The establishment and maintenance of a sodded lawn requires proper care techniques. While following the correct procedure is not an absolute guarantee against future lawn problems, it does help avoid many common problems which can result in turf deterioration.
The importance of the initial watering cannot be over emphasized!!! We will begin watering the sod immediately after a portion of it is laid. You may be required to finish this watering. Water the sod heavily; making sure that not only the sod but the soil below is thoroughly saturated. The sprinkler will need to be left on each area for approximately 11/2-2hours.
Continue to water daily until the sod is firmly rooted, (about 2 weeks). After this less frequent but deep watering should continue. Lawns require about one inch of water per week taking into account rainfall in the total.
Pay special attention to areas that are often missed or may require extra water. These include areas around buildings where reflected heat dries the lawn out more quickly. Other areas to pay extra attention to would include corners and edges where sprinklers sometimes don’t reach.
Fertilizer was applied to your lawn at the time of installation. We recommend a fertilization program that includes two applications per year, one in spring and the second in late summer-early fall. If the sod was installed in spring through mid summer we would recommend doing the late summer-early fall application at the correct time. Installation done in late summer through fall would not require more fertilizer until the next spring.
We also recommend that you use a “name brand”, slow release product. Follow the manufacturers recommended application rate, applying it to lawns that are not wet from dew, recent rains, or irrigation.
When the sod has knit down, (grass has rooted down), and it has grown to a height of approximately 3”-4” it should be mowed. Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf tissue. Doing so, puts the lawn under stress which in turn makes it more susceptible to other types of injury. If more than 1/3 does need to be removed, do it by mowing twice over a period of a few days.
Maintain your lawn at a height between 2.5”-3.5”. A taller lawn limits weed growth, reduces water requirements and promotes strong root growth.
A thick, healthy lawn will help in preventing weeds from becoming established. Should they become a problem, herbicides may be applied to help eliminate them. We recommend the use of liquid herbicides, applying them in mid-May or more preferably mid-September. Always pay close attention to the label for application rates, precaution statements and other important information.
Insect and Disease Control
If your lawn should develop an insect or disease problem in the future, the most important aspect of treating it is the correct diagnosis. Once identified, the safest and most effective treatment can be applied.
As was mentioned earlier, the best defense against problems like these is to maintain a healthy lawn by establishing a sound watering, fertilization, mowing, and weed control program.
If you have any questions concerning these instructions or if you encounter any problems as you work to establish your lawn, please feel free too give us a call.