How To Care For New Sod

sod landscaping service

How To Care For New Sod

New sod is the grass grown in a nursery and then transplanted to a new location. It is essential to care for new sod properly to ensure it establishes itself and thrives in its new environment.

New sod will need to be watered daily for the first two weeks and then twice weekly for the following two weeks. It will also need to be fertilized and protected from weeds during this time. However, after two weeks, it should be able to sustain itself with regular watering and maintenance. This is because the new sod needs to establish a robust root system during the first two weeks and will need plenty of water. In addition, fertilizing and protecting it from weeds will help ensure that the sod has the best chance of thriving and becoming self-sustaining.

New Sod Care Timeline

The timeline for taking care of newly laid sod is vital for the health of your new lawn. The first step is to water the sod regularly and deeply to help it establish a root system. The second step is to fertilize the sod two weeks after it has been laid. This will help promote strong, healthy growth. Finally, mow the sod once it reaches a height of 3-4 inches. Deep watering helps the sod’s roots

penetrate the soil beneath and grow stronger. Fertilizing provides the necessary nutrients to promote growth and help the sod establish itself in its new environment. Mowing at the right height allows the sod to set a robust and dense root system and helps it resist drought and weeds better.

When To Fertilize New Sod

Fertilization should begin four to six weeks after the installation of new sod. Fertilizing too early can burn the roots of the fresh grass, so it’s essential to wait the appropriate amount before beginning fertilization. A balanced fertilizer should be used, and the amount and frequency should be based on the instructions on the fertilizer’s label. The new sod needs time to become established in the soil before it can take in nutrients from the fertilizer. If you fertilize too soon, the roots may not be able to absorb the nutrients, leading to fertilizer burn. Additionally, applying the wrong type or too much fertilizer can also burn the grass, so following the instructions on the label is essential.

Best Fertilizer For New Sod

For new sod, a slow-release, balanced fertilizer such as a 15-15-15 NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) is recommended. This provides the necessary nutrients for root establishment and healthy growth. Additionally, applying a starter fertilizer with higher phosphorus content can also be beneficial for root development. The steps for the best fertilizer for new sod are as follows:

  • Choose a slow-release, balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 15-15-15 or a starter fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content.
  • Apply fertilizer after installing and watering the new sod, usually 2-4 weeks later.
  • Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the appropriate amount to use per square foot of sod.
  • Water the area thoroughly after fertilizing to help the nutrients reach the roots.
  • Repeat fertilization every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
  • Reduce fertilization frequency as the sod matures and adjust the amount used based on soil test results to avoid over-fertilization and potential harm to the sod.

How To Care For New Sod In Winter

During winter, it’s essential to keep new sod adequately watered and protected from extreme temperatures and weather. First, regularly monitor soil moisture levels and adjust accordingly. Next, fertilize the lawn with a low-nitrogen fertilizer, and mow the grass regularly to keep it at the proper height. Finally, protect the sod from freezing temperatures by spreading a layer of mulch or straw over the grass. Here are the steps for caring for new sod in winter:

  • Water: Provide adequate water to prevent the sod from drying, but avoid over-watering.
  • Mulching: Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch to insulate the roots and retain moisture.
  • Fertilizing: Fertilize the sod once in late fall, but avoid applying fertilizer in winter.
  • Snow Removal: Remove snow accumulation promptly to avoid suffocating the sod.
  • Protection: Cover the sod with burlap or other protective material if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.
  • Mowing: Do not mow the sod in winter, as the grass will go dormant, and mowing will only damage the roots.
  • Weeds: Keep an eye out for weeds and remove them promptly to avoid competition for water and nutrients.

How To Care For New Sod In Summer

Here are the steps to care for new sod in summer:

Water regularly: Keep the sod consistently moist, watering deeply 2-3 times daily.

Mow sparingly: Wait until the sod has rooted, then cut it to a recommended height.

Fertilize: Use a balanced fertilizer to encourage growth and establish a robust root system.

Avoid heavy foot traffic: Limit activity on the sod until it can fully root.

Keep weeds at bay: Use an herbicide to prevent weed growth and protect your new sod.

Benefits Of Caring For New Sod In Summer

  • Promotes root growth: Proper watering and care of new sod in summer help the roots establish quickly, leading to a strong and healthy lawn.
  • Reduces stress: The hot summer weather can stress new sod, but proper care and attention can help reduce this stress and promote growth.
  • Prevents disease: Regular watering and mowing of new sod can prevent the growth of disease-causing fungi, helping to keep your lawn healthy.
  • Increases drought tolerance: By establishing deep roots, new sod will be better equipped to handle hot and dry summer weather, making it more drought-tolerant.
  • Enhances appearance: A well-cared-for new sod lawn will have a lush, green build, making it a beautiful addition to any property.

How Often To Water Sod After 3 Weeks

It is recommended to water new sod every 1-2 days for the first 2-3 weeks, ensuring that the soil beneath stays are consistently moist. Then, gradually reduce the watering frequency as the sod establishes roots, aiming to water once every 3-5 days in weeks 4-8. After eight weeks, adjust watering based on weather and soil moisture levels.


Caring for new sod is important in ensuring a healthy and vibrant lawn. Explore Landscaping is here to help you do this. Watering and fertilizing your sod regularly, mowing it at the right height, and controlling weeds and pests are all critical steps to keeping your sod looking its best. With proper care, your sod can provide you with a lush, green lawn for years to come.

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