Watering is dependent on several factors including time of year, recent and current rainfall, and type of irrigation/water method being applied. Generally you want to keep new grass saturated for at least two weeks. The idea is to keep the soil under the sod moist as well as the soil that comes with each sod piece. This is vitally important for root establishment.
Water early in the morning to take advantage of the daily start of the grass’s growing cycle, lower wind speeds and to avoid evaporation.
Make certain that water is reaching all areas of your new lawn, regardless of the type of irrigation system you use. Corners and edges are easily missed by many sprinklers and are particularly vulnerable to drying out faster than the center portion of your lawn. Also, areas near buildings, sidewalks, and driveways tend to dry-out faster because of reflected heat and may require more water.
It is essential to begin watering new sod within a half hour after it is laid on the soil. Apply at least 1 inch of water so that the soil beneath the turf is very wet. Ideally, the soil 3 to 4 inches below the surface will be moist. After watering, simply lift up a corner of the sod and check the soil underneath for moisture.
Make sure you keep an eye on your sod during this first week. If an area starts to turn brown, it’s most likely not getting enough water. Brown grass does not mean the grass is dead, it only indicates that the leaves have died. If you catch this early enough and adjust the amount of water to that area you’ll likely see new green leaves emerge in seven to ten days.
During the first week in particular, we recommend you check your lawn daily to ensure that it is receiving an adequate amount of water. Proper watering immediately after installation will enable successful root establishment, and directly impact how well the lawn flourishes for years to come.
Weeks Two and Three
Keep the below-turf soil surface moist with daily (or more frequent) watering of approximately 20-30 minutes* or 1/4 inch each watering cycle. Especially hot, dry or windy periods will necessitate increased watering amounts and frequency. Learn to recognize signs of dry turf such as wilted leaves or needle-like appearances and water immediately if this occurs.
*it’s important to note that this time is needed for every area individually (i.e., if you have a irrigation system with separate stations, water time should be per individual station and not a total between all of them).
General Water Maintenance
If you plant during the summer months, your sod’s probably going to need more water than sod planted in April. On the contrary, if a rainstorm soaks your lawn one evening, you probably don’t need to water it the next morning.
Avoid prolonged periods of standing water in any area of the lawn. Overwatering can prevent the sod from rooting and prove just as damaging as not watering at all. Monitoring your lawn closely will allow you to correctly assess the amount of water needed.
If you have further questions about watering, please contact us today.