Tips for Keeping Your Sod Alive

Posted by Joe Mouad on Apr 23, 2018 5:29:08 AM

Landscape enhancements add value to real estate investment-up to 11% according to studies. Adding a sodded lawn will certainly offer a great return on your investment. Remember, once you've laid your sod lawn, the initial few months are crucial to ensure it thrives and survives, so you can obtain your money's worth from it.

Although we sometimes think of sod as an instantaneous lawn, it requires weeks of care to get it established and prevent it from dying. If you're wondering how to care for your lawn after Orlando sod installation, check out these tips.


It's important you douse the sod with water once you lay it, within the initial hour at the latest. Watering often prevents the delicate roots from drying out, particularly if the sod is exposed to sunlight and it prevents it from shrinking.

Ensure the watering takes place uniformly, so it reaches down and becomes damp. Soak it in water for the initial two weeks. In the event that temperatures increase, or if you reside in a hot region, you can turn on the sprinklers after every two hours to ensure water penetrates the soil through every sod panel, particularly the seam and the edges.

During summer, it's best to water either early morning or at night (when there's a lower likelihood of evaporation). Don't water in the evenings because it might increase the likelihood of fungus development.

If you notice the sod has started paling in color, it implies that it isn't obtaining sufficient water. Continue watering thoroughly so it obtains moisture and resumes its former color. Once your sod is well rooted, you can decrease the heavy watering program to once every two weeks for half an hour to ensure the soil is slightly moist.

However, on the days when it's unusually hot, you can water twice daily, once at night and in the morning (for 15 minutes each).

Watering tips

  • Ensure water reaches every area of your lawn. Numerous sprinklers miss edges and corners easily and these are especially vulnerable to drying out faster than the center segment of the lawn. Bear in mind that regions near buildings dry out faster due to reflected heat and may need more water.
  • Runoff may take place on some sloped regions and soils before the soil is sufficiently moist. To ensure sufficient soaking and water conservation, turn off the water once runoff starts, wait between 30 minutes and an hour and resume the watering in a similar area. Repeat the procedure until the attainment of appropriate soil moisture.


Don't fertilize your newly planted lawn for approximately 60 days after sodding. The grass's short root system during this establishment period implies the grass has little capacity for nutrient absorption. Consequently, fertilizing throughout this period may result in increased nutrient escape beyond the roots through the soil.

Moreover, because the sod is typically fertilized before harvest, it won't usually need extra fertilizer throughout the establishment period. If the sod seems to lack adequate nutrients (spindly growth and yellow coloration), apply the fertilizer 30 days after sodding, if possible, ask the sod installer or grower when the last fertilization took place.

Before it's time to fertilize your newly established lawn, consider a soil test to establish the nutrients that are readily available for plant uptake. In most Florida areas, phosphorus is present in the soil in adequate quantities for lawn grasses, so phosphorus applications might not be necessary for numerous Florida lawns or may be necessary for small quantities.

Keep Traffic off Your Sod

Even the slightest pressure on the new sod could cause the fragile root system to tear before the full formation occurs. If you have any pets or children, you should cordon off the section where you've laid the sod by creating a simple and practical wire frame that will serve its function.


Wait at least five weeks before mowing the sod to make sure the roots are established into the soil (and won't break because of the mower's weight). Don't mow beyond 1/3 of the leaf's length the initial time. After this, take it down from there with every consecutive mowing (until you attain the height you want to maintain).


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