Watering New Sod

Watering Results After One Week

Chart shows images of grass that was

  • never watered
  • watered after one week
  • watered third, fourth & fifth day
  • watered after one week
  • watered immediately & every day thereafter

Water is essential to all life… too little water and we die, too much and we drown.

The same is true of the grass in our lawns. Water makes up 70% to 80% of the weight of our lawn grasses and the clippings alone are nearly 90% water. While most people are concerned about not watering their lawns enough, the fact is, more lawns are damaged or destroyed by over-watering. [1]

New Sod Recommendation

Use water wisely and practice water conservation. To establish itself, newly installed sod has very important watering needs. Proper watering immediately after installation to ensure turf establishment, and it will also have an impact on how well the lawn continues to flourish for years to come. Give your new lawn at least 2 to 3 cm. (1 in.) of water within 1/2 hour of installation. Water daily, keeping turf moist until it is firmly rooted (about 2 weeks). Then less frequent and deeper watering should begin.

The amount of water required for an established lawn will be determined by its overall health, beauty and ability to withstand use and drought. One inch a week is the standard water requirement for most lawns; however, this will vary between different turf species and even among cultivars within a species. There will also be varying water requirements for seasonal changes and still more differences brought about because of different soil types. Some helpful advice, look at your lawn to determine if it needs water.

Grass in need of water will have a grey-blue cast to it, rather than a blue-green or green color. Also, foot prints will still be visible after a half-hour or more on a lawn in need of water, while on a well watered lawn foot-prints will completely disappear within minutes.

You can also use a soil probe, such as a screwdriver or large spike to determine how dry your lawn is. If the probe can be pushed into the soil easily, it’s probably still moist, but if it takes a lot of pressure to push in, it’s time to water.

Remember too, just because your lawn turns brown during extremely dry periods doesn’t mean it’s dying; grass will go dormant during such periods but it still requires at least one inch of water per week. Your lawn doesn’t have to be green to be healthy.

[1] Reprinted with permission from the Turf Resource Center

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