Newly installed sod can enhance the aesthetics of any residential or commercial property by transforming once barren spaces into vibrant, green areas. Unfortunately, many property owners tend to make mistakes such as over-watering, under-watering, or following inconsistent watering schedules and the performance of the new grass suffers. In this article, we will guide you through the instructions for watering new sod to ensure a lush and healthy lawn.
During the first 2-3 weeks after installation, watering is essential to promote root establishment. New sod requires ample moisture, and you need to water it deeply and frequently. The time required to water your sod depends on your soil type, drainage system, and weather conditions. A typical watering schedule involves two watering sessions daily, preferably in the morning and early evening, for 10 to 14 days. The goal is to maintain soil moisture levels to give the roots as much opportunity for establishment as possible.
Transition to Normal Watering
After the first couple weeks, you can transition to a more regular watering schedule. For most properties in the west and northwest Twin Cities metro this will be running your irrigation system every other day for 20-40 minutes per zone (depending on sprinkler head set up) to ensure the soil receives adequate moisture. This promotes deep root growth, which allows your lawn to withstand drought and extreme temperatures.
When During the Day Should I Water?
It’s ideal to water new sod in the early morning and then again in the early evening for the first couple weeks. Then reduce your watering schedule to once per day at pre-dawn hours. This is best as it gives the soil the ability to absorb the water while reducing the chance for fungus to sprout because the sun will rise and dry the grass blades.
Soil Types Play a Big Factor
The west and northwest Twin Cities metro areas offer a wide array of soil types, from sandy soils in many areas of Champlin, to heavy clay in Maple Grove, Plymouth, Corcoran, Wayzata, and many surrounding areas. With the soil diversity brings different strategies for watering since clay holds moisture much longer than sand does. For lawns with sandy soil, it’s best to water for a longer duration to maximize soil absorption. For clay-based lawns, it’s best to water more frequently and for a shorter duration since clay can only absorb so much water before it’ll start running off into the storm drain.
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Check out our other posts about sod, including: “How Much Does it Cost to Install Sod in Minnesota?” and “Pros and Cons of Sod vs. Grass Seed“.