Watering Guidelines

First things first - when your sod was harvested, many of the roots that sustained it were left behind in our fields. This makes keeping the root zone and below of your new sod MOIST (but not saturated or having puddles) for a minimum of 2-3 weeks. The time it takes your sod to grow new roots will vary according to time of year and weather conditions.

Initially, it will be ideal to water no less than once each morning. It is important to be sure the water moves through the blades of grass and into the root zone and underlying ground. If the weather is dry and/or windy, it is likely you will need to water a second time later in the same day, in particular if you notice excessive moisture loss. Initial moisture loss will NOT be due entirely to the roots utilizing all of the water, as they have not started regrowing yet. Some of the loss will simply be evapotranspiration due to lots of sunshine or windy conditions. It is critical that as your sod begins to show new white root hairs that these have access to moist soil at all times.

If the weather is HOT (temps higher than 80-85 degrees F) during the weeks after installation, you may want to consider a syringe about 1:30-2:00 pm in the afternoon. A syringe is a quick round of irrigation water to reduce the temperature of the sod itself. This literally can be 5 minutes per zone on your irrigation system or a very light layer of water from the end of a garden hose. This syringe is not meant to saturate the root zone but only to cool down the blades of grass.

As you test the root growth of sod by gently lifting from the center of the sod roll, you will eventually notice the sod is becoming more stable, which means the roots are growing. At this time, a moist growing zone is still necessary, but as the roots grow deeper, you will want to begin to wean your new grass off of a daily watering schedule. The best way to determine a proper watering schedule is to visit the sod in the afternoon and take note of current moisture conditions. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

After your sod has established itself, remember that watering deep - down through the root zone - and less often will encourage the roots of your sod to follow the water down and grow deep. This pattern of watering also discourages weed and Poa annua germination as well as reduces occurence of disease.

If you would like to talk more about the topic of proper watering, please feel free to call our farm and we will be happy to answer additional questions.

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