Tips for Excellent Growth and Maintenance

Whether you’ve just moved into a newly constructed home or decided to start from scratch on a trouble-plagued lawn, there are some secrets to enjoying easy to manage sod grass. If you have a lawn maintenance service care for your grass, you may want to review these tips with them to make sure they tend to your investment properly. If you’re taking care of your yard yourself, it’s a good idea to print and post these tips near your mower until you’re completely familiar with them.

When your sod is first installed:
• Water the sod twice a day during the first two weeks. Keep the sod moist – not drenched, not with water puddles.
• Stay off the grass! Any traffic that treads on your sod risks seam separation and root detachment. If you must cross your yard, walk as gently as possible.

When you first mow your sod:
• You can usually mow your sod three weeks after it is installed, or when it grows to a height of about three inches tall – whichever happens first.
• Set your mower height to two and a half inches so you don’t cause distress by cutting the grass too short.
• Never cut the sod if it’s wet. Cutting wet sod puts the yard at risk for developing a matting problem, which leads to an ailing root system.
• Mow once a week as long as the sod is growing. Never cut more than a third of the grass blade’s height during a single mowing.

How to weed and feed:
• After you first mow your sod, feed it with a nitrogen concentrated fertilizer. In subsequent years, use a pre-emergent each spring and fall. This should help keep any weeds from getting out of hand.
• Fertilize every six to eight weeks during the growing season. Be sure to follow all the directions so you don’t use too much nitrogen. A light application of fertilizer is far more beneficial than applying too much. Try using organic fertilizers that are generally lower in nitrogen content.
• Combat crabgrass with a post-emergent herbicide, not with weed and feed. Weed and feed will only make crabgrass grow and spread.

Water smart:
• Water your sod less frequently, but for a longer period of time. This promotes healthy roots that are able to grow deep and keep your grass looking healthy.
• Water in the winter. When your sod is first planted, watering is especially crucial – even in areas that don’t experience a freeze. Once a week if it doesn’t rain is a good rule-of-thumb.
• Water in the morning. Watering early in the day helps you avoid evaporation. It also helps to prohibit the growth of yard fungus, which often happens in yards that are watered in the late afternoon and evening.

By following these tips, you can enjoy easy-to-manage sod grass that’s the envy of your neighborhood. With a little maintenance, your grass can become healthy, hardy, and lush – just the kind of yard you hoped for when you first planted your sod.

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About the Author
Author: Mr. Hank


  Installing & Caring for Your New Sod Lawn  

If you are interested in a quicker and easier way to get a lush, green lawn, installing Sod in lieu of old fashioned seeding could be the alternative you've been looking for. Seeding a lawn can sometimes take an entire season to mature. Planting sod is a relatively easy task to complete, and you can lay sod anytime from early spring to late fall as long as it is adequately and regularly watered. The greatest disadvantage to sod is its higher cost (grass seed typically costs much less), however the rapid results can be well worth the initial investment.

In this post, we will outline the steps needed to install sod on your lawn.

* Lay the first row in against a straight line such as walkways or fencing
* Tightly mash the ends of each sod roll together
* Lay each row in a staggered pattern
* Cut sod to custom-fit irregularly shaped areas
* Tamp seams with the back of a rake or shovel

Soil Preparation

Soil preparation for sod is very similar to seeding, but the main difference is the finished grade of the soil. Because sod comes with its own soil attached, the grade should be approximately 1.5″ to 2″ below surrounding hard surfaces. You should apply a starter fertilizer high in phosphorus or lime, depending on your base soil's pH level, to the soil surface and lightly rake it in to the soil. After soil preparation, you are ready to start planting the sod.

Laying the Sod

Sod should be planted as soon as possible after it is harvested. If you are unable to lay it immediately after purchasing, store it in a shaded area to prevent killing it. The first row should be placed along a straight edge such as a walkway, fencing or driveway. Place the next row at the end of the first mashing the ends together, avoiding any gaps between each row. Each adjacent row should be laid in a staggered brickwork type pattern. When sodding slopes, you should lay the sod perpendicular to the slope (vertically along the rise) and use stakes to temporarily hold it in place.

You should use a board to stand on previous rows to spread your weight out as you work and prevent gouging the sod. Not all lawns are perfectly rectangular like sod, so you may need to trim the sod along curved portions. For a guide you can use sections of string to cut straight lines and a garden hose for curves. It is easiest to cut the sod with a heavy knife, small hatchet or a half-moon edger.

When all the sod is firmly in place, tamp down all the sod rows with the back of a rake or shovel to remove any air spaces between the sod and the soil, as air pockets cause the sod to dry out and die because it wont be able to draw water from the soil underneath. The last task to perform is to water the newly laid sod sections. You should aim for wetting the upper 6 to 8 inches of soil. This will help the roots search for moisture and grow deep into the soil. Continue watering deeply, but space each application to avoid a constant saturation of the soil. Over-watering soil can delay the growth of roots.


You should avoid walking on the lawn until the sod has rooted well to the soil beneath it. This often takes as long as two to three weeks. You can check by very gently lifting up on the grass. If the sod layer doesn't raise up, then it is rooting and most likely in good health. One month or so after sodding you can begin to treat it like a mature lawn. You should apply a standard lawn fertilizer and begin a regular watering schedule of around 1″ per week.

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About the Author
Author: Kostas Menegakas

Kostas Menegakis is the owner and manager of Landscapes R Us, a local residential and commercial landscaping company in High Point, NC, also serving the greater Piedmont Triad area.

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