D. BREEN SOD FARMS
After the first two weeks of initial care for your newly planted sod, you will need to amend your rate of watering to avoid over-saturating your lawn. While you may need to experiment with timing and duration of your watering, doing so will ensure long-term lawn success.
If your site was prepared properly, with the dirt aerated and loosened prior to sod installation, your new sod will stand a much better chance of putting down new roots to extract moisture from your soil. However, the new sod needs about 2 weeks before that process can even begin. A lot depends on the weather which you should monitor. If it is very rainy, then your watering schedule should be cut back prudently. If it is very dry, you must be vigilant about checking on whether your sod is getting enough water.
WATERING: AFTER THE FIRST TWO WEEKS
Continue to provide at least one hour of water, but now every other day. It is also important that you check whether your irrigation system or manual watering method is reaching every square foot of new sod. Often, sod near buildings dries out faster because of ambient heat. Also, some sprinklers can miss property perimeters and out-of-reach edges. When in doubt, you can put out some containers to catch the water from your systems to see how much water is actually being distributed in all areas of your site. A properly functioning irrigation system is highly recommended for best results. At least an inch of water should be adequate to saturate the new sod but the ground below should get about 3-4 inches of water to encourage root growth. However, puddling should be prevented. If you over-water your sod, roots can begin to rot and sod will not survive.
WHAT TIME OF DAY IS BEST TO WATER?
It is commonly advised that watering your grass should occur early in the day and avoid watering in the evening. The reason for this is that water left on grass overnight can invite fungal disease.
CAN YOU WALK ON NEW SOD?
Since the sod is attempting to develop roots into your soil, heavy use of your new sod is discouraged for the first few weeks. Unrooted grass is also vulnerable to damage from dog urine which appears as yellowing. If you experience this problem, you can dissolve about a cup of baking soda in a gallon of water and apply to the yellow spot which will neutralize the excessive nitrogen the dog urine has added. As the sod matures, this will not continue to be such an obvious reaction.
SHOULD I FERTILIZE THE NEW SOD?
Wait until the new sod has rooted, usually within the first 3-4 weeks of installation. The sod you receive from D. Breen Sod Farms has been fertilized continually during its growing process so its health is quite robust when planted. Since your prepared soil should have been fertilized prior to sod planting, there is no urgency to fertilize right away. It is best to utilize a nitrogen fertilizer which releases slowly once applied. Be sure to follow proper guidelines to prevent damaging your new lawn.
WHEN SHOULD THE NEW SOD BE MOWED?
You can mow the new sod if it has grown taller at the end of the first week. However, using a riding mower is probably too much stress on the immature rooting system. It is better to walk behind a push mower for less abuse. Keep blade height at about 3 inches and refrain from cutting more than a third of the grass blade. A sharp mower blade is encouraged to avoid jagged cuts which can result in damaged grass blades. Also, do not mow wet grass. Grass clippings should remain on the newly cut grass as a natural way to judiciously fertilize provided they are modest in quantity. If you waited too long to mow and grass clippings are overabundant, they can block photosynthesis from the sunlight and your grass can suffer as a result. Also, grass clippings from diseased grass should be removed to prevent spread of the malady.
Once sod has rooted adequately and you see regular ample growth, mowing can commence as needed during the year. It is suggested that you should keep mower levels about 3-4 inches in height to allow an abundance of fuller grass and deter the invasion of weeds. As the weather starts to turn colder, you can lower your mower height to about 2.5-3 inches.
HOW TO MANAGE WEEDS
While it is probably inevitable that some weeds will appear within your lawn as time passes, it is highly discouraged that you use pesticides. First, they are toxic to your healthy grass and they are toxic to the environment as a whole. A better strategy is to spot treat any weeds you may see and follow the advice of a conscientious lawn maintenance service. Using natural products like a solution of salt, vinegar and dishwashing soap directly on weeds can be effective. If it is an isolated weed here and there, it is best to remove the entire sprout including the root by pulling it out to prevent it from multiplying.
In your initial preparation for sod installation, if you failed to remove weeds at that time or stimulated vigorous weed germination while tilling but not cleaning your soil, unfortunately weeds within your sod is the ugly result.