Turf grass establishment and care of newly planted
Outlined below is a schedule for grow-in of newly
Watering: Watering is one of the more difficult
cultural practices to
discuss for new sod. This is because sod is planted at different
of the year, on different types of soil and there are several
types of turfgrasses planted from sod.
Generally, as soon as the sod is planted water
the new sod until the
soil is thoroughly soaked. Do not apply the water to run-off.
water every day or every other day for the first couple of weeks.
need to apply enough water to keep the sod from drying out.
spring and fall months once per day should be plenty and you
may be able
to go everyother day. In the summer months, it may be necessary
water twice a day for the first couple of weeks.
I see more individuals over water their new sod
than not apply enough
water. If you keep the new sod soaked for a month, the roots
grow down into the native soil. Allowing the sod in the soil
to dry a
little will help encourage the roots to grow down into the native
Also, keeping the soil saturated, will eliminate available oxygen
the roots, which will affect active root growth.
After a couple of weeks, then start watering less
often and applying
more water per application. By the end of the month you should
to water the sod on a weekly or twice a week schedule.
Mowing: You could actually mow the day the sod
is planted. However,
wait until the new turfgrass has grown to a height that is 30
above the desire mowing height. For example, St. Augustinegrass
be mowed around 2 to 2.5 inches in height. Once the new grass
approximately 3.0 to 3.5 inches, it is time to start mowing.
always mow your lawn on a frequency so that you never remove
30 to 40 percent of the leaf blades.
Fertilization: Turfgrasses grown in sod farms
is generally well
fertilized. Newly planted sod usually does not need to be fertilized
for at least a month after planting. I would recommend making
application of a 3-1-2 to 4-1-2 fertilizer to the new sod approximately
one four to six weeks after planting.
Weed Control: I would not apply a herbicide to
the new sod until it is
well rooted. St. Augustinegrass planted in the spring should
not need a
herbicide application until the fall months. I would recommend
a preemergent herbicide in the fall for the control of winter
Extension Turfgrass Specialist, Dallas