapted from the recommendations of Turfgrass Producers International.

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