Guidelines for New Sod & Seed
Guidelines for New Sod
Immediately Following New Sod Installation:
- New sod should be watered three or more times daily for the first two weeks. The sod should be kept wet.
- All traffic across new sod should be avoided as it separates seams and disturbs the underlying grade.
- The first mowing can usually occur about 3 weeks after the installation or when the sod reaches the height of 3 to 3 1/2” tall be sure to dry the soil out enough so you do not leave impressions in your new lawn.
- Adjust mower height to approximately 3” and be certain that the blades are sharp.
- Do not water the day before mowing as this will mat the new sod.
- Repeat the mowing procedures approximately once a week during the growing season. Do not remove more then 1/3” of the grass blade per mowing.
Weeding and Fertilization:
- Do not fertilize for the first full year from when your sod is installed.
- After the first mowing, feed your new sod with a high nitrogen fertilizer (Nitrogen promotes good color and optimal root growth). In later years, a pre-emergent should be used in early spring to keep the weeds at a minimum.
- At approximately 6 week intervals from April through October, fertilize your lawn with a well balanced fertilizer at the recommended rate. It is best to fertilize in two directions at half of the recommended rate to assure proper coverage and overlap. Remember, more frequent, light applications will give better color then less frequent, heavy applications.
- Winter watering is very important, especially the first year when your root system may not have fully developed. Manually water your lawn at least once every four weeks. Using you irrigation system may result in freeze damage.
- As your lawn gets older, you will need to aerate in order to facilitate air movement as well as fertilizer and water intake. We recommend aerating your lawn at twice per season. Depending upon the traffic your lawn is receiving.
Guidelines for New Seed
Immediately Following Seeding:
- Keep seed evenly moist at all times until most of the seed has germinated (approximately 10 to 21 days depending on the type of the seed). In the summer months this may require watering two or three times per day at 5 to 10 minute intervals. Over watering will cause erosion and drowning; Drying between watering will cause the seedlings to die.
- Once the seed has germinated, reduce the watering slightly. Do not allow the seed bed to become excessively dry as it will stress the new seedlings and may cause them to die.
- Do not apply herbicides to the new seed areas as this will burn the new seedlings (see Weeding and Fertilization).
- Do not use weed and feed as this could kill any wild flowers and some types of native grasses, as an alternative hand weed or spot treat but be sure to stay away from trees and shrubs as well.
- The first mowing can usually occur between five to six weeks after the seeding has taken place. Mow in alternating directions without catching the clippings unless there is an abundance of flowering weeds. Allow the soil to dry just prior to mowing.
Weeding and Fertilization:
- After the grass plants have two leaves, you may want to apply a light application of a high phosphate fertilizer. If you start to see yellowing of seedlings, this also indicates it is time to fertilize.
- After the first mowing, the seed area is ready for an application of “Weed and Feed”. Be careful not to apply to much as this will burn the young area. A liquid application of a broadleaf herbicide can also be used (This application will be more effective on weeds). Be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully.
- At approximately six week intervals, fertilize the area with a well-balanced (20-10-5) fertilizer at the recommended rate. It is recommended to fertilize in two directions at half of the recommended rate to assure proper coverage and overlap.
- If weeds persist, Mow them before they flower, making sure to catch all of the clippings. Also, make several herbicide applications; spot spraying will probably be more effective and more efficient. Read and follow all of the directions very carefully for any Herbicide application.
- If you notice the grass is yellow this could be a good indicator to apply nitrogen, if you notice the grass looks purple this could be a good indicator to apply phosphorus.
- Do not be alarmed if weeds should appear in your seed area as this is perfectly normal. These weeds have come from seeds found in your soil or have blown into your seeded area.
- Once established, the seed area will perform better when watered heavily a fewer number of times rather then lightly a greater number of times. This promotes deeper root growth and a healthier stand of grass.
- Winter watering is very important especially in the first year when the root system may not be fully developed. Water your seeded area at least once every four weeks.
- It will take approximately one to three years for the seeded area to fill into a full area. Tender loving care will speed this process along.