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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.


Turf grass establishment and care of newly planted sod

Outlined below is a schedule for grow-in of newly planted sod.

Watering: Watering is one of the more difficult cultural practices to
discuss for new sod. This is because sod is planted at different times
of the year, on different types of soil and there are several different
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. Then
water every day or every other day for the first couple of weeks. You
need to apply enough water to keep the sod from drying out. In the
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 to
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 will not
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 soil.
Also, keeping the soil saturated, will eliminate available oxygen for
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 be able
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 to 40%
above the desire mowing height. For example, St. Augustinegrass should
be mowed around 2 to 2.5 inches in height. Once the new grass reaches
approximately 3.0 to 3.5 inches, it is time to start mowing. Then,
always mow your lawn on a frequency so that you never remove more than
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 a light
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 applying
a preemergent herbicide in the fall for the control of winter annual

James McAfee
Extension Turfgrass Specialist, Dallas