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North Metro Companies Basic Sod Care
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North Metro Companies, LLC
2402 Hwy 55
Medina, MN 55340
Phone: 763.682.6008
Fax: 763.684.8067
Contact Us Today!

Basic Sod Care

Watering your new sod after it has been installed is very critical. It is essential to begin watering newly installed Sod within a ½ hour after it is laid on the soil. Regular watering is necessary until the root system has become deeply established, usually one full growing season.

The following is a guide for the first 4 weeks after installation:

First Two Weeks after Installation

  • Apply at least 1/2” of water, two times daily, allowing the water to soak into the soil beneath the sod. It should feel squishy when you walk on it.
  • To determine how long to run your sprinkler, use a small can with low sides placed in the sod to measure the water (a tuna or cat food can works well)
  • Check the soil moisture by lifting up a corner of the turf and push a screwdriver into the soil. It should push in easily and have moisture along the first 3 or 4 inches.
  • Runoff may occur on some soils and sloped areas before the soil is adequately moist. To conserve water and insure adequate soak-in, turn off the water when runoff begins, wait 30 minutes to an hour and restart the watering on the same area, repeating as needed.
  • If the edges are turning brown and/or there are gaps between rolls -  Sod is shrinking or has pulled up at the corners - Due to lack of Water!  Increase minutes per watering and frequency to minimize gaps. Also, hand watering sod in those areas will help shrink gaps. Press down edges with foot after watering.
  • Water as early in the morning as possible to take advantage of the daily start of the grass's normal growing cycle, usually lower wind speeds and considerably less loss of water because of high temperature evaporation.
  • If the weather is especially hot, dry or windy it will necessitate increased watering amounts & frequency

Weeks 3-4

  • Re-adjust your watering time: Reduce frequency of waterings gradually after each mowing, while increasing the duration of each watering. Deeper, less frequent soakings will help roots grow down deeper and establish more quickly into the soil.
  • May need to mow sod if it has reached 4” to 5” in height. Make sure that the sod is firmly rooted before mowing for the first time.
  • Mow no shorter than 3" – Your lawn will be healthier & better able to out-complete most weeds. A good rule to follow – Never remove more than 1/3 of the height of the sod at a time.
  • Fertilizing is not recommended for the first 60 days after installation of new sod.

Watering Techniques

Proper watering techniques are a critical aspect of lawn watering, equal in importance to the issues of when to water and how much to water. Here are several key factors to proper technique:

  • Avoid hand sprinkling because it cannot provide the necessary uniformity as most people do not have the patience, time or "eye" to adequately measure what is being applied across any larger areas of lawn. The only possible exception to this guideline would be the need to syringe the surface of the grass to cool it, or to provide additional water near buildings or other heat-reflecting surfaces.
  • Understand the advantages of different sprinkler designs, because each type has its advantages and disadvantages and its proper use will be determined by the type of sprinkler you select.
  • In-Ground Systems require professional design and installation and they require routine adjustments and regular maintenance to be most effective and efficient. The greatest mistake made with most in-ground systems is the "set it and forget it" philosophy that fails to account for the changing seasonal water requirements to maximize turf grown or even allowing the system to operate during or following a multi-inch rain storm. Another frequent problem is when heads get out of alignment and apply water to the sidewalk, street or house-siding, rather than to the lawn.
  • Hose-End Sprinklers range in complexity, cost and durability, but are highly portable and can provide uniform and consistent coverage, when properly placed on the yard and adequately maintained.
  • Sprinklers that do not throw the water high into the air are usually more efficient because prevailing winds are less disruptive of distribution patterns, the potential for evaporation loss is reduced and trees, shrubs and other plants do not block the pattern (or are very noticeable if they do).
  • Several times during the growing/watering season, routine maintenance to check for blocked outlets, leaking or missing gaskets, or mis-aligned sprinkler heads is important, regardless of the sprinkler design.

Watering the Established Lawn

With the exception of long periods of hot dry weather, an inch of water per week should keep your lawn green and in good condition. Should Mother Nature need a little assistance, it is better to water your lawn deeply once a week, instead of doing a little each day. This encourages deeper rooting, and better overall health of your lawn. Another important reason for weekly watering, is that many weeds are shallow rooted, and a little water every day is exactly what our little lawn enemies need to flourish!!

Fertilizing your Lawn

Of all the elements needed to keep your lawn healthy and green, none is as important as NITROGEN. Nitrogen promotes leaf and stem growth, makes lawns greener and more luxurious. In addition to nitrogen, two other key components essential for a healthy lawn are Phosphorus and Potash. They both promote general root development and rhizomes (underground runners, from which develop new stems and blades) First feeding combined with a  pre-emergent herbicide if needed, should take place two weeks on either side of April 15th, depending on the spring. Second feeding, should be applied around Memorial Day. And the third feeding should be applied two weeks on either side of Labor Day to help winterize your lawn. This feeding helps prepare the grass for our harsh winters, and keeps it green throughout the fall.

Visit your local Garden Center or Farm Seed and Fertilizer Center for top quality fertilizer. Note the recommended rates of application, percentages, and conditions of application.

For more information, contact North Metro Companies, LLC today!